By now, the vast majority of people will have heard all about "The Sixth
Sense". They will probably have heard about the brilliant ending, the wonderful
performances, and the chilling storyline. This is quite a shame. I'm glad to
have seen it almost immediately after release, so as to avoid much of this
talk. After seeing it, I will say this much, this film is outstanding.
Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Willis) is a gifted child psychologist. The film opens with
he and his wife (Olivia Williams ) celebrating a recent award he received from
the mayor. However, a patient of his from years before named Vincent Gray
(Donnie Wahlberg in a remarkable, if short performance) breaks in, shoots
Crowe, and then himself. Next autumn, we see Crowe physically recovered from
his wounds, but a shadow of the man he once was. His marriage is falling apart
as he and his wife hardly speak and she is slowly drifting into an affair.
Crowe's newest patient is a young boy named Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osmet). Sear
is showing very similar problems to those experienced by Gray back when Crowe
was treating him. Crowe slowly earns the boy's trust, and Sear tells Crowe his
secret. I know almost everyone knows what his secret is, but I'm still not
going to state it here, just in case the reader is one of the few who hasn't
I often hear Bruce Willis's acting talents criticized, and I will admit that he
tends to play the exact same character over and over in different situations.
He is capable of breaking into other roles however (see In County, 12 Monkeys).
Here, he plays a quiet, caring psychologist who wants nothing more than to help
this boy and get his life back on track. His talents really show through in the
way he is able to take a back seat to the real star of the movie, Haley Joel
Osmet. If Osmet doesn't recieve a nomination from the academy, it will be the
greatest tragedy since "Titanic" beat "LA Confidential" for best picture.
This is a wonderful movie. Touching, chilling, engrossing, this film is
everything one could want out of a movie. This is not to say it's flawless, but
the few flaws are so tiny they don't detract from the experience at all. As for
the much talked about ending, it's the greatest I've seen since "The Usual
Suspects". It's also not there just for shock value. If one looks back on the
film afterwards, the ending explains many things which didn't entirely make
As I said, the flaws are hardly noticeable, but I feel compelled to point them
out. The music is, at times, rather irritating. Whenever anything surprising
happens, the old, cliche horror movie sound of "dah dah!" is played. At the
start of the film, Anna Crowe wraps her arms around her husband and says
something to the extent of "You're a brilliant child psychologist who has
helped hundreds of people and made great advances in your field". I expected
the frame to freeze on him and have his name appear with a caption explaining
what he did.
Despite these minute problems, this is an exceptional movie. I reccomend
everyone see it, and give it a well earned five stars.
* * * * * - One of the greatest movies ever made, see it now.
* * * * - Great flick, try and catch this one.
* * * - Okay movie, hits and misses.
* * - Pretty bad. See it if you've got nothing better to do.
* - One of the worst movies ever. See it only if you enjoy pain.
Copyright © 2000 John Beachem