Unbreakable (2000) Poster

(2000)

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9/10
Personal Significance
bilcal7-117 August 2004
It seems this movie has taken a bit of heat, known by many as Shyamalan's "worst" film. It is often written off as slow moving, and the twist at the end as unoriginal and boring. I've heard people say the acting and camera work was awkward and stale and that the casting was poor. Ironically enough, as more people begin to dislike this movie, the more I seem to fall in love with it. This film has a lot of personal bearing with me, both as a student of psychology and a lover of movies and just plain art. I feel like I've taken this film under my wing during its times of criticism, and now I'd like to try and show everyone what exactly I love about it so much.

Shyamalan really showed a stroke of brilliance by getting Serra to be his cinematographer and to play around with the aestetics of the film. I don't know how or where Shyamalan is getting these guys for his movies, but I definitely love the style of each frame he shells out. Serra had been involved with predominately foreign films before Unbreakable. This was his first big American film, and I think you gotta give a little credit to Shyamalan for that. His unique and creative touch really added to the direction. In keeping with the "comic book" theme of the movie, you will notice that almost every shot is taken as if you are looking through or in between something. Like the squares of a comic strip. There is also a dark, slightly blue colored filter used throughout most of the film. This gives the movie a very bold, but eerie tone. Showing that the world can be a rough and scary place, but it can also be fought and overcome. It is evident that time and effort went into every shot. It may not slap many viewers in the face as brilliant, but it really strikes a chord with me.

As for the score, I am more than willing to argue that this is, hands down, James Newton Howard's best score of his very successful career. It is compelling and booming. It's very powerful, but not over-the-top and excessive. For anyone with the soundtrack, check out 'The Orange Man' and 'Visions'. These are two of the most powerful pieces of any film score around. And I stress the word "powerful". Yeah, he's no Hermann or Morricone, but the emotional weight and emotive power of his chords and his overall composition are just downright chilling.

The writing and the direction are just as captivating as the score. Almost every line of dialogue and every scene seems to be placed out on an island, alone so that everyone can stop and judge it. Some people might view this as cocky and/or boring direction, but I see it as daring and unique. Much of Shyamalan's writing is done that way. ('…I see dead people…' '...They call me Mr. Glass…' etc. etc.) Another aspect of the film that tickles my fancy is the underlying themes. I do believe, to a certain extent, that people do have somewhat supernatural powers at times. People have been known to make miracles and do unbelievable things. Maybe these things could be 'developed' in some way. These theories are, in a way, intertwined with some aspects of psychology, such as selective attention and self-actualization. If you care to discuss some of these ideas, let me know and I will relate them to the film through my eyes. In short, I do believe there is a superhero in everyone. It may not be through supernatural powers, but it may simply be through the act of reaching out to a person in need. Other themes of the movie, like how completely different people can always be connected in some way and how everyone has their vulnerabilities and weaknesses are intriguing, yet universal. From a psychological point of view, Shyamalan really gets inside the head of OI patients (osteogenesis imperfecta). He then brings this psyche to the next level with Jackson's character. Elijah, is very passionate but very tortured and evil. His interactions with Willis bring depth and focus to both the characters and the story. Certain scenes in the movie are really quite striking and powerful. The shots of Willis in his security poncho. The train station scene. Elijah's breathtaking fall on the stairs and many more speak so loudly to me and say so much in just a simple clip. For some reason this movie just speaks to me, like art. If anyone cares to discuss more about this film, that'd be cool. There is a lotta other cool stuff to talk about with this movie. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch it a few more times. It may not be the feel good film of the year, or the masterpiece that everyone was looking for, but it definitely sits well with me.
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Very subtle. Requires multiple sips to get the full measure.
Videofilm18 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This movie will be the curious nugget in the collection of Shyamalan films. It is great to see young writing and directing talent that is carving a niche away from the usual fair while running with the big boys and girls. Entering the mainstream was achieved through his kick-off blockbuster, The Sixth Sense. If you are among the small cadre of people who figured out The Sixth Sense's twist before the ending, salute! Unbreakable continues Shyamalan's unorthodox view of things by crafting a more 'mortal' superhero drama. Unlike Peter Parker (Toby Maguire - Spiderman) who completely emerges as Spiderman (web-slinging and building-hopping) within about 30 minutes of the whole movie, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is discovering his more subtle but extraordinary abilities for the whole movie, with some help from his friends and foes. Being able to stick to and vertically climb a building wall is a fairly noticeable attribute (why it would occur to somebody to try it escapes me) but never being sick in one's life may actually escape one's attention. People develop mindsets that prevent them from recognizing certain things until a suggestion changes that condition. In this movie, being the sole (uninjured) survivor of a train crash is a pretty strong suggestion. From there you watch the revelation unfold. Yes, there is a villain but I won't spoil the movie for those who have not ventured to try it. If you have been avoiding it after poor recommendations from others, forget about The Sixth Sense and give it an undivided attention DVD viewing.

