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Added by johanlefourbe on 24 Jun 2016 11:48
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A Complete Review of M. Night Shyamalan's work

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.1

Unfortunately, I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 168 Average listal rating (120 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.8
Old


Cast : Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Embeth Davidtz

What was it about?
A vacationing family discovers that the secluded beach where they're relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.

My two cents:
With this director, especially nowadays, you can never be sure what you really get. Indeed, it could be a decent horror/thriller or it could turn out to be just so lame. In this case, this movie pretty much landed in between. Like many other Shyamalan features, there was a cloud of mystery around the whole thing which was fairly entertaining and the concept had some potential, even if it wasn’t as clever as Shyamalan thought it was. Unfortunately, there was just too little psychology involved and I think it was pretty obvious that the director had no idea how to handle the concept of having people living a whole lifetime within the span of a single day. Instead, you get one of them becoming homicidal with no real explanation, just to make sure that there was some random threat. Eventually, what saved Shyamalan this time was the fact that he had such a strong cast at his disposal and all of them managed to do quite a lot with the rather half-baked material that was given to them. And of course, as usual with this director, there was a supposedly ‘surprising’ twist but it is such a predictable trademark with this guy, it was hardly surprising at all and, on top of that, it was not really convincing or entertaining whatsoever. Anyway, even if the end-result was rather half-baked, I have to admit that it was still a decent watch though.

My rating: 6/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 361 Average listal rating (268 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.6


Cast : James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy

What was it about?
Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

My two cents:
To be honest, after watching the flick, I have to admit that I was actually positively surprised by the damned thing and I wonder why the reviews were so harsh. I mean, sure, it wasn’t a masterpiece whatsoever but I thought it was still a decent sequel in this franchise. Indeed, I really loved the idea of a movie reuniting Kevin Dunn with Elijah Price and Kevin Wendell Crumb and the set-up, to have them imprisoned all together fairly early on in a psychiatric hospital/jail was really neat as well. However, it was rather odd that, even though there were only 3 characters and the running time was over 2 hours, Shyamalan didn’t really manage to develop any of them. I mean, Bruce Willis was basically sleepwalking through his whole performance but I guess you shouldn’t expect more from him nowadays. Samuel L. Jackson was simply catatonic for one hour. James McAvoy was once again quite brilliant juggling no less than 20 characters but, for some reasons, this time around, they decided to make him switch characters every 10 seconds and, as a result, he became some kind of exhausting circus act. Finally, as usual with this director, there were couple of twists at the end but, since it is his most infamous trademark, they were hardly surprising but, above all, they were rather pretentious and, eventually, hardly as fascinating as Shyamalan would like us to think. However, even though I would agree that this movie was flawed, I still believe that the concept was really neat and it turned to be a decent watch after all.

My rating: 6/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 817 Average listal rating (597 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.3


Cast : James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis

What was it about?
Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

My two cents:
Well, even though it was indeed better than 'The Visit' and all the garbage Shyamalan had delivered through the years, to be honest, I still thought it was actually rather disappointing. I mean, it was not bad and there were definitely some good ideas but it was still rather weak in my opinion. First of all, the biggest mistake they made was to add a supernatural angle. With 'Unbreakable', still easily Shyamalan's best movie so far, even though it was dealing with some super-heroes, the approach was actually rather realistic which made the whole thing so interesting to behold. With this movie, it was the other way around, it started fairly realistically but became more and more preposterous. Then, even though they kept talking about Kevin having 23 or even 24 personalities, you get to see mostly only 3 of them which was also rather disappointing. Still, as I mentioned before, there were some good ideas, the concept was really neat and I loved the idea of a movie focusing on a character with so many different personalities. And, of course, you have to praise James McAvoy who was quite amazing and he delivered here easily one of his best performances. Anyway, to be honest, I don't really understand why everybody seemed to be so enthusiastic about this movie, maybe it's because we have been used to get so much crap from this director, but even though at least half of it didn't work for me, I have to admit that it is actually still worth a look.

My rating: 6/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 364 Average listal rating (273 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.2
The Visit (2015)


Cast : a bunch of unknown actors

What was it about?
Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.

