Some films on this list, just like "The Happening," were dismissed by fans and critics alike, but are well deserving of a second chance. For. The best M. Night Shyamalan films: All 14 titles including Old ranked · 14. After Earth (2013) · 13. The Last Airbender (2010) · 12. Wide Awake . His films always carry a brutal sting. Old stars Mozart In The Jungle actor Gael Garcia Bernal and Phantom Thread's Vicky Krieps as a couple on.
Thematic videoEvery M Night Shyamalan Movie Ranked
Hardcore Shyamalan fans will undoubtedly notice that we’ve omitted the director’s first film, Praying with Anger, from 1992. In the film, a young Indian American (played by Shyamalan) visits India as a foreign exchange college student to rediscover his faith and culture. The reason we’ve not included the film on the list is simple: Praying with Anger never got a wide release and was mostly shown at festivals. Therefore, we haven’t seen it.
12. The Last Airbender (2010)
One day, perhaps Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender may become a cult classic, but right now, it’s pretty much the worst movie the director has ever made. Shyamalan is clearly out of his comfort zone here, directing a film for a much younger audience that is expecting an epic fantasy adventure. The result could be called an insult to the source material, Nickelodeon’s popular anime series Avatar: The Last Airbender, but Shyamalan’s intention with this project was clearly to challenge himself.
The Last Airbender‘s story is a bit complicated, but here’s a short summary: Aang, the titular last airbender, is a twelve-year-old boy who must stop the Fire Nation from conquering the other nations and bring peace to the land. There’s a lot of backstory and plot in the anime series and Shyamalan makes the mistake of trying to distill all that into one movie. Interestingly enough, the project was originally envisioned as a trilogy of films. Spreading the plot a bit more or omitting some things entirely might m night shyamalan movies list helped the first (and only) film in this trilogy along.
Although Shyamalan worked closely with Industrial Light and Magic, this film suffers greatly in the visual effects department. Maybe The Last Airbender is a victim of the times, coming only a few months after the graphically superb Avatar from James Cameron. That said, the lighting in the film is inexcusable by any standard. Many scenes just unbearably dark.
The casting is pretty terrible as well, largely made up of unknown child actors whom you probably haven’t seen in many other things. Later credits do include Cowboys & Aliens, Transformers, and The Twilight Saga. Take from that what you will.
The Last Airbenderwas universally panned by critics as well as Shyamalan and Avatar fans. That said, it is currently Nickelodeon’s m night shyamalan movies list highest-grossing film of all time after earning almost $320 million worldwide, easily making back its $150 million budget. But even its box office isn’t enough to save this unfortunate movie.
The films of M Night Shyamalan – ranked
Since the phenomenal success of his breakout citizens bank union square somerville, The Sixth Sense, turned the young director into an overnight household name, M Night Shyamalan has grown into one of the most fascinating auteurs currently working. Though he was once touted as the next American master, Shyamalan’s reputation has soured over the past two decades: Unbreakable, Signs and The Village were each greeted with a collective shrug by the critical community, while The Lady in the Water was perceived as a plunge wells fargo dealer services online bill pay total self-parody.
The director’s brief foray into big-budget blockbuster storytelling fared even worse. After Earth was largely laughed off as nothing more than a showcase for the meagre acting chops of its adolescent lead Jaden Smith and The Last Airbender is still widely considered to be one of the worst films to ever be produced within the studio system. The very artistic traits which were once championed as the markers of a singular creative voice – the slow pacing, the hushed sound design, the pared-down performances, the pervading atmosphere of portent, the obsession with fairy tale and Gothic imagery – were increasingly disregarded as the pretentious extravagances of a creatively bankrupt director treading water.
Although the release of Split marked a minor resurgence of critical goodwill, a title card reading ‘from the mind of Shyamalan’ is still more likely to inspire derisive titters than genuine excitement. For many, the downward trajectory of Shyamalan’s career is a cautionary tale of a director who peaked too young and crumbled under the weight of outsized expectations. In the eyes of this writer, however, Shyamalan is the real deal; an idiosyncratic, tragically undervalued filmmaker whose triumphs vastly outweigh his follies. To celebrate the release of Glass, we’ve revisited and ranked all 13 of his feature films. Read the full list below, then let us know your personal favourites at @LWLies
13. Wide Awake (1998)
Though rough around the edges, Shyamalan’s deeply personal debut feature, Praying with Anger, is clearly the work of an ambitious young voice expressing a unique cinematic vision. The same cannot be said for his follow-up, Wide Awake, a schmaltzy coming-of-age dramedy produced by the short-lived family division of Miramax studios.
The film centres on Josh Beal, a Catholic schoolboy who begins to question the existence of God following the death of his beloved grandfather. Conceptually, this may sound like prime Shyamalan material, though in execution it couldn’t be farther from the brilliance of his later explorations of tested faith.
Relying on cutesy sitcom-style gags, an overbearing score and formulaic character arcs, Wide Awake packs the emotional punch of an afterschool special. Absent is the ravishing visual panache that Shyamalan would develop in his later films, instead this feels like it was directed on autopilot.
12. Playing with Anger (1992)
Written, directed and self-funded by Shyamalan while he was still studying at NYU, Praying with Anger is a scrappy debut that has been largely forgotten outside of a few hardcore auteurist circles. It’s not hard to see why, as it is marred by many of the deficiencies you may expect from a student film. The acting is stilted, the audio track varies in quality from scene to scene, and there is a lot of lazy blocking.