Be patient and let it take you. I liked its subtle power. It implies a certain superhero quality in all of us.
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8/10
Hugely underrated and misunderstood movie
edinburghstoryteller10 January 2006
I love this film. I'm the only person I know who doesn't hate it, but I cannot fathom why it gets such a bad rap from everybody. It seems that Shyamalan's films have this a running theme - with the notable exception of the Sixth Sense, which pretty much everyone seems to get. He makes movies that are very subtle, and which seem to need you to focus on them just right to fully grasp what he was trying to do. I've enjoyed all his movies, but for me the alien part of Signs takes a lot away from what I believe to be the central storyline and as such the whole movie suffers a little. Yet I know other people who think Signs is his best, specifically because of the way the alien plot line accentuates the central one.

Unbreakable is a beautifully simple film, but I think it has to hit you just right for you to completely get it. All the actors nail their parts, particularly Bruce Willis and his kid. Shyamalan takes an interesting (if slightly fringe) theory and puts it in a real world context, with a real family. Somehow he manages to never go overboard with it and - for me at least - it gripped me from the first moment to the last. Samuel L Jackson's character history is really nicely crafted in the middle of the other plot lines and you get genuinely involved in the people Shyamalan has created.

Don't get caught up in all the talk of the twist ending. The ending is good, but if you spend the whole movie waiting for this tumultuous twist you'll inevitably be disappointed, and the movie stands alone without it.

Don't go into this movie expecting another Sixth Sense or Signs. It's very very subtle and very understated. If you don't like slow movies, just don't watch this because it moves at a very sedate pace, but I personally think you'll be missing out. You'll likely either love it or you'll loathe it, but at least it will make an impression.
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9/10
Very Intriguing Film With Great Ending
ccthemovieman-11 May 2006
This is a much better film than I ever thought it would be, and intrigues me every time I watch it. Samuel L. Jackson's role is what mainly inspires me to watch this multiple times. His character is amazing and just leaves me shaking my head.

This is a pretty low-key movie with the other star, Bruce Willis, playing an extremely subdued role for him, almost too subdued. There are times in here when you keep waiting for him to say something, and he says nothing. Half the time he's barely audible.

But he and Jackson play off each other well, and this is very suspenseful film, even if a lot doesn't happen. To explain the story would almost ruin it, because it's preposterous. I'll just call an interesting fantasy-horror film with a little family story tied in with Willis' wife (Robin Wright) and young boy (Spencer Treat Clark).

"Unbreakable" is beautifully filmed, has very little profanity in it, and a strange, strange story with a great twist at the end....one of the best I've ever seen in a movie. This movie is done by the same man who did "The Sixth Sense," M. Night Shyamalan, so if you enjoyed that you probably would like this, too.....although it's so different I wouldn't want to predict who would like this film and who wouldn't. If you're open to try something different, give it a look.
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8/10
Rich yet subtle
laconian1 July 2001
My kudos to M. Night Shyamalan for proving the consistency of his moviemaking abilities. "Unbreakable" is a movie that is rich in both technical brilliance as well as script quality.

First, let me get my one objection for the movie off my chest. The ending could have been done better. The majority of the length of "Unbreakable" does an excellent job of building suspense, with the wonderfully muted, melancholy acting adding depth and tension to the plot. My problem is that it fails to live up to its own expectations; the ending does not consummate entirely what I expected it to. Somehow, in a movie that took painstaking details to illustrate every step and glance, concluding it in the manner that it did felt almost blasphemous. Maybe in a nameless action thriller it could be passed off as mere hackery. But here, it seems strangely out of place, kind of an enigma in itself...

Now that the ugly part is over with, I feel almost obligated to sing the praises of "Unbreakable". Shyamalan's prowess with photographic techniques and processes shows through in this, with rich reds and blacks given to scenes of moist emotion and colder colors dedicated to the bleak, uncaring (uncared for?) world. One technique I particularly liked was the manipulation of photographic mediums, some parts using crisp 35mm films and others using angry, shuttered magnetic (or 16mm?) film. In the end, it all worked very well, because each technique seemed to integrate seamlessly with the plot and mood (notice the confusion and panic at the very end?) "Traffic" is a good example of processing overdose. "Unbreakable", on the other hand, hones it perfectly. The lushness of this movie comes in close second to the wonderful eye candy of "American Beauty". I could watch it again easily... with the sound turned off!

On the more human side of the spectrum, the acting was wonderful. How nice it is to see Bruce Willis proving himself to be a true A-class actor! His unassuming and insecure behavior worked *perfectly* for this role. Samuel L. Jackson, like always, did a bang-up job with what the script gave him. Robin Wright and Spencer Clark's characters seemed a bit two dimensional, but they seemed to be minor roles compared to the prominence of Willis and Jackson's characters. A little character development would have been appreciated, but if the ending was a result of the time-constraint guillotine, then I would expect the developmental scenes to have gone too.

