A Pennsylvania widower (Mel Gibson), who left the clergy in anger at God over his wife’s death, finds enormous patterns carved in his cornfields—but are they a hoax, the end of the world, an alien invasion, what? Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan follows The Sixth Sense
with another surprising riff on a movie genre we thought we knew inside out. There’s no twist ending this time, but giving too much plot detail can still hurt; suffice it to say Shyamalan’s theme, oddly, is the nature of faith—and lack of it—and how it can impose patterns on life without our knowing it. Gibson is excellent, as is Joaquin Phoenix as his brother. Shyamalan again shows his genius for directing children with his handling of Rory Culkin and (especially) Abigail Breslin as Gibson’s kids.