Yet there’s a ramshackle charm to this autobiographical tale of an Indian American college student (played by Shyamalan himself) who, at the request of his mother, travels to his native country to take part in a year-long exchange program, only to be shocked by the extent to which he has strayed from his cultural roots. Shyamalan’s signature preoccupation with spiritual devotion, cultural disconnection and familial bonds are all present in a rough form, and it’s fascinating to see these play out within the context of a light dramedy.
11. The Last Airbender (2010)
Although it is craigslist fort smith ar farm and garden from the colossal, world-shattering artistic disaster its reputation may have you believe, Shyamalan’s big screen adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon is one hell of a mess. Shyamalan’s strengths lie in his lean visual storytelling, but the task of condensing the plot of an entire season of television into a 90-minute feature forces him to devote long stretches of the runtime to dull explanatory narration and exposition-heavy dialogue scenes.
The tone is wildly inconsistent in the worst possible way, and the charisma-free m night shyamalan movies list cast recite their lines as if they have no idea what they’re talking about. Yet, there are so many flashes of inspired aesthetic splendour that it fells misguided to write The Last Airbender off as a total failure. The combat sequences in particular stand out for their balletic choreography and some creative use of CGI to realise the manipulation of the elements.
10. Signs (2002)
Released in late 2002, Signs was the film which marked the beginning of Shyamalan’s mid-career fascination with the sensation of trauma and anxiety that took over the nation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Although his later films would go on to tackle these themes on a grander scale, Signs takes a decidedly intimate approach, zeroing in on a single rural family who find their taken-for-granted sense of security destabilised by the mysterious threat of an encroaching alien force.
Rather than revealing the aliens outright from the get-go, Shyamalan devotes the bulk of the film to carefully building tension through the power of suggestion, giving us only brief glimpses of shadows in hallways, reflections on knives, and eyes peering through windows as the shadowy beings increasingly intrude upon the domestic space. Because of this, Signs seems less interested in the invaders than the very notion of invasion itself, powerfully tapping into the zeitgeist of its period.
9. Lady in the Water (2006)
At the core of Shyamalan’s endearingly ludicrous tale of narfs, scrunts and tartutics is a genuine belief in the radical power of storytelling: to foster empathy, to break down interpersonal barriers, to heal emotional wounds, to lead the way to redemption. The Lady m night shyamalan movies list the Water spends its opening act introducing a large ensemble cast of broad stereotypes (a braindead bodybuilder, a bickering Jewish couple, a group of aimless young stoners), who each live a shut-off life in their own corner of the central apartment complex.
As superintendent Paul sets about unravelling a centuries-old riddle that will hold the key to releasing a stranded mermaid-like creature known as Story, he must draw on the unique talents of every one of the building’s residents – the very idiosyncrasies which initially marked them as figures of ridicule. The strict divisions that once defined the central housing project gradually break down – spatially, culturally, emotionally – and a harmonious, multicultural community is established.
8. After Earth (2013)
Economic, bank of america texarkana arkansas efficient, and composed in gorgeous ‘scope images by cinematographer Wolgang Suschitzky, Shyamalan’s marvellous work on After Earth elevates the film far above its nepotistic origins as a Will Smith-produced starring vehicle for his son Jaden. Although Shyamalan was brought onto the project late in the game, he acts as more than a gun-for-hire, using this pre-existing material as a vessel to explore his recurring interests in father-son dynamics and environmental ruin.
In essence, it’s a simple survivalist story with a sci-fi twist: in the distant future, a spacecraft crashes on the surface of a depopulated Earth, which was abandoned after mass pollution rendered the natural world inhospitable to human life, leaving the only two survivors stranded within a hostile, hyper-real wilderness.
On a purely visual level, After Earth contains some of the most impressive material of Shyamalan’s career, as he fully imagines an intricate alien eco-system, created through a richly textured combination of natural landscape photography and imaginative CGI enhancement.
7. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Shyamalan’s first masterpiece and the feature which first introduced the world to his distinctive style: a patient, meticulous formalism which draws on elements of classical Hollywood, modern European art cinema and ’50s B-movies.
The final twist has become a cultural touchstone so deeply ingrained into the popular consciousness that even those who haven’t seen The Sixth Sense are familiar with it – but the revelation that Bruce Willis’ Malcolm has been dead for the bulk of the film functions not only as a shocking narrative sleight-of-hand but a revelation that complicates The Sixth Sense’s thematic core and recasts everything we’ve seen before in a new, melancholic new light.
Although broadly categorised as a horror film, The Sixth Sense eschews conventional scare tactics in favour of a more classical, m night shyamalan movies list approach, with Shyamalan’s rigorous formalism maintaining a sustained atmosphere of dread which crescendos into a final act which packs the operatic punch of a grand tragedy.
6. The Happening (2008)
The Happening, Shyalaman’s most peculiar genre project, reconfigures the paranoid sensibilities of atomic age genre flicks for the era of climate change and mass environmental pollution. The film hinges on a daring formal conceit that is, depending on who you ask, a major misstep or a stroke of genius: the threat at the centre of the narrative isn’t a physical being but invisible, intangible neurotoxins being emitted by the natural world.
In this writer’s eyes, the prospect of the very land we rely on to survive inexplicably becoming unable to sustain human life is fundamentally terrifying, and now, 11 years after its release, its environmentalist message seems even more urgent.
Shyamalan reminds us that our lives are dependent on environmental stimuli – the water we drink, the trees that purify our air, the dirt which fertilises our crops – and imagines the large-scale extinction event that may occur unless we put a stop to widespread despoliation.
5. The Visit (2015)
Following his stint in the realm of the big-budget blockbuster, Shyamalan returned to his stripped-back horror routes with The Visit, a claustrophobic chiller which manages to fashion a rich exploration of familial relations and documentary ethics from a hokey found-footage horror premise.