My two cents:
To be honest, I find it rather difficult to judge this movie. Indeed, on one hand, it was easily better than the last 4 directing efforts from this director (but it wasn’t something really difficult to pull). On the other hand, it was still nothing really amazing though. First of all, Shyamalan went for one of the the oldest and cheapest tricks in the horror genre, the found-footage gimmick. This way, the whole thing was so cheap that, even if it would completely fail, it would still make some money at the box-office (which it did). Still, I have to admit it, I always had a weak spot for the found-footage genre and, if done properly, it can work very well. No, eventually, what bothered me the most is that, as usual with this director, the whole thing started with a decent concept but it was at the end of the day rather poorly written with some massive plot-holes. For example, I thought it was rather hard to believe that a woman would leave her 2 kids alone with her parents when she hasn’t been in touch with them for 15 years. Seriously, who does that? And, then, Shyamalan couldn’t help it, he had to throw in a twist which was really predictable and underwhelming. In spite of its flaws, I thought it was not bad but maybe I’m being generous with this movie because the previous efforts from this director were just so lame.

My rating: 6/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 672 Average listal rating (466 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 4.8
After Earth (2020)


Cast : Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoë Kravitz

What was it about?
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

My two cents:
What the hell was Will Smith thinking?!? I mean, so far, he had always made some rather smart choices in his career but it is not very often that you will come accross such a misguided vanity project. First of all, why did he choose M. Night Shyamalan to direct this? The guy has one of the most pathetic track records in the business and there was a fair probability that he would mess this one up as well. Eventually, it wasn't one of Shyamalan's worst efforts, I'll give you that, but it was still pretty weak. To make things worse, Smith decided to shamelessly promote his son's career and gave him the lead in this story, no less than that. Well, they got lucky with 'The Karate Kid' which turned out to be watchable, but, here, Jaden Smith was just not convincing at all and his performance was rather pathetic.

My rating: 5/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1226 Average listal rating (809 ratings) 4.1 IMDB Rating 4


Cast : Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Cliff Curtis

What was it about?
Follows the adventures of Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, who must master all four elements and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water Tribes and the Earth Kingdom.

My two cents:
With this movie, it seemed that Shyamalan was going towards a complete new direction and, even though I was maybe in the minority, I thought that the whole thing actually had some potential. Indeed, even though I never really followed this TV show, I did watch it a couple of times with my kids and, if done properly, it could be turned into an awesome franchise. Unfortunately, the end-result was just terribly weak, underwhelming and frustrating for all the fans of this beloved TV-show. The outcry at the time was so huge that, even though it was rather successful internationally, the planned sequels were just cancelled. Visually, it was not bad but the plot and characters were just really poorly developed. This could be linked to the bizarre decision to adapt a 20-episode TV season into 90 minutes only. Anyway, it was another mess coming from this director and it is considered by many as one of the worst movies ever made.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1915 Average listal rating (1297 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 5
The Happening (2008)


Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo

What was it about?
A science teacher, his wife, and a young girl struggle to survive a plague that causes those infected to commit suicide.

My two cents:
In my opinion, it was not as bad as 'Lady in the water' (the worst Shyamalan movie so far) or 'The Last Airbender' but it was not very good either, I'm afraid. I mean, as usual with this director, the directing was decent and it was visually pretty neat but the guy has to seriously stop writing his movies. Indeed, the story just didn't work and, above all, there was again the typical dreadful Shyamalan twist at the end. I mean, with ‘The Sixth Sense’, I already thought this gimmick was lame but, 10 years later, nobody was buying it anymore. On top of that, I have nothing against Mark Walhberg but couldn't they pick up a more believable actor to play a biological teacher ?! To conclude, it could have been nice but it was just plain average.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1337 Average listal rating (869 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.5


Cast : Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright, Freddy Rodríguez

What was it about?
Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.

