Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

signs touchstone movie

“Signs” is a science fiction thriller film released in 2002, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The movie stars Mel Gibson as Graham Hess, a former minister who has lost his faith, and Joaquin Phoenix as his younger brother Merrill.

The story follows Graham, who lives with his two children, Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin), on a remote farm in rural Pennsylvania. They discover mysterious crop circles in their cornfields, sparking rumors of an alien invasion. As the strange occurrences escalate, the family begins to witness inexplicable phenomena, leading them to believe that extraterrestrial beings are indeed visiting Earth.

Graham, initially skeptical, becomes increasingly convinced that the crop circles are a sign from a higher power. As the tension builds, he must confront his own crisis of faith while trying to protect his family from an unknown and potentially dangerous threat.

“Signs” is known for its atmospheric tension and slow-building suspense, as well as its focus on character development. The film explores themes of faith, loss, and redemption, weaving the emotional journey of its characters into the larger narrative of the mysterious alien presence.

M. Night Shyamalan’s signature storytelling style is evident in “Signs,” with its carefully crafted plot twists and unexpected revelations. The film’s cinematography and sound design enhance its eerie and unsettling atmosphere, creating an immersive experience for the audience.

Mel Gibson delivers a powerful performance as Graham, portraying a man grappling with personal tragedy and spiritual turmoil. Joaquin Phoenix provides excellent support as Merrill, adding humor and warmth to the story.

“Signs” received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its performances and atmosphere but some criticism for its reliance on coincidences and its plot resolution. However, it was well-received by audiences and became a commercial success, further establishing M. Night Shyamalan as a prominent filmmaker in the thriller and suspense genre.

Over the years, “Signs” has remained a touchstone film for fans of science fiction and psychological thrillers, offering a unique blend of family drama, suspenseful storytelling, and a thought-provoking exploration of faith and the unknown.

Additional Details


  • Mel Gibson: Father Graham Hess
  • Joaquin Phoenix: Merrill Hess
  • Rory Culkin: Morgan Hess
  • Abigail Breslin: Bo Hess
  • Cherry Jones: Caroline Paski
  • M Night Shyamalan: Ray Reddy
  • Patricia Kalember: Colleen Hess
  • Ted Sutton: SFC Cunningham
  • Merritt Wever: Tracey Abernathy
  • Lanny Flaherty: Mr Nathan
  • Marion McCorry: Mrs Nathan
  • Michael Showalter: Lionel Prichard
  • Clifford David: Columbia University Professor


  • Director: M Night Shymalan
  • Producers: M Night Shymalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam Mercer
  • Writer: M Night Shymalan

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.