Unbreakable

A gloomy, preposterous psychological thriller which, like writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan's hugely popular SIXTH SENSE, builds up to an eleventh-hour twist that puts everything that's gone before into a new light. The story revolves around the intertwined destinies of two Philadelphia men. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) was born with a rare...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A gloomy, preposterous psychological thriller which, like writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan's hugely popular SIXTH SENSE, builds up to an eleventh-hour twist that puts everything that's gone before into a new

light. The story revolves around the intertwined destinies of two Philadelphia men. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) was born with a rare brittle-bone disease; as a child his schoolmates nicknamed him "Mr. Glass." Hospitalized for long stretches, young Elijah was a voracious comic book reader; as

an adult, he deals in classic comic art. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) abandoned a promising career in college football after a car accident when he was 20, and wound up as a security guard at a local college stadium. Dunn's marriage to his college sweetheart (Robin Wright Penn) is on the rocks, and

the tension at home has made their young son (Spencer Treat Clark) anxious and wary. Then something extraordinary happens: Dunn is aboard a train that derails and kills 131 of the 132 passengers and crew. Dunn not only survives, but walks away unscathed. Elijah seeks him out so he can share a

theory he's been nurturing for years, a theory spawned by the comics he devoured as a child and fed by his readings in world mythology. If the human race can occasionally produce a man as breakable as Elijah, might it also occasionally produce the opposite? And could these "unbreakable" men be the

core of truth coiled within the outlandish stories of superheroes and caped crusaders? Cool idea. But as much screen time goes to Dunn's drably unhappy home life as to his slow assimilation of the notion that perhaps he really is something special. You could argue that Shyamalan's movie is a

brilliant dissection/critique of superhero origin stories, but a considerable emotional investment in comic book lore is required for that to make this glum, poky picture worth watching through to the final revelation.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A gloomy, preposterous psychological thriller which, like writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan's hugely popular SIXTH SENSE, builds up to an eleventh-hour twist that puts everything that's gone before into a new light. The story revolves around the… (more)

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