As he did in The Sixth Sense before it, Shyamalan draws on childhood feelings of loneliness, anxiety and incomprehension of the adult world to create suspense and pathos in equal, intoxicating measure. This time, the physical ailments of old age are filtered through a child’s restricted, uncomprehending point-of-view, transforming fairly commonplace infirmities – dementia, brittle bones, incontinence– into the stuff of horror.
Found-footage movies have a bad tendency to use their gimmick as an excuse to be formally sloppy, but Shyamalan finds a witty workaround by making his protagonist a precocious wannabe filmmaker (and cheeky director surrogate) who explicitly reflects on the importance of careful film craft.
4. Split (2016)
The notion of a claustrophobic thriller centred on a gang of young girls held captive by a man with dissociative personality disorder may sound inherently problematic, but Shyamalan masterfully subverts viewer expectations to craft a deeply emphatic study of the after-effects of intense personal trauma.
The film first sets up an archetypical good-versus-evil structure common to the American B-movie tradition it draws on, but then instead of following this genre model through to its expected clash-of-the-elements conclusion, Split collapses such simplistic distinctions to reveal the true villain of the piece to not be any single character, but the very concept of abuse itself.
Rather than simply codifying Kevin as a monstrous Other because of his illness, Shyamalan delves deep into his inner life and finds a vast reservoir of palpable sorrow; in doing so, Split interrogates the mechanisms by which the most vulnerable in society are dehumanised by popular genre fare, thus compounding their sense of alienation.
3. Glass (2019)
Admittedly, it might seem a little early to be placing Glass in the upper ranks of Shyamalan’s fine body of work, but this delightfully deranged conclusion to the Eastrail 177 trilogy is clearly major. One of the most surprising tricks Shyamalan ever pulled was to reveal Split to be the second instalment in a planned series only during its closing moments, making us realise only in retrospect that we had just witnessed a quasi-sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable.
Though, despite its structural engagement with the dynamics of contemporary blockbuster world-building, anybody expecting this final chapter to be a violent confrontation between Shyamalan’s three modern day titans (David Dunn, Kevin Crumb and Mr Glass) is bound to be confounded by a piece that’s far more idiosyncratic, as the conflict instead plays out as claustrophobic psychodrama.
Stylistically, Glass deviates quite radically from the muted, earthy tones of previous instalments in the series, instead embracing 1st state bank hours mode of hyper-real expressionism that more closely resembles the pulpy art style of comic book fiction. Blocks of primary colour dominate compositions, silhouettes are thrown across corridors, and off-kilter camera angles abound. It’s a damn audacious way to stage a superhero picture, and a reminder that there is still a great deal of potential left in the genre.
2. Unbreakable (2000)
This languid, self-reflexive enquiry into the nature of comic book mythology and its function in wider society finds Shyamalan at the height of his powers as a genre movie aesthete. The opening act in particular is a masterclass of visual economy, showing us the two major accidents that will hang over the rest of the narrative like an oppressive weight in an elliptical series of long-takes which pointedly omit the actual moments of violence.
Unbreakable is also structured around one of Shyamalan’s most inspired conceptual conceits: it’s a superhero origin story that only reveals itself as such in its final scene. Until this denouement, the film presents itself as a dual character study of two men who deal with horrendous trauma in very different ways: Mr Glass retreats into the fantasy realm of superheroes and neat narrative threads, convincing himself that every event in his life has been predetermined for a vital reason; Dunn, on the other hand, favours a coping strategy of avoidance, refusing to address his physiological pain.
By stripping the film of spectacle and instead focusing on intimate drama and quotidian moments, Unbreakable takes many of the moral issues that lie at the centre of the camp-and-mask mythos and subjects them to intense philosophical scrutiny.
1. The Village
In many ways, The Village acts as the ugly flipside to Signs: Signs engages with the collective hysteria following the 9/11 attacks by offering a re-assuring message of hope, while The Village reflects on the ugly neo-conservatism and xenophobia that infected American life in its aftermath. From the vantage point of 2019, it is hard to view the faith Signs places in the US government to re-establish order and bring peace back to the nation as anything other than naive, while The Village’s vision of the government as a hypocritical force eager to exploit public fear to serve its own imperialistic interests seems as vital as ever.
By fabricating mysterious evil-doers who dwell just outside of the village limits, the elders are able to maintain total authority over a frightened, pliable and culturally ignorant population under the guise of maintaining public safety and unity. If that sounds familiar, it’s because The Village is the fiercest critique of the Bush administration ever put to screen, a fearless expose of the mechanisms by which the neo-colonial ‘war on terror’ heightened the unease of the American population with the aim of forcing them into acquiescence and, ultimately, stripping them of their civil liberties.
Piercing, intelligent and genuinely horrifying, The Village is one of the masterworks of 20th century American cinema, and it stands as Shyamalan’s greatest achievement to date.
Published 18 Jan 2019
Tags: Anya Taylor-JoyBruce WillisBryce Dallas HowardJames McAvoyM Night ShyamalanSamuel L Jackson
M. Night Shyamalan’s Next Movie Gets a Title: ‘Knock at the Cabin’
M. Night Shyamalan‘s next thriller has an official title: Knock at the Cabin.
The filmmaker revealed the name Wednesday via Twitter. In a twinned message, Universal announced that the movie will shift its theatrical release from Feb. 17, 2023 to Feb. 3, 2023.
Knock at the Cabin continues the prolific partnership between Universal and Shyamalan. Universal partnered with him on his last four films, Old (2021), Glass (2019), Split (2017) and The Visit (2015).
