M. Night Shyamalan movies ranked from worst to best (and where you can watch them)
The man who brought the big twist back to the movies at the turn of the century is back with his latest story.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Old (which starts showing in Kiwi theaters tomorrow, Thursday) focuses on a family whose tropical vacations take a grim turn when a visit to a secluded beach apparently causes them to age quickly. From the graphic novel Sand castle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, with Gael Garcia Bernal, Eliza Scanlen, Vicky Krieps and our own Thomasin McKenzie.
Inspired by its release, Things to watch returned to Shyamalan’s previous acclaimed and polarizing outings as a director (with the exception of his two pre-Sixth Sense efforts, Awake and Praying with anger, both unavailable in New Zealand) to rank them from worst to best – and let you know where you can watch them right now.
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11. After Earth (2013, Netflix)
Will and Jaden Smith play a father and son who crash into Earth, a thousand years after the humans were evacuated in this special effects sci-fi tale without substance.
A film determined to tell how fear is only in our minds, through a po-face plot and predictable action, it’s also a film that seems to have had all of Mark Smith’s joy sucked in. It’s pretty to watch, but After Earth is an entertainment black hole.
10. The event (2008, Disney +)
Audiences were as puzzled as the unusual pair of Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel by this psychological thriller about a plant-caused pandemic.
Designed as a sort of parable about climate change, it’s an unseen threat, restless cast and rocky storytelling meaning the message has been lost amid a myriad of unwittingly joyful moments.
9. Lady in the Water (2006, iTunes, GooglePlay, YouTube)
Shyamalan’s attempt to respond to a growing number of detractors backfired as this lukewarm story of a building manager discovering a character from a bedtime story ended up winning two Golden Raspberry Awards.
Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard did their best to sell the fantasy, but the lack of action and the then-anticipated twist left many viewers disappointed and annoyed.
8. The Last Airbender (2010, Amazon Prime Video)
“Incomprehensible Plot,” “gruesome action” and “detached joyless direction” were just a few of the shadows cast to Shyamalan’s big-budget live-action version of the mega-popular Nickleodeon animated series about a young boy who is the key to maintaining order among the four elemental nations of the world.
Dev Patel and our own Cliff Curtis were among those whose performances seemed lost in the chaotic maelstrom.
7. Glass (2019, iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay)
Dreaming about the modern obsession with superheroes, this clenched fist “origin tale” brings together characters from the 2000s Unbreakable and 2017 To divide.
As Shyamalan tries to convince us to look beyond capes and villainous monologues for something more grounded, some interesting ideas emerge, but they are swept away by an unsatisfying climax and twist that comes straight out of the playbook. Marvel.
6. The visit (2015, iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay)
Shyamalan’s stock in 2015 was so low that this horror comedy found in pictures actually went straight to DVD in New Zealand. That’s a bit of a shame, because it’s one of his best efforts of the last decade, and way better than some of the slag that passed for cinematic chills at the time.
Two teenagers go to their previously estranged grandparents for the first time, only to discover nightmarish secrets about them.
5. Unbreakable (2000, Disney +)
Stadium security guard David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a horrific crash between cars and a passenger train. As he tries to figure out how he escaped on his own without a scratch, mysterious alien Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) offers an alternate theory.
A different take on a comic book movie, Shyamalan created a real sense of space and place and kept audiences enthralled with his slow and twisted narrative.
4. Signs (2002, Disney +)
Six years later Independence Day destroyed the White House, Shyamalan gave as another War of the Worlds– an inspired blockbuster, but with a much more intimate feel. It is essentially the experience of a family witnessing an invasion firsthand.
Choosing to focus on the characters’ reactions rather than what they are watching, Shyamalan turns the tension up to 11 and never lets the audience go. Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix and Abigail Breslin are the stars.
3. The Village (2004, Disney +)
Although allegedly inspired by The Wuthering Heights and King Kong, the story of a small isolated hamlet of Shyamalan actually evokes more memories of The crucible and The Blair Witch Project.
James Newton Howard’s score is majestically married to the dark, evocative images of cinematographer Roger Deakins, but it’s the awe-inspiring actors (Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver) who really sell the story and its sound. twist.
2. Divided (2017, Disney +)
While the central vanity of the Girls in Peril (including Anya Taylor-Joy) might seem a bit too familiar, Shyamalan manages to overcome any sense of déjà vu thanks to the ever-shifting narrative sands of her antagonist’s affliction and a performance. stellar of james mcavoy.
Charming and menacing at the same time, the Scotsman draws audiences into his fractured world and will have you either on the edge of the seat or curled up behind him.
1. The Sixth Sense (1999, Disney +)
Yes, whoever made him such a household name is still Shyamalan’s best two hours. Bruce Willis delivers one of his more nuanced performances as child psychologist Malcolm Crowe, while Toni Collette and Olivia Williams are the film’s unsung supporting stars.
Of course, it’s the then-unknown child actor Haley Joel Osment who really steals the show as the troubled young Cole Sear, the boy who claims to see “dead people … walking around like ordinary people.” The audience had no idea what to expect.
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film Old opens in New Zealand cinemas on July 22.