My two cents:
Before watching this flick, I heard so many bad things about it, so I can't say I was really anxious to see it but still, I was curious. Oh boy! I wasn't disappointed... It is easily the worst movie directed by Shyamalan in my opinion. I have to be honest, the directing and acting were not that bad in fact but the story was just terrible! Try to picture this. You make up a bedtime story for your kids, of course, they love it but actually it is nothing great but your kids love it and that's the most important thing, right? No, wrong! You become a famous movie director and you waste 75 000 000 dollars (that was the actual budget) because you are full of yourself... The best thing is that, for once, at the end, there was no twist this time, which was actually a twist for a Shyamalan movie , when you think about it. Anyway, you wait the whole thing hoping, thinking 'he is going to throw his usual twist and the whole thing would be ...better?!?' but no, at the end, there was nothing, except laughter from my side.... This is a seriously pathetic movie.

My rating: 04/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3488 Average listal rating (2332 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Village (2004)


Cast : Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Pitt, Jesse Eisenberg

What was it about?
A series of events tests the beliefs of a small isolated countryside village.

My two cents:
What makes difficult to review this movie is the fact that M. Night Shyamalan has now become the laughtingstock of the movie world but we shouldn’t forget that when this movie was released, he was still a promising and highly regarded director. Anyway, many people think that it started to go bad for him with this movie but I don’t agree. In my opinion, it is with the awful ‘Lady in the water’ that his career went down the drain. Until then, all his movies were pretty decent, very well directed, nothing really mind-blowing but usually pretty entertaining. This movie was not an exception. The directing was pretty awesome, really atmospheric which reminded me of Hitchock, there was a pretty cool cast and they all delivered some solid performances. Unfortunately, as usual with Shyamalan, the story was rather disappointing. I mean, it was quite entertaining and it managed to keep me on the edge of my seat until the end but, then, the twist (again!) kind of ruined the whole thing for me. I mean, for the 4th time in a row, Shyamalan ended up the proceedings with yet another half-baked twist...

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3942 Average listal rating (2714 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
Signs (2002)


Cast : Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin

What was it about?
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.

My two cents:
Back in those days, Mel Gibson was still a bankable actor and this movie would be his last hit before he focused on his directing projects and on ruining his public image. Anyway, I thought it was a fairly entertaining story, there is no denying that Shyamalan knows how to direct a thriller and there was a very strong cast. The biggest issue was eventually the ending. I mean, it was all very nice and efficient, especially in building up an ominous mood but they had to provide an interesting climax at some point, not necessarily an explanation (see ‘Inception’ or anything directed by David Lynch), but they needed to end this tale in a satisfactory way and that’s where Shyamalan fails every time, even with ‘The Sixth Sense’. This time again, the ending was quite ridiculous, borderline laughable, and above all, it was yet again a twist ending. It was already the 3rd time in a row that Shyamalan used this trick and his audience was already getting quite fed up with this gimmick.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3033 Average listal rating (2079 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Unbreakable (2000)


Cast : Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright

What was it about?
A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.

My two cents:
Back in those days, M. Night Shyamalan was considered one of the most promising directors. Personally, I wasn’t really impressed by ‘The Sixth sense’ but his follow-up was really good, the best movie directed by Shyamalan so far, and as a matter of fact, the only one which I thought was actually satisfying. The point is that way before the whole super-hero overdose, he came up with this really gritty and realistic approach on the genre and I thought it was quite fascinating to behold. Of course, the whole thing was not flawless. Indeed, as usual with Shyamalan, even though the directing was very solid, the writing was kind of weak. For example, he would often sacrifice plausibility for some thriller theatrics. Is it really realistic to believe that the main character would become aware of his ability only after a huge train wreck? I mean, you or your family would notice that you are never sick or injured. And don’t get me started with the usual Shyamalan twist... So, it is not perfect but it remains a good flick though, absolutely. I mean, I just loved this ‘super-hero’ who is actually some kind of depressed loser and, in fact, even though Bruce Willis was pretty good, Samuel L. Jackson was actually even better. Basically, he gave one of the best performances in his long career portraying a really fascinating character completely lost in his neurotic obsessions.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2968 Average listal rating (1819 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 6
Before becoming one of the most ridiculed director in Hollywood, M. Night Shyamalan wrote this movie which made this feature even more intriguing in my opinion. Eventually, I thought it was not bad at all. First of all, I thought that the CGI was really convincing. I mean, you have to keep in mind that this flick is now more than 20 years old and for the time period, it was pretty good. They also managed to give Stuart Little some personality so that you could care about him and his adventures. The rest of the characters were really stereotypical but it didn't bother me much. Of course, the story was nothing mind-blowing whatsoever but I thought it was decent enough, especially for a family feature.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 7225 Average listal rating (5150 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1