All told, Shyamalan’s movies have amassed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office over the past two decades. Glass, the culmination of his Eastrail 177 Trilogy, grossed $250 million globally (Disney handled the film overseas). In 2017, Split earned $278.5 million, preceded by The Visit, which took in $98.4 million.
Shyamalan’s most recent offering, Old, earned $90.1 million at the global box office amid the pandemic.
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All 11 M Night Shyamalan Movie Twists Ranked, From ‘Sixth Sense’ to ‘Old’
(Spoilers ahead for, well, most of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies. Including “Old.”)
M. Night Shyamalan has been known as a twist ending guy since “The Sixth Sense” — his debut as a director — blew everybody’s mind way back in 1999. Since then, not all of his twists have fared so well, with some delighting viewers and others garnering outright scorn from audiences.
And now we’ve got a new one, “Old,” which has thus far proven to be pretty dang polarizing as it competes with “Snake Eyes” for the box office crown this weekend. Check out the list below to find out what we think of how the twist at the end of “Old” turned out.
11. “Glass” (2019)
The whole movie you can tell that Elijah “Mr. Glass” Price has some kind of grand plan for this small group of superpeople, like he’s doing some “Ocean’s Eleven” style sleight of hand behind the scenes that you know will only be revealed at the end. And then you get to the end and it turns out it’s just…to do viral videos that prove that super-powered individuals exist so that others will come forward? And Bruce Willis is gonna drown in a puddle of water? Great.
10. “The Happening” (2008)
Shyamalan starts off strong, building a movie in which supernatural-seeming events are driving people to commit suicide. Then the twist: trees did it, using a toxin carried by wind. This is one step removed from the Lorax being revealed as a serial killer.
9. “Signs” (2002)
Aliens are invading and Mel Gibson has lost his faith. Just as things are getting scary, the twist: Everything in Mel’s life, including the tragic and really very horrific death of his wife, has been part of God’s extremely intricate and unnecessarily mean plan. That plan: restore Mel’s faith and save his family by placing glasses of water around the house so Joaquin Phoenix could hit them with a bat. Oh, and the aliens are allergic to water.
8. “Lady in the Water” (2006)
Paul Giamatti discovers a strange fairytale-like nymph woman (a “narf,” actually) in his apartment building’s pool. He concludes everyone in the building has a role in the fairy tale. Then the twist: All the roles are wrong! Everyone unlocks their potential by realizing the roles they’re actually destined to play, and save the day.
7. “The Village” (2004)
A group of 19th century townsfolk bury anything that’s the color red and hide from mysterious monsters that plague their town. When someone really needs medicine badly, the villagers send a blind woman to retrieve it. Then, the twist: the village elders have been pretending to be the monsters to keep everyone in the town, since they all actually live in a modern national park. Oh, and the monster that’s been terrorizing everyone is just a lovestruck developmentally disabled guy.
6. “Old” (2021)
This story about a group of tourists who get stuck on a beach that makes you experience a lifetime of aging in a couple days ends with the reveal that the resort they’d been staying at is using that weird beach to do long-term medical experiments on guests. This is all Shyamalan — the graphic novel on which “Old” is based doesn’t really get into the “why” — and it’s kind of a wet fart of a twist because the movie never centered that mystery. But it’s not the sort of twist that makes the rest of the movie worse, and the rest of “Old” is pretty great.
5. “Devil” (2010)
Five people get trapped in an elevator and reveal how awful they are as they are attacked, one by one, when the lights go out. Then, the twist: One of them is literally the devil. It’s the middle-aged woman everyone thought was dead. And the whole thing was an elaborate scheme to get some souls. Shyamalan wrote but didn’t direct this one, but it twists hard enough to qualify.
4. “Split” (2017)
A man suffers from a split personality: some of the personalities are evil, and some can actually manifest physical differences, like strength. One personality, the Beast, actually becomes a superhuman cannibal. Then, the twist: “Split” is set in the same universe as “Unbreakable,” making it a supervillain origin story and setting up a clash with Bruce Willis’ character from that movie (at some later time in another film)! Jeez.
3. “The Visit” (2015)
Two kids go on an extended visit with their grandparents, but the grandparents are creepy and there’s definitely something not right about the grandmother, who seems like a different, much more dangerous person at night. Then, the twist: these aren’t the grandparents at all, but two murderous escaped mental patients. While predictable, the twist plays well in the movie to ratchet up tension.
2. “The Sixth Sense” (1999)
The Shyamalan classic, about a psychiatrist who treats a boy who says he can see dead people who need his help to let go of their lives. The twist: the psychiatrist is dead! Shyamalan gives just enough hints to make audiences scream “Of course!” once they realize Bruce Willis has been a ghost the whole time, and adds new context that makes you want to start the movie over and look for all the clues.
1. “Unbreakable” (2000)
After he’s the sole survivor of a train derailment, Bruce Willis is approached by Samuel L. Jackson, who’s convinced Willis actually a nearly invulnerable comic book-like legend. Turns out, Jackson’s right. Then, the twist: Jackson, a man with very brittle bones, was convinced his comic-like opposite had to exist, and caused the derailment and lots of other deadly accidents in an attempt to find Willis and give his own life meaning — as a supervillain. The twist does exactly what one should do: it redefines the story at the last second, making everyone rethink everything they just watched.
M. Night Shyamalan’s best twists – ranked!
He’s mischievous, isn’t he, that Manoj Nelliyattu “M. Night” Shyamalan, leading us all down one particular road, only to have us stumble onto a rug and then swiftly pull that rug from underneath us, leaving us all grazed and discombobulated. With his new movie Old out now – promising to be one of his most intense works yet – we thought we’d give you fair warning by ramping up the tension with a countdown of his legendary twists, from the weakest to the what-the-fuck-est. Obviously, there are spoilers ahead… or are there? The twist might be that there aren’t spoilers… but there are spoilers.
