Reviewed by: Ken James
loss of wife
difficulties of being a single father and widower
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
What about the Psalm 91 promises? (“…no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent…”) Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
loss of faith
How do we know the Bible is true? Answer
When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, does that imply that it is completely accurate, or does it contain insignificant inaccuracies in details of history and science? Answer
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
questions and answers about the origin of life
What is the Occult? Answer
Are you good enough to go to Heaven? Answer
See our Creation SuperLibrary
to learn more…
Mel Gibson … Rev. Graham Hess
Joaquin Phoenix … Merrill Hess
Rory Culkin … Morgan Hess
Abigail Breslin … Bo Hess
Cherry Jones … Officer Paski
M. Night Shyamalan … Ray Reddy
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|Director||M. Night Shyamalan|
Blinding Edge Pictures
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Kathleen Kennedy … executive producer
Frank Marshall … producer
Sam Mercer … producer
M. Night Shyamalan … producer
|Distributor||Buena Vista Pictures|
Do the things in our lives happen merely by coincidence, or is there a grand plan—perhaps even divine—behind them? This is the main theme behind the pro-faith “Signs”, M. Nigh Shyamalan’s (“The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable”) 2002 thriller. Blending the perfect amount of humor and suspense, “Signs” features Mel Gibson playing the part of Graham Hess, a former Episcopalian priest and family man who has lost his faith in God after the 6-months-past death of his wife. Torn by anger at God for allowing his wife to die, Graham (still referred to as “Father” by most in his Bucks County, Pennsylvania community) continues in raising his two kids Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin) along with the help of his younger brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix).
As you may know by the title, the “signs” alluded to in this thriller is the paranormal crop circles that have baffled people for centuries. Appearing overnight in wheat, corn, or other fields around the world, these perfectly designed works of art are said to be either elaborate hoaxes or the work of alien beings from other planets. This is where real-life meets the movies. Crop circles are real, despite what you may believe about their origin. Hoaxters have come forward to show how they are created using “stomper boards” and simple surveyors equipment, yet this still doesn’t account for all of them. Frankly, it’s a mystery.
In “Signs”, Graham’s farm is visited by alien beings, as are hundreds of locations around the world. Not even the skeptics can deny that the aliens have landed. A good dose of jump scenes (about a dozen) keeps thrill seekers on the edge of their seat as the mystery unfolds around the Hess family. What do they want? Do they come in peace?
Graham may have been a priest, but after losing his faith in God his worldly brother Merrill has more faith than him. It really is hard to watch this once strong man banish prayer at the dinner table, and it starts to rip his family apart. Several very emotional family scenes work well to show us the sense of despair that Graham is experiencing. Yet the redemptive moral of this story unravels nicely, turning Graham back to a firm belief that God is real and His plan is sovereign.
Offensive material is minimum. There is no sex or nudity, though there is some instances of profanity, one even uttered by Graham’s son Morgan. An early scene, actually quite humorous, portrays profanity as an immoral thing. In that scene, Graham and Merrill are convinced that strange happenings at their farm are the work of local hoodlums. They cook up a plan to run around the house screaming profanities, trying to scare off the tresspassers. Graham, a former minister, doesn’t even know how to do it, so as he runs around he yells hilarious phrases while his brother seems a natural at it. In fact, the comedy in “Signs” always seems to hit the right marks. Just when the tension builds, a scene comes that lets ya chuckle.
Violence is relatively minimal: a dog is stabbed (all that is seen is a dead dog with a barbecue fork sticking out of it). There is also violence against an alien (pretty justifiable, I’d have to say).
“Signs” will give increasing awareness to aliens, as countless movies and books before have done. Just what is a “biblical Christian” position on such matters? Since the Bible is relatively silent, it’s hard to give an accurate teaching. So let’s look at what we do know. We know that there is a spiritual world out there that mostly goes unseen. A battle between good and evil, light and darkness, wages for the hearts and minds of men. The Bible also teaches about Satan, the great deceiver. There is just too much evidence out there to say that all of these occurances chalked up to E.T. are hoaxes. Wouldn’t it make sense that this alleged “alien” presence could be the work of demonic powers? When millions of Christians around the world vanish at the rapture (depending on your view of Daniel and Revelation in the Bible), wouldn’t it make sense that those remaining on Earth will immediately think it is the work of aliens?
Numerous Christian end-times productions (“Left Behind-The Movie,” the “Apocalypse” series, and others) take such a position. Cloud Ten Pictures’ recent video release “Deceived” starring Judd Nelson and Louis Gossett Jr. also comes up with a similar conclusion: we know something is happening, will those without the Spirit of God in them be deceived into believing it is communication from other planets?
If “Signs” is your style of movie, I recommend it. Fun, engaging, and sympathetic to the Christian faith, it’s a film that teens and their parents can enjoy together, even sparking great discussions on chance vs. providence, God’s will, why do bad things happen to good people, and other stimulating topics.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.