Cast : Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg, Mischa Barton

What was it about?
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

My two cents:
I remember when this movie came out as if it was yesterday. At the time, everybody was talking about this movie. Every time you would talk about movies someone would say at some point 'Have you seen The Sixth Sense? Dude, that was just awesome. I was just blown away by this twist ending !'. I have to admit it, I didn't guess this twist before the end but, to be honest, I never felt it was such a strong ending. In my opinion, it was actually rather underwhelming as I thought it was a cheap way to give some supposedly 'deep' meaning to an otherwise decent story. I mean, the directing was pretty good, Bruce Willis gave a decent performance and Haley Joel Osment was definitely impressive but, in my opinion, the concept was actually completely bonkers. Indeed, why doesn’t Malcolm notice that he is not able to connect to his wife, his colleagues or anyone else? Well, simply because ghosts choose to see what they want to see. I mean, come one, what a lame explanation! Just like all the other twists developed by Shyamalan in his next movies, it was a just terribly weak explanation to cover up some major plot holes. The whole thing was basically about a young boy who is completely freaked out because he can see some dead people, which is quite understandable, and somehow, he becomes friend with one of them and this ghost helps him to overcome his fears and to handle his gift. It's too bad because it was actually a really good story and it is a real shame that Shyamalan tricked the audience by making us believe that Malcolm was actually alive during the whole thing. I mean, seriously, what did it really add to the story? Anyway, it is not bad at all and actually really entertaining but, in my opinion, this so-called great twist pretty much ruined an otherwise decent story.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.9


Cast : Dana Delany, Denis Leary, Rosie O'Donnell, Julia Stiles

What was it about?
A 10 year old boy goes on a search for God after his grandfather dies.

My two cents:
A year before releasing his smash hit 'The Sixth Sense', Shyamalan wrote and directed this movie which was barely noticed. As a matter of fact, although released in 1998, the film was actually produced in 1995 which is never a good omen... Anyway, I was curious to see what this director did before reaching stardom so I checked it out anyway. Basically, it is a rather weak family feature, nothing more, nothing less. As usual with Shyamalan's work, the whole thing was rather pretentious and, here, he tried to deal with some serious matter such as God and spirituality but it was pretty weak in my opinion. Above all, I thought the whole thing was rather uninteresting and boring to watch. With his previous directing effort, it would be the only realistic pictures directed by Shyamalan, he will then focus on fantastic/paranormal driven features and I think it was a smart move from him.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4.6


Cast : M. Night Shyamalan

What was it about?
An alienated, Americanized teenager of East Indian heritage is sent back to India where he discovers not only his roots but a lot about himself.

My two cents:
For a very long time, I was wondering if I would ever be able to watch this directing debut. Well, after making some research, I actually found it on Youtube (I have added it to Listal if you are interested). Eventually, even Shyamalan himself dismissed the whole thing so I had some rather low expectations and, indeed, it was not really a pleasant watch. In fact, it could have been his deepest movie so far dealing with his Indian background but, unfortunately, as usual with this director, it was so pretentious, it was rather cringe-inducing to behold. Indeed, not only did he direct this movie, he produced it, wrote it and even played the leading character with a terrible end-result. On top of that, even though it was interesting to see him trying to connect with his ancestors’s culture, I thought it was just rather condescending. At least, we have to keep in mind that the guy was only 22 years old when he made this.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

After becoming one of the most promising directors in the world, at some point, M. Night Shyamalan became one of the biggest jokes in the business. Still, since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by this guy, I thought I should make one of these lists for this director as well.

Enjoy!




By the way, this is my 500th list!

Added to

43 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' s work (65 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 10 years, 8 months ago 8 comments



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