9. The Happening (2008)
Not only the worst plot twist, but definitely the worst film. The concept, as far as it goes, sort of works – plants have got a touch pissed off with the way human beings have been treating the planet, and decide to take revenge in the form of making people harm themselves… so far, so meh. But the twist? The twist comes when Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel decide to surrender, head outside and… the plants have just stopped doing it. Did they get bored? Was there something good on the telly? I guess we’ll never know.
WTF Rating: Like thinking you’ve forgotten your keys and then finding you haven’t forgotten your keys.
8. Lady In The Water (2006)
Well, it’s a stupid premise for a start. A landlord played by Paul Giamatti finds a water nymph in his building’s pool (he should have put the cover over it), and rescues her from a wolf of some sort. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? It is revealed that the nymph escaped from a fantasy world created by an author (played by Shyamalan), in order to find him and ask him to write a better future for her world. Still with us? If so, why?
WTF Rating: People protesting lockdown once lockdown had ended.
7. Signs (2002)
Oh good, here comes Mel Gibson, the eternal voice of reason. Having seen what The Sixth Sense did for Bruce Willis, he signed up for this thriller which explores the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. It’s quite brooding, atmospheric, and, well, good for the first two thirds, but once we find out that the aliens’ Achilles heel is water (much like cats), it is underwhelming, and brings up the question – why visit a planet that’s 71 per cent water? Silly aliens.
WTF Rating: Piers Morgan flouncing off GMB.
6. Split (2016)
The year this movie was released was basically a whole plot twist in itself, which may have diminished the shock factor somewhat. As franchises had started to take a stranglehold on Hollywood however, with a cinematic universe for every studio, it was refreshing that MNS kept secret and waited ‘til the end of the movie to inform the audience that Split was in fact a sort of sequel – long-awaited by some – to Unbreakable.
WTF Rating: Jessica Raine’s character being pushed out of the window in Line of Duty.
5. Glass (2019)
Sarah Paulson, especially recently, isn’t particularly well known for playing ‘nice’ characters. However, working knowledge of this was not enough to prepare us for the fact that her character, Dr Staple, is killing people with superpowers. It’s a twist that would have been satisfying if any sort of crumb trail had been laid – as it was, it felt tacked on because a plot twist was needed. Still surprising though.
WTF Rating: East 17’s Brian Harvey running himself over after overindulging on jacket potatoes.
4. The Village (2004)
After spending two hours thinking the big bads are unseen monsters terrorising a 19th century Pennsylvania village, we find out that, in true Orwellian fashion, the village elders have been using a fabricated unseen, outside, threat to oppress their residents. The village is in fact very much in the 21st century, cordoned off from the outside world. The entire narrative is geared towards this twist, and although it’s an entirely watchable movie, you won’t need to watch it again.
WTF Rating: ‘Jesus is King’ by Kanye West.
3. Unbreakable (2000)
Good twist, but underwhelmingly executed. The pre-marketing campaign for this flick was all about the mystery twist, but when it came, it was – y’know – fine. Perhaps too much build-up was to blame, but when Samuel L Jackson’s supposed mentor character, Dr Glass, is revealed as the puppet master of all the destruction we, and Bruce Willis’s David Dunn, have witnessed, it lacks a gut punch, especially as it’s revealed in a sort of epilogue.
WTF Rating: Trump winning the 2016 US election.
2. The Visit (2015)
Imagine that famous painting American Gothic come to life. This low-budget, indie-feeling return to form ramps up the creepiness nicely… and for some reason, it’s always creepier when there are kids involved, right? The children in question have increasingly unnerving experiences with their grandparents who they’ve gone to stay with, only to discover… they’re not their grandparents, but just your usual run-of-the-mill escaped murderous psychiatric patients. Jumpy as.
WTF Rating: Tony finally ‘dealing’ with Chris in The Sopranos.
1. home savings bank chanute Sixth Sense (1999)
The real twist in this feature should have been that we didn’t choose an MNS movie as No.1 and went with Moon or Fight Club instead. But no, it had to be this brilliant piece of cinema really, didn’t it – one of the most famous twists in movie history. Usefully, it was also pre-everyone-on-the-internet, so audiences were genuinely letting out a collective gasp when it transpired Bruce Willis’s Dr Malcom Crowe was one of the dead people Hayley Joel Osment’s character could see.
WTF Rating: The guy who shoved nine Crème Eggs up his bum.
Films: M Night Shyamalan
- Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Gael Capital one secured credit card approval Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell
A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.
- 2h 8min
- Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
- Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson
- UK release: 18 January 2019
Kevin (McAvoy) from Shyamalan’s Split and David (Willis) from his Unbreakable are incarcerated together with the second film’s Mr Glass (Jackson), in this closer to the trilogy. There’s plenty of suspense and fine acting from the three leads, but it would have been better if it had seemed less self-congratulatory. Flawed…
- 1h 57min
- Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
- Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson, Anya Taylor-Joy
- UK release: 20 January 2017
Kevin (McAvoy) suffers from dissociative identity disorder; when he kidnaps three teenage girls, best pals Marcia (Sula) and Claire (Richardson) and troubled loner Casey (Taylor-Joy), multi-personality strangeness ensues. With superb work from McAvoy and Taylor-Joy, this is easily Shyamalan's most compelling and…
- 1h 34min
- Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dungan, Peter McRobbie
- UK release: 11 September 2015
Siblings Tyler (Oxenbould) and Rebecca (DeJonge) and Mom (Hahn) visit the estranged grandparents (Dungan and McRobbie) in the countryside, and discover that they're into some strange behaviour after sundown. An interesting premise is ruined security state bank and trust texas the decision to make it a found-footage movie; the horror/comedy blend isn't…
- 1h 40min
- Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman
Director Shyamalan follows a disastrous run (The Happening, The Last Airbender) with this sci-fi drama featuring father and son Will and Jaden Smith crashing back to Earth in the next millennium.