The thing that people seem to complain most about this movie is the plot. I like the premise. A little fantasy in our movies isn't such a bad thing once in a while, is it?
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10/10
Unbreakable is one of the finest movies in years.
neovsmatrix23 September 2001
I guess I can't be too surprised with all the negative responses that Unbreakable is getting. These days, the masses don't appreciate a buildup of atmosphere, strong character interaction, and stories heavily centered on characters and their psychology. Unbreakable has all of these traits, and proves to be a superior movie to the Sixth Sense in my opinion. Too bad it's so underrated.

I've seen this movie several times, and I have never even gotten tired of it. It does deal with comic books, but approaches it with a level of sophistication and intellect never found before in comic book movies. The movie walks a very fine line between reality and the comic-book world, at the same time walking a very fine line in terms of audience perception. Some chalk it up to be a silly comic-book movie, others a brilliant comic-book movie. And yet, there are still others that maintain Unbreakable's comic book theme does not exactly make it a comic-book movie. It's more of a drama, just like the Sixth Sense was more of a drama than a horror movie. Both are excellent dramas, but Unbreakable was superior in every aspect.

I especially admired the camera movement, and the framing of certain scenes to bring to life an actual comic-book. I also admired how Unbreakable was very light on dialogue, making full use of subtle gestures, movements, and actions to represent the character's thoughts. The character's environment plays a similar role and certain colors are often brought up to represent distinct emotions and thoughts the character has.

In the end, there are a number of things in this movie that can cause people to quickly denounce the movie, but these are all dependent upon perspective, as there's nothing truly wrong with the movie. In fact, if viewed objectively and with an open mind, the viewer might be much more apppreciative of Unbreakable.

It's clear that many of the posters to this comments area were truly angered by the movie and did not think their thoughts through prior to writing their comments, which is a shame as Unbreakable truly deserves better. If M. Night Shyamalan's next movie is at least half as good as Unbreakable, I'll definitely be in line to buy a ticket.
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9/10
a consummate clinic in directing,etc.
mikecalla16 July 2001
M. Night Shyamalan seems to be proving himself quite the auteur. Unbreakable was the cinematic experience I had hoped it would be, especially after The Sixth Sense. A quiet sense of wonder permeated each and every scene, accomplished with some of the finest cinematography I've seen in the last couple of years. Director of Photography Eduardo Serra's execution is subtle, understated and absolutely beautiful.

Cinematography legend Greg Toland of Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath fame would be proud of what this film accomplished artistically. I also couldn't help but notice all the long camera takes this film had, reminding me of a few Woody Allen films that let the actors act without the intrusion of the film making process, i.e.; getting a scene covered from multiple and sometimes meaningless camera angles just so the director and editor have something to work with in post production. The characters seem at times to be acting for the benefit of the others on screen rather than "us", the audience, lending a quality of voyeurism to quite a few scenes. The directors intent is quite clear to anyone wishing to delve a little bit deeper into the story and characters while appreciating how such a vision came to breath on film.

With regards to the story, Mr. Shyamalan and his crew have constructed something so rich in visual texture while managing to keep the story subdued and character development full of deep-seated anticipation. Every plot point came perfectly without any extra connotations that usually creep into a story such as this (super heroes?). Without any melodrama both Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson give very authentic performances that help the film keep its "Any Town USA" and "Average Joe Six-pack" feel very much alive.

By virtue of ingenuity and most likely a meticulous preproduction period, Unbreakable manages to be a consummate clinic in directing, writing, acting, and cinematography. One of the best movies in the past decade.
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9/10
Just fantastic
supah7912 September 2005
Willis finds out some strange things about himself after being the sole survivor in a train wreck. Jackson tells him he's special. Is he really?

Unbreakable really is an act 1 superhero story stretched to feature lenght (Night tells us in an interview). Genius. For once I believe Willis is the person on screen, not that he's playing Bruce Willis, the cool actor. Night uses colors (mostly blue, purple and green) and well chosen camera-angles as imagesystems (word is that the storyboard read like a comic). Most of them really work out well. I loved the slow pacing of the film. It really takes it time to tell us what's going on. As usual Shyamalan puts human drama first in his script. The first scene where Willis meets the woman in the train... You have to see the genius of it. In a few lines of dialog Shyamalan let's us discover the character Dunn.

Another reason why I love this film is because Shyamalan shows he has courage to make THIS after the enormous success of The Sixth Sense, which I think is inferior to this film. I just know the studio execs where pushing for something more tangible than this, but he chose this instead. A homage to comic books. And it works! BEAUTIFUL!!
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Slow, thoughtful and clever -but the lack of traditional action or thrills may frustrate some
bob the moo20 February 2002
A massive train crash outside Philadelphia kills 132 passengers and leaves only one survivor. The survivor, security guard David Dunn walks away completely unhurt from the accident. Some time later he is contacted by comic book collector Elijah Price who believes that comic books are merely exaggerated versions of truth and that some people are created weak like him while some are created strong in order to protect the weak. David develops his talents with the support of Price and his son Joseph and, despite his cynicism, starts to try to use his powers to help people on need.

