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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes concerning fate, coincidence, faith versus doubt.
Positive Role Models
Characters struggle to understand why things happen and what they mean on both a personal level and in the bigger picture; a former minister struggles with his faith after the death of his wife by a tragic and horrible car accident.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent suspenseful scenes. A young boy is forced to kill one of his family's dogs with a barbeque poker after it turns violent. A dying woman is pinned to a tree by a car that hit her. A man fights an alien with a baseball bat. News footage shows children screaming when they spot what appears to be an alien walking down their street. Demonic alien imagery and sound effects.
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Occasional profanity: "bitch," "ass," s--t," "crap," bulls--t," "piss."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Signs is a 2002 suspense movie in which a man who has given up being a minister in the wake of the tragic car accident that took his wife must come to grips with his faith as he and his family try to make sense of what appears to be an impending alien invasion. There is some violence -- a boy must kill one of his family's dogs after it turns violent, a man must fight an alien with a baseball bat. There is also demonic alien imagery and sound effects that happen more often as the story builds to its climax. Throughout, there is extreme tension and peril; while it's not graphic nor gory, some viewers will find it very scary. There is also some profanity throughout: "bitch," "ass," "s--t," "crap," "bulls--t," "piss." Some will be comforted by the movie's ultimate conclusion, but others will find it disappointing, even sugary or superficial. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Signs is excellent but may be too intense for younger or more sensitive kids. Gibson is outstanding in a role that calls for subtlety, maturity, and a mixture of vulnerability and strength. The children, played by Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin, are just right. They act like smart kids who know what loss is and are scared but also tantalized by what is going on around them.
Shyamalan's use of the camera to tell the story is masterful. There is a moment when the screen goes completely black that will have viewers gasping. Shyamalan was clearly paying attention to Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg and has a few tricks of his own to contribute. His only mistake is in leaving too little to the imagination. Like his characters, he likes to have everything explained.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.