The Last Airbender
- 1h 43min
- Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis
Visually flashy but incomprehensible and joyless action adventure in which young Avatar Aang gets caught up in a tiff between the kingdoms of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.
- US / India
- 1h 30min
- Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
- Written by: M Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Betty Buckley
In NYC people begin to inexplicably commit suicide in their droves in another of M Night Shyamalan's paranoia thrillers with twisty endings. Despite diverting from the narrative through teacher protagonist Elliot (Wahlberg) and his dull-arsed marital problems, this is at least better than the dire Lady in The Water, which…
- 1h 46min
- Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
- Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn
- UK release: 29 December 2000
M Night Shyamalan film starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson about a man who, after surviving a crash m night shyamalan movies list killed 131 people, realises something extraordinary about himself.
Every M. Night Shyamalan Movie Ranked
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The India-born American filmmaker- M. Night Shyamalan rose to fame with the phenomenal success of his film ‘The Sixth Sense’ released in 1999. Overnight he became a household name and one of the most celebrated auteurs in the country. The release of his master thrillers like ‘Signs’ and superhero enigma ‘Unbreakable’ earned him further fandom and critical acclaim, and he was even touted to be the next Spielberg and Hitchcock. So much so that the director-screenwriter himself admitted that the two ace filmmakers were a huge inspiration and influence over his films.
Rife with several artistic traits, the filmmaker brought together wondrous storytelling elements in his works- eerie pace, supernatural and fairytale-ish components, Gothic imagery, creative voice, and his very famous capsizing twists. However, success was short-lived for the director as the brouhaha died down soon after with the release of ‘Lady in the Water’ and ‘The Village’ that were greeted with a sour response. The tart reception continued with the oncoming of his newer releases, as the once celebrated elements of his filmmaking techniques were mocked and his ideas were accused of being stale and pretentious.
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But be that as it may, the ‘misunderstood genius’ (as believed by some critics) got some of his mojo back with the release of his Superhero sequel ‘Split’ in 2016. ‘The Visit’ was another one of the last releases that helped him redeem his proficiency and brilliance as a filmmaker. But to most of us, his story will always be that of a tragic overachiever who set a bar too high, triumphed too young, and then got crushed under the weight of over-expectations.
As conjectures about his artistic glory continue with his new releases, we revisited some of Shyamalan’s films and ranked them in the order from worst to best. We have omitted his first film ‘Praying With Anger’ released in 1992 as it was not released widely and was only premiered at festivals. Have a look at the list below!
12. The Last Airbender (2010)
An adaptation of the Nickelodeon super hit anime ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, this film went wrong in every way it could and it is a tragic pity that it did so. Widely acclaimed as not just the worst works of the filmmaker but also one of the worst studio productions ever made, the beauty of the film got lost in explanatory dialogues and dull narration. To top that up with a frightening lack of acting skills and embarrassing lighting sequences, you will have a faint idea of what we are talking about.
Similar Read to Night Shyamalan Films: 10 Best Sci-Fi Films of the Decade (2010s)
Further, the narrative felt over rushed, misconceived, and awash with any linearity in the visual logic, with voiceovers and expositions to extrapolate the lengthy storyline. Understandably so, as the feature film was a squeezed version of a 3 season long anime series. Lambasted by the critics for a lot of reasons, Shyamalan failed to recreate the magical charm of the charismatic lands and left the viewers cheated of their time. It also garnered some criticism on the grounds of racism as heroes v/s villains were white people against color.
11. After Earth (2013)
To put it very bluntly, After Earth is also considered to be one of the worst works of Shyamalan and the only reason why we have put it above ‘The Last Airbender’ is because this one has an edge in terms of its acting prowess. After Earth is the story of father-son duo- Raige and Kitai (played by real life father-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith) who crash-land get stranded on a foreign ‘quarantined’ planet when on a mission and struggle to be rescued. This ‘foreign’ planet is the Earth, as the film is based at a far more futuristic time when humans have found life and have moved to other planets as the Earth was no longer fit to live in.
After Earth is almost like an extended version of one of the wildlife shows that we watched on the Discovery channel when young. The scenery is beautiful and the wilderness has been captured in all its glory with an action hero in the midst of it. Other than that, pretty much nothing happens in the film. It can also be touted as a video game sequence where Player 1 (Katai) has to overcome a certain number of hurdles to rescue the mission in order to save himself and the princess (Raige). Well, we all know how that ends. Duh! Full points for predictability to this one.
10. The Happening (2008)
While it is still debatable if The Village had a more deceitful climax or The Happening, we would like to place our bets on The Happening. The film is a supernatural thriller with a hands-on environmental degradation message. The first half of The Happening sets the stage for a thrilling viral outbreak movie where we see cars crashing, people stabbing each other, construction workers jumping off scaffoldings as the virus begins to attack their systems. While our protagonists rush off to safety and try to decipher the cause of the petrifying events, it is revealed that the virus was being produced and transferred from plants.