The 6th sense was always going to be a hard show to follow up but Shyamalan has managed to make a film that is almost as clever, emotive, thoughtful and slow. It even manages to end with a twist that is almost as good as sixth sense's was. The story moves quite slowly, almost painfully at times, however I found this succeeded in making the film feel more thoughtful and less glamorous. The director even shots the train crash in a very low key manner, as if to make the point that the film isn't about cheap spectacle or visual thrills. Instead we follow David as he finds his abilities and gradually accepts them, all this side is fascinating although some of the side stories are a little dragged out. The twist is only the icing on the cake and if you're into the characters the way I was then it is really impacting. One bit of advice - don't think about it or try to work it out. Thinking about the twist will stop you enjoying the main story and will spoil the film for yourself.

Willis is excellent - he doesn't set the world on fire, but he does a very low-key performance as a common man confronted with so much potential responsibility. He doesn't ham it up but you know that there's things going on inside his head that reflect on his face. Jackson is also really good - he maybe plays it a little too weird and should have been a bit more of a geek rather than an uptight art dealer sort. Willis and Jackson should keep making films together from now on, cause even there worst collaboration so far has still been good - Pulp Fiction, Unbreakable, Die Hard With a Vengeance - it seems to be a winning partnership (Loaded Weapon 1 doesn't count as Willis is only in it for 5 seconds!). A surprise addition to the cast is Eamonn Walker as Dr Mathison, it's a small role but he is a fine actor and deserves to be seen in big films (check him out in HBO's Oz for a real show of his abilities).

Overall it's very slow and may frustrate some people, but if you got the 6th sense then you'll probably get this. The story is moving and thoughtful and the final scene is merely the icing on a very fine cake.
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9/10
Moving - in its most original sense
dgeerts13 January 2001
The final plot twist in "The Sixth Sense" made me wonder whether its director could repeat such a stunt, in "Unbreakable". Force us to follow the path he wants us to take, by telling his story, slowly, subtly leading us. Make us start to believe we know what will happen next, make us love the characters, then make us *want* things to happen next. Yes, tonight when seeing "Unbreakable", all that happens, again. And then, exactly like in "The Sixth Sense", he pulls the carpet right from under us, in the final seconds of the movie takes away everything, every expectation, he first gave us. Many people will be so disappointed by this that they will end up hating the movie. So did I, for about five minutes. Now I know the movie will make me think, literally move my thoughts, for a long time after tonight. I want to see it again, right now. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Hollywood has a new master storyteller. His name is Manoj Night Shyamalan.
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8/10
Underrated
zhyarTheChosen9 September 2019
Wow such a good movie but why it is so underrated. You all need to watch it
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10/10
One of the masterpieces of our time
johannesalstadwilting8 September 2019
What if Superman was here on earth and didn't know he was Superman? That is essentially the plot of the movie. We follow David Dunn, a security guard who is the sole survivor of a catastrophic train crash. David is later confronted by Elijah Price, a comic book expert that says he might have the answer to Davids question "Why am I the only survivor?" So David, a man dissatisfied with his life goes to search for what his purpose in life is.

I've seen this movie several times, and I have never even gotten tired of it. It does deal with comic books, but approaches it with a level of sophistication and intellect never found before in comic book movies. The movie walks a very fine line between reality and the comic-book world, at the same time walking a very fine line in terms of audience perception. Some chalk it up to be a silly comic-book movie, others a brilliant comic-book movie. And yet, there are still others that maintain Unbreakable's comic book theme does not exactly make it a comic-book movie. It's more of a drama, just like the Sixth Sense was more of a drama than a horror movie. Both are excellent dramas, but Unbreakable was superior in every aspect.

I especially admired the camera movement, and the framing of certain scenes to bring to life an actual comic-book. I also admired how Unbreakable was very light on dialogue, making full use of subtle gestures, movements, and actions to represent the character's thoughts. The character's environment plays a similar role and certain colors are often brought up to represent distinct emotions and thoughts the character has.
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9/10
Better than The Sixth Sense
tom.kat24 January 2001
An hour and a half into this movie I wondered how Shyamalan would wrap the film up in a nice little package, without room for a sequel. I shouldn't of bothered. The film was superb and the ending was a bigger twist than The Sixth Sense. Anybody who doesn't get Unbreakable should stick to Disney films. Bruce Willis proves once again that he can act. Most of the plaudits for Sixth Sense went to the kid and Twelve Monkeys to Pitt, although Jackson is superb as usual, Bruce Willis steals the movie with a subtleness most screen stars cannot portray. Unbreakable is a great way to start off what should be a fine year for movies.
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10/10
This is what we need right now!
nikhilkishoremails23 July 2018
This movie should be released today. In the era of CGI superheroes with no story or character arc, this is a realistic view of superhero genere. Bruce Wills, I never thought I would say this, is awesome. Samuel Jackson is fantastic, I don't know why he chose to be one eye guy in Marvel movies, he is mire capable actor than this. Manoj Shayamalan is a truly great film maker. Robin Wright is very good. Overall a great superhero movie, a must watch.
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10/10
M. Night's best (contains spoilers)
Shrykespeare26 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"Unbreakable" is one of those films that garners extreme reactions on both ends of the spectrum; either people love it or hate it.

