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The Sixth Sense

THE SIXTH SENSE
Rated PG-13 for language and intense material
Starring Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams and Haley Joel Osment

CineSight Rating **

Child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Willis), feels he is a failure after being attacked by a former patient he was unable to help. A few months later he runs across a similarly disturbed little boy, Cole Sear (Osment). Cole confides in the doctor that he sees visions of ghosts. The boy is labelled at school as a freak, which causes him to be extremely introverted. However, he does begin to trust Crowe, and believes the doctor may be able to help him deal with the visions; at least to stop being afraid of them.

As they discover the cure for Cole, Crowe also makes some startling discoveries about himself.

I was both enthralled and disappointed by THE SIXTH SENSE. The writing and performances were both top-drawer, especially in the growing relationship between Cole and Malcolm. It's refreshing to see a Summer movie which relies on these elements, rather than pummelling an audience into submission with stunts and over-the-top effects (let's hear it for THE HAUNTING). Technically the film is quite well constructed, providing a moody atmosphere and the requisite ending-with-a-twist which we always hope for in a thriller.

However, on occasions writer/director M. Night Shyamalan resorts to old-fashioned Hollywood corn (any similarities to GHOST may or may not be purely coincidental) in resolving his story. But my main complaint is that somehow I felt cheated when I came out of the theater. I feel like I need to see the movie again whether I really want to or not - just to see if the supposed clues, scattered throughout the story, do indeed point to the the solution. Perhaps that's why the movie has done so well. Maybe people are feeling the same need to go back again to catch all threads they didn't know they missed first time around.