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The viewers who had pinned their hopes to the latter half of the film only ended up being infinitely disappointed as it turned out the vengeful trees just decided to stop being insouciant murderers right at the time when our protagonists were about to sacrifice their lives. Shyamalan’s fans who were already at testy waters with the preposterous twists renounced the filmmaker at this point. Furthermore, The Happening also did not have rounded characters, Zooey Deschanel and Mark Wahlberg were not convincing as two people who deeply loved and cared for each other. And John Leguizamo, who was actually placed in the screenplay to evoke empathy, failed to do so.
9. The Village (2004)
The Village came off of the success of three back-to-back films of Shyamalan- The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, so naturally, the audience expectations were at their peak from the ‘gifted’ director. But, The Village turned out to be the vantage point from where the downfall of the celebrated auteur would begin. The Village follows the story of an isolated community that lived in seclusion and is forbidden to go into the surrounding sinister woods for the fear of the baleful forces residing in them. For the better part of the film, Shyamalan is successful in creating a creepy atmosphere and instilling a sense of fearful paranoia. He builds this tension with such ease and adroitness, that it hurts to tolerate and sit through the laughable climax.
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Considered to be a comment on the increasing vices and a nostalgic reminder of life in simpler times, the massive reveal and the abominable twist is that the film was always taking place in the current times. The elders of the village had deceived the youngsters into believing an alternate universe that co-existed very well m night shyamalan movies list the American society (nature sanctuary to be precise). The bigger tragedy is that this gigantic deceptive reveal could be circumvented in order to achieve a perfectly fine scary horror film. But the disobliging gimmick and an unreasonable urge for twist endings lifted off the trust of most loyal viewers.
8. Lady in the Water (2006)
Lady in the Water is supposedly the passion project of the writer-director M. Night Shyamalan but unfortunately, it fails to exhibit any such brilliance or passionate trait but just turns out to be ludicrous storytelling. The film is about an apartment superintendent who discovers a woman transgressing in the society swimming pool. He learns she is a narf- water nymph of the highest order who is being hunted by the scrunt- a supernatural beast. While the plotline mostly delved into the fight between the two supernatural creatures aided by the Narf best man and our protagonist Cleve, the premise of the film was nothing but sheer mockery.
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Shyamalan decided that the reason for a supernatural being to enter earth will be to enlighten a future writer in order to save humanity through his works. Quite inevitably, the premise gets lost after the initial introduction and the film which was originally intended to be a fantasy psychological thriller got reduced to a poorly written drama where Cleve must draw on the skills of the apartment residents in order to liberate the water nymph. On closer examination, however, one can see that ‘Lady in the Water’ was Shyamalan’s most ‘Shyamalanish’ film as it was heavily infused with Shyamalan’s favorite elements- supernatural, internal mythos, fairytale fable, thrilling genre, and an eerie setting. Additionally, it will also be imperative to note that the film was an boa credit card auto payment comment and a larger critique as he cast himself as the ‘misunderstood writer’ capable of changing the world through his writings.
7. Signs (2002)
Signs was one of the most difficult films to rank because of its uncanny nature that dwindles between a sheer brilliant premise and a batshit climax. It is heralded as the last film after which Shyamalan’s accolades and commendations were reconsidered. Signs is about an alien invasion of the earth but what sets the film apart from the regular run-of-the-mill alien invasion films is that it follows a very personal account of events through the story of the Hess Family. Following very creepy and occasionally frightening sequences, Signs is sure to keep you on the edge for the most part of it.
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Shyamalan adeptly builds tension throughout by showing glimpses of the alien monster instead of the whole. That helps in instilling fear in the audiences pertaining to an invasion of privacy and a threat to life safety instead of diving headfirst into the disposition of the m night shyamalan movies list beings. The brief inlay into shadows, hazy figures, frightening hands, etc., works well in inducing a spine-chilling mysterious vibe to the film. This follows the electrifying touchdown episode when the aliens finally attack the Hess household and all hell breaks loose. What succeeds this stunner sequence, however, is nothing but sheer mockery and heart-breaking revelation. The aliens are susceptible to water. Water! It almost felt like a substandard explanation for a film like Signs. Did the aliens not think through their mission before embarking to attack a planet occupied 71% by water? Did the writer of the film get exhausted by the end to think of a capable denouement? We will never know!
6. Glass (2019)
Glass was much awaited by the fans ever since the release of Split which was a quasi-sequel to the auteur’s first Superhero film ‘Unbreakable’ from his Eastrail 177 trilogy. The subtle revelation of David Dunn (Bruce Willis) towards the end of Split was enough to weave a whole string of over expectations around Glass and we believe that this is probably one major reason why Glass was received with mixed reviews. Glass was the confrontation between the blockbuster hero David Dunn, villain Elijah Price (from Unbreakable) and the Beast (from the Split).
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Idiosyncratic to the Shyamalan style of films, Glass is a claustrophobic psychodrama that uses intelligible narrative tropes to proceed the storyline. While most of the film was dominated by the majestic and endearing presence of James McAvoy- but as a fan, it would have been more gratifying to see more of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Shyamalan heavily borrowed elements from superhero fiction, comic books, and supernatural which aided in giving a definitive and flattering look and form to this film. And contradictory to much critical opinion, Glass landed just fine and was efficiently able to weave together the split ends of the two prequels.
Read The Complete Review of Glass Here
5. Split (2016)
Split is known to be the resurgent and redeeming work of Shyamalan that brought him back his faded luster. A claustrophobic psychological auto ally mixed with a dash of supernaturalism, Split is by far one of the best works of Shyamalan. It is the story of four teenage girls being detained by a captor who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. James McAvoy plays the central protagonist of Kevin who has 23 current personalities and is on the verge of unleashing his 24th personality as the film transgresses. On the surface, Split is the archetype good v/s evil diegesis, but on looking closely, it is much more nuanced and layered than just that.