The biggest criticism is that the movie is too long and too slow to develop, which is certainly a understandable argument. I prefer to look at M. Night's films in a different light; I admire the way that he absolutely refuses to rush through a story, and the way that he lets the characters develop at their own pace. Bruce Willis's slow, gradual transformation is a beautiful thing to watch, a testament to Bruce's incredible talent. The aura of sadness that he projects through most of the movie is tangible, and it's only through the teachings (or manipulation, if you will) of Samuel L. Jackson's character, Elijah, that Bruce's character, David, is able to finally realize his full potential, to understand his place in the world, and to connect with his son in a way he never could before.

I would also like to give special kudos to Spencer Clark's performance as David's son, Joseph. Most kids, especially those not close to their parents, have no understanding of what their parents do for a living. It's more comfortable to live a fantasy, where your Dad is a superhero and you will one day follow in his footsteps. It's no wonder that when the possibility presents itself that David is special, Joseph latches onto that notion, and proceeds to stop at nothing to prove it to his father, even coming a hair's-breadth from shooting him.

David's first adventure as a superhero was magnificently done. He walks into a train station, bustling with people, and lets his instincts take over. Just by touching people, he can see what terrible things they've done (kind of like John Smith on USA's "The Dead Zone", but not as extreme), for example, shoplifting, race violence, and date rape. But when he brushes up against a man who had committed cold-blooded murder, David leaps into action. He follows the man to a house he has taken over - both parents are dead, but the two children are still alive. The confrontation is also very well done. No words are spoken; there is no flurry of blows or martial arts moves; simply one man taking another man down in a way that any of us might do in similar circumstances.

The next morning, David shows his son a newspaper detailing the incident. He silently mouths the words "You were right", and his son sheds a tear of joy; his fantasy has been fulfilled, and his connection to his father can only get stronger from here on out. They also agree to keep his double life secret from David's wife, which is another nice touch.

Given Elijah's life and state of mind, it is very reasonable to understand his motives for wanting to find someone like David. That he used such reprehensible methods for doing so makes the ending that much more shocking.

Most people, especially moviegoers, are easily bored. They are addicted to the quick fix, where something dramatic or exciting has to happen every five minutes or they lose interest. That is why "Unbreakable" has elicited such negative praise from some critics. But I am of the opinion that if the view at the top is spectacular enough, it's doesn't matter how long it takes to get up the mountain.

My score: 10.
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7/10
Thrilling and suspenseful film excellently played and compellingly directed by M. Night Shyamalan
ma-cortes24 June 2012
Interesting film and one of the greatest successes of the magnificent filmmaker Night Shyamalan . This intriguing picture with twist ending revolves around a security guard named David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who miraculously survives a catastrophic train crash outside Philadelphia . His marriage to Audrey (Robin Wright) is crumbling , and he's thinking of moving to New York . David learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident . He formerly had a car accident that was a pivotal point in David and Audrey's relationship. He meets a strange man (Samuel L Jackson) with Osteogenesis Imperfecta , a real but rare disease . At the end takes place a confrontation against a violent delinquent , some camera shots show David in a hooded raincoat , which may be to imply that he's some sort of a caped crusader.

A suspense thriller with supernatural overtone full of intrigue , emotion , surprise and plot twists . Shyamalan came up with the idea for the film while filming ¨The Sixth Sense¨ ; of all the films he's made , this is Shyamalan's personal favorite and of course is set in Philadelphia , like most of his films . He is an avid comic book fan, which was made apparent in this film . As in comic books, the main characters have their identified color schemes , David's is green and Elijah's is purple , they show up in their clothes, the wallpaper and bed sheets in their houses, Elijah's note to David, and various personal items, among others. Several camera angles were chosen to simulate the comic book device of a frame around each scene . Excellent performances from the two main characters , M. Night Shyamalan always had Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in mind to play the roles of David Dunn and Elijah Price. Enjoyable support cast as Robin Wright , Spencer Clark , Eamonn Walker , Leslie Stefanson and Charlayne Woodard, who plays the mother to Samuel L. Jackson's character, is actually almost a full 5 years younger than her on screen son . And as usual director M. Night Shyamalan makes cameo appearances in his own movies, like Alfred Hitchcock, one of his favorite directors , this time as a Stadium drug dealer . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Eduardo Serra . Marvelous and thrilling musical score by James Newton Howard who always works with the director . Well produced and directed by Night Shyamalam , many of his films have car crashes playing pivotal roles and involve two ordinary individuals with extraordinary abilities or events happening to them , one of the people either has connections to a child or is a child, and the one connected to the child is always having marital difficulties . Night Shyalaman is an expert on fantastic films plenty of intelligence and thought-provoking issues as proved in ¨Sings¨, ¨The village¨ , ¨Lady in the water¨ , ¨¨The incident¨ with exception to flop titled ¨Airbender¨ . Rating : Better than average , worthwhile watching .
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7/10
Comic Book Story for Non Comic Book Readers
gbkmmaurstad23 September 2017
Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) was born with a rare disease that makes him very susceptible to bone fractures. To motivate him to not be afraid to go outdoors in fear of breaking a bone, his mother rewards Elijah with comic books when he does. As an adult he lives alone and becomes a comic book art dealer.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) gave up a promising football career after a car accident he wasn't even injured in. He marries, has a son and works as a security guard. He begins to question his purpose in life after being the only person out of 131 people to survive a train accident. And then he meets Elijah.

This is a good vs. evil in the classic sense, and yes, there is a superhero, but not like you'd read about in the comics.
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8/10
So close to being great
abum19018 November 2006
It's really frustrating to find a movie that comes so close to being great and only a few minor faults are holding it back. Luckily, it's not so frustrating that it ruins the experience. Unbreakable is still an intense and emotional movie and I wish M. Night Shyamalan was still making movies like this.

Bruce Willis plays David Dunn, a man unhappy with his marriage and his relationship with his son. David is trying to get a job in New York so he can move out of the house and move his life in his own direction. When his train back from New York derails, David is the only survivor and he is sought out by a fragile man named Elijah, who believes David is special.

This could easily be cheesy, but Shyamalan wisely plays up the comic-book feeling of the plot while maintaining a certain sense of reality. Bruce Willis is a good choice as the passive David, a man not sure where he fits in the world. Samuel Jackson, always good, is great here; it's probably his best role that I've seen since Pulp Fiction. Robin Wright Penn also has some touching moments as Willis's despairing wife, as does Spencer Treat Clark as his neglected but loving son.

The problem is not with the story or cast, but with the direction. There are some awkward transitions and some moments that should have been played out longer; it sometimes feels like Shyamalan is copping out on giving us real drama and instead giving us an outline of what happened. But no matter; it's still an intriguing movie and it has some great images. And while it may not be on par with his The Sixth Sense and Signs, it comes close, and that's good enough.
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1/10
UNBEARABLE
Neko-93 December 2000
This movie was dull - The personalities were dull; the lighting was dull; the color was dull; the acting was dull and the story line was BORING. Please explain something to me....the main-woe-is-me character works in security. People in that line of work are finger printed but our hero leaves his finger prints all over the crime scene and yet they have no idea who he is?? I sat through this comic because I needed a ride home but believe me I'd never read it.
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8/10
Great film, but....
shaquanda3615 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As an unwavering fan of Mr. M. Night Shayamalan, I must say this was good. But to clarify my perspective, I did not see this when it first came out. I rented it after having seen The Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Village. Being a fan of those three, I knew this would not disappoint.

This film has all of the prerequisites of an M. Night film....slow, brooding atmosphere, dialogue instead of action, heaps of character development, and a twist of some kind. Ultimately, this film works. It works well. We feel for the characters, want to know what will happen next, and are intrigued by the premise. All of the actors meet my expectations - there is no weak link in the acting. Shayamalan tends to pull good performances out of everyone.

That being said, I think there are two minor problems with this movie. First, the movie has a boldly slow pace, but that works for the film. What bothered me a little bit is there was about a 30 minute period of time in the movie where very little happened - in the "action" or in the characters. It seemed a repetitious - "am I really unbreakable or not? Is this guy yanking my chain or what?" This problem is minor, but with weaker actors, my attention would not have been held.

The other minor problem is how the "twist" was carried out. There is a potentially massive revelation, but it gets written off by two sentences on the screen. The climax becomes an afterthought. There is no falling action. I liked the twist, but I thought it was written off.

All in all, this is a good movie - much better than your average Hollywood entertainment. I recommend it if you like to think about movies.
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1/10
Unthinkable
Mourn-211 December 2000
Well, this is the 328th review on IMDB, so I'm probably not going to say anything that hasn't been said yet.

I will just say that, more than any other movie I can think of, I am absolutely shocked that this movie has a 7.7 rating and ANY positive reviews at all. In my opinion, this is indicative of the fact the movie going public no longer understands what makes a good film or even recognizes one when they see it. Unbreakable was an attempt at a two hour character study, primarily of two men. I'm guessing it was meant to be a character study because there isn't a plot or story line to speak of. This is fine, character studies can be interesting, unfortunately we are spoon fed little pieces of information in one scene, and then shown the effect of it in the very next, as if we were being spoon fed the dimensions of the characters.