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Kevin is the thematic protagonist cum antagonist who holds the young girls captive. But much to the surprise of the viewers, he manages to evoke a sense of empathy for him. The viewers feel for his personal trauma and while they condemn him for the heinous act, there is also a side when their whole hearts go out to him. Shyamalan has successfully crafted the narrative where he balances between horror, logic, and reasonable storyteller. His characters are very poised- no one person is monstrous or horrid, they are all shades of human emotions. Besides, till the very end Split comes across as a standalone wholesome piece, with first-rate acting, directorial, and storytelling techniques. It was only in the epilogue that Shyamalan introduced his plot twist and declared that the film was a sequel to his 2000 hit Unbreakable. Thankfully, this time, after a long time, it worked in his favor and the fans were left feeling satisfied and excited for the upcoming sequel.
Read The Complete Review of Split Here
4. Wide Awake (1998)
Wide Awake was one of Shyamalan’s earlier works and his first studio production. Although the coming of age, feel-good family film has been touted as one of the most generic films and it lies forgotten in the archives of cinema, personally it is one of our favorites. Wide Awake falls in the zone where it introduces Shyamalan as a promising young director with a unique cinematic vision. The film portends quintessential Shyamalan’s ploys of his obsession with the supernatural, children at the center of the story, sci-fi, and his stupefying (now dreaded) plot twists. The elements worked in his favor as they had not been overused up until jose abreu rookie card Read to M. Night Shyamalan Films: Every Denis Villeneuve Film Ranked
Wide Awake is a story of 10-year old Joshua Beal who faces existential crises after the death of his beloved grandfather. The boy goes through a number of events in order to reach God to question him about the well-being of his deceased grandfather. Infused with short gags and cutesy shenanigans of the two boys- Joshua and his best friend Dave O’Hara, there are episodes that will surely induce a chuckle. Although it cannot be denied that the film does get preachy at a point, barring that, it has fairly low points to be criticized on. And even though it does not have awe-inducing elements and it is not his masterstroke, it is definitely better than the films that followed after.
3. The Visit (2015)
The Visit is known as Shyamalan’s ‘return to form’ film owing to its rich narrative, efficient storyline, and adept filmmaking ethics. The film is shot in an American found-footage documentary style with the two kids Becca and Tyler at the center. The kids go to meet their grandparents in their farmhouse who had been estranged from their mother for the last 15 years. Unlike ‘The Sixth Sense’, the filmmaker here does not draw on the sense of feeling of the kids but chooses to showcase the creepiness of the setting through the ominous surroundings and the eccentric behavior of the grandparents.
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The inquisitive kids start the quest to find out the truth about their freaky grandparents and in the process stumble upon bizarre and scary evidence. Ostensibly a horror film, the film is occasionally insidious which advances to the climax which is a spine-chilling rescue operation for the kids to free themselves. Seething with grotesque imagery and a baffling turn of sequences, the film induces horror and claustrophobia through shaky camera footage especially in closed spaces like basements and sheds light on issues like dementia, incontinence, and old-age in general. Some critics have even touted it as the ‘deranged interpretation’ to ‘Hansel and Gretel’ in a more fearsome and unnerving way.
2. Unbreakable (2000)
Arguably one of the best works of director-screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan, Unbreakable is one of the most brilliant deconstructions of the superhero genre to date. Following his supernatural drama ‘The Sixth Sense’, it came at a time when the Marvel universe had not yet been built and so the film is also considered a lot ahead of its times. Unbreakable is the story of David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who solely survives a fatal train crash, is met by a comic book aficionado Elijah Price and then journeys into discovering that he is a superhero.
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The film borrows greatly from the comic book culture of America and even has numbers and data to back the facts up. But the unique aspect in the film is that Unbreakable presents its superhero devoid of the usual spectacle and pageant-ic armor. It has comic book elements strewn about in the entirety of the film- like David Dunn’s jacket as an alternate to the cape, weakness for water, the color scheme for hero and villain respectively, etc. Shyamalan also emphasized the human version of superheroes and villains and up until the denouement, he focuses on their individual parallel journeys and the horrendous traumas they had to deal with. All in all, Unbreakable is one of his best screenplays, and one of the most intriguing, realistic, and raw superhero films of all time.
1.The Sixth Sense (1999)
It was a tough call to choose between ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘The Sixth Sense’ as Shyamalan’s best and the latter won by an iota of votes. Widely known as Shyamalan’s most successful films, The Sixth Sense was also one of his earlier works that showcased his sheer brilliance at filmmaking and managed to catch his viewers off guard owing to a commendable climax. The film is horror, thriller, and drama in bits, and while it eschews using age-old horror devices and ploys, it still manages to keep its viewers on the edge of their seats. M. Night Shyamalan uses subtle horror details to touch upon the genre and hence ends up creating a more flavorful and classical-feely film.
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The Sixth Sense is a story about a psychiatrist Crowe (Bruce Willis) and his child patient- 10-year-old Cole (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people. While both the psychiatrist and the kid are dealing with their own traumas and issues, they come together to be there for each other. The film is not conventionally horror or has any of the traditional terrorizing moments. Rather it has been designed with the cold and eerie vibe that is accentuated by the occasional depiction of bizarre events and appearances of frightful looking dead people. While ‘The Sixth Sense’ garnered a lot of appreciation and recognition for Shyamalan, it also established that his creative vision was a force to be reckoned with.
What do you think of our ranking? Would you have ranked them differently? Let us know in the comments below.
M. Night Shyamalan Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
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