For all the benefit of the doubt M. Night Shyamalan gave his audience in The Sixth Sense, he treats them like complete idiots in Unbreakable, making sure he drops a small foreshadowing to the audience before hitting them over the head with the actual event to make sure they understood. And even with this heavy handed approach, we ultimately end up with two people we don't care about swimming around in a thin story based on the incredible assumption that someone wouldn't realize that they had never been sick or injured in their entire life until it was pointed out to them.

In fact, the entire foundation of premises this movie is built upon is so fanciful and preposterous, that even a reasonable suspension of disbelief is impossible.

Lastly, the camera work, particularly the artsy shots, should LEND to the storytelling, not take away from it. Every time Shyamalan indulges in one of these sequences, he is not highlighting something important, he is reminding us we are only watching a movie. What he did so skillfully in The Sixth Sense comes across as random and forced in Unbreakable. Top this off with one of the most ridiculous scenes ever put on film in a serious movie (those who have seen it will probably know what I am talking about, those who don't heed my warning and go see it anyway, just watch for the scene with the kid and the gun), and you have a self-indulgent pile of trash unworthy of even going straight to video. I don't know if Shyamalan was rushed to get this out, or if he got Kevin Costner syndrome after the success of his first movie and decided that he could mail one in, but Unbreakable is Unthinkably bad. At the very very least, do yourself a favor and catch it for free on HBO or Showtime, or spend a buck and watch it in the dollar theatres, where it will be very soon I hope, making room for something more palatable.
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1/10
On one hand, the actors and the directing sucked. On the other, so did the script.
faube9 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
***spoiler alert*** I've seen worse movies. Or let's say I've seen one worse movie. But I didn't detest it as much as I hated 'Unbreakable'. The director puts so much time and effort in these 'Kubrick' long shots, with cameras twirling and all, that the viewer just has to feel sorry for the actors. Or at least for Jackson, since Willis seems to be lost in some kind of a drug-induced world. By the way, what's with the stupidest superhero ever ("350 pounds? let's add some more.") and the feeblest supervillain ever ("I've had 54 fractures") clashing in a survival of the least fit? Not that I was so much anxious to see the wild ending twist, but let's just say that the writer managed to make this boring, slow-developing film into one that has no point at all. On an unrelated note, say your 10-year-old gets a gun, and aims it at you, do you picture your wife saying "aw, come on, don't do that", and yourself threatening to move away forever if your child does shoot you? "But he's unbreakable, you idiot" Oh OK. You know a movie is more about style than substance when a camera is showing us two people seen through the space between two train seats. One at a time. Panning from one to the other. For about 6 minutes. All in one shot. And they're talking about this guy who runs 40 yards in 4.2 seconds. Believe it or not, we actually end up seeing this guy. For 2 seconds. Yippee. I was also surprised how fast Bruce went from a stupid security guard to an all-powerful Jesus/Superman type who saves the widow and the orphans, while managing to draw a little tear from his oh-so-cute son's eye. Was Night trying to do a movie about emotions? or superheroes? or both? That sensible-giant thing is getting on my nerves.

Don't see this movie. It blows. Real bad. For a long time. "Don't you see the connection? we're both vulnerable to water!" ouch!
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10/10
Know one thing.....Shyamalan is a genius.
baumer24 November 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Warning: does contain spoilers.

As we all sat in theater and we saw the haunting image of Bruce Willis being told in an eerie and confused voice by a doctor that he was the sole survivor of a train wreck, and that he wasn't scarred or broken in any way, we were intrigued. Then those magic words flash across the screen....FROM THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF SIXTH SENSE. Now we are hooked. Toss in Samuel L. Jackson playing the prophet, and now we have perhaps the most anticipated film of the year. And yet the funniest thing about the whole thing is that no one really had a clue what the film was about. All we knew is that Bruce had a secret. So going into the film, we were really all just conformists hoping that this film was going to capture us the way Sixth Sense did. Now I don't think that this film is for everyone, which seemss to be the general consensus from other reviewers in here, but for those that understand the film and for those that can appreciate it, you are in for a treat.

From here on out, if you don't want to know what the film is about, then stop reading.

Bruce Willis plays David Dunne, who, as the film opens is riding on that doomed train destined to crash. We all know this from the trailers. But as he is riding on that train, a pretty young woman asks if the seat is taken next to him and he says no. As she sits down, he takes off his wedding ring and begins to flirt with her. As we already know, somewhere along the way in the film, we are going to see that Willis may have some sort of gift that prevents him from injury, but that doesn't mean he is unbreakable in other facets of his life. Somewhere along the way, he has lost contact with his family and he and his wife don't even hold hands as he is being released from the hospital.

Upon leaving the funeral for the passengers of the train wreck that he survived, he finds a note on his car from a place called LIMITED EDITION, and on it, it asks him how many days he has ever been sick in his life. This question intrigues him and since he can't remember himself, he goes to the one source that knows him better than he knows himself, his wife. She can't ever remember him being sick.

"Doesn't that strike you as odd?" he asks her.

When David finally meets Elijah Price, we learn that Elijah has sought him out because Elijah is one of the most breakable men in the world. His bones are easily broken and his cells react very poorly to disease and have a hard time fighting off even the common cold. It seems that these two are the complete opposite. Elijah tells David that he believes he is "unbreakable" simply because Elijah is not. If a man like Elijah exists, then there must be a man out there that is on the other side of the spectrum.

The rest of the film moves along slowly, not in a bad way but slowly enough so that we have time to understand everyone involved. Shyamalan cares about his characters and he does take them seriously. He wants us to know them and understand them, so that when the big secret is unveiled to us, not only do we understand why the secret is the way it is, but we also understand how the movie was filmed and why it was done so in the way it was. Get it? Well don't worry if you don't. See it again and you will.

I read a review about Unbreakable by the venerable Roger Ebert, and he praised the film but then criticized the ending saying that it felt like it was rushed, that more care was needed, so instead of giving it four stars he gave it three. My response to that is this:

I am not a lover or a connoisseur of the thing that Shyamalan is. I will not reveal what that is, but saffice it to say that if you at least understand them, then you will see what the direction the film is heading in. There are many hints and subtleties that you can begin to guess about half way through the film what is happening. That is not to say that the secret is not shocking, because it is. It's just that this time you can see it coming from a far. And that is done through actions, camera shots, camera angles, the colouring of the film, the dialogue, and the costumes. This is a brilliant film that wants to emulate a passion that one man has for one particular thing in this world. And when you open your film by telling your audience that the world of COMICS is bigger than any of us imagined, well that should give us a clue right there. Make no mistake about it, this film is calculated from beginning to end.

Unbreakable is one of the best films to come out this year and the great thing about is that it is simple but effective and Shyamalan may have just created a franchise for himself and Willis and Jackson. Touchstone is probably counting the dollars as we speak.

I do recommend that this film be viewed twice, not because the secret is as good as Sixth Sense was, but because it is a film worth viewing several times. And yes, when you do give it a second viewing, you will understand it more and praise it more, and crave the next one.

10 out of 10- Sheer brilliance.
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1/10
Terrible Attempt at Emotion and Drama in this Disappointing Movie
vinnybball141 September 2008
I'll say it right now, Unbreakable is my pick for worst movie ever made. Not necessarily in terms of quality, I'm sure some Sci-Fi channel movie would snatch that prize, but in terms of writing, acting, and most importantly, directing. I counted how many words Bruce Willis said throughout the entire movie, my final total was 6 (that is not technically true as I didn't really count, but I'm confident my estimate is within about 10 of the actual number). There is an unbelievable amount of epic staring at each other done by all of the characters involved. I really wanted to enjoy this movie when we popped it in, in fact it was my choice to rent it, but by the end everyone in my family was laughing quite hysterically (needless to say the movie was not supposed to be funny). I do not enjoy when a movie is filled with dumb characters, in fact I really hate it when it seems every character is mentally deficient. This is one of those movies. One scene in particular struck me as incredibly ridiculous. Bruce's son decides he's going to shoot Bruce to show everyone that Bruce is truly invulnerable. Bruce and his wife freak out (naturally) and try to get the son to put the gun away. In a moment of unintentional comedy, myself and two other members of my family all said out-loud, "For God's sake, just shoot him." The movie would have been over and this horrible scene would cease to poison our minds with contagious stupidity. The big twist at the end was not clever, and relatively easy to predict, meaning of course that it was disappointing and therefore fit great with the rest of the movie. If you are someone who can REALLY get involved in a movie and truly feel the character's pain. then perhaps you will love this movie, but my entire family just couldn't get over how ridiculous everything was and how everyone kept staring at each other in an unbelievably corny way. I do not recommend this movie to anyone unless you are looking for a comedy, cause after all, I found this movie quite hilarious in a pathetic sort of way.
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1/10
Unbreakable is unbearable
Pal_Joey6 August 2001
A germ of a good idea gets buried under a script that needs many rewrites and a director quite impressed with himself. If slow pace worked so well in Sixth Sense, why not make this one twice as slow? Won't that make it twice as good? No. When action does occur, it often occurs with no sense of internal logic. Such as when the son suddenly points a gun at his father to show that Pops is a superhero. This comes out of nowhere. Also, Willis's catatonic performance worked well in Sixth Sense because he had a stunningly good child actor to fill the gaps. Here Willis isn't surrounded by that talent level. Why does he do the things he does? Why is he numb to everything? I don't know, and halfway through this mess, I didn't care. Avoid at all costs.
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