Poll: How old are your children? (select as many as apply)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Movie #30: The Sixth Sense (1999)

"Grandma says hi. She says she's sorry for taking the bumblebee pendant. She just likes it a lot."


  • Rating: PG-13 "for intense thematic material and violent images"

  • Minimum Recommended Age: 13.5 (Common Sense Media: "Iffy for ages 13-14")

  • Quality Rating: 73.7% (Parent Previews: B-, Common Sense Media: 4 stars, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7.4)

  • Number of Lists Recommend: 2

  • Sex/Violence/Profanity: 3.6.3 (Kids-In-Mind)
    Sex & Nudity
    Violence & Gore
    1 to 10

  • Main Child Character Age: Although Cole is supposed to be 9, Haley Joel Osment was actually 11

  • Running Time: 105 minutes

  • What does it have to do with Halloween? Nothing. Well, Cole's Mom does have a pumpkin in her shopping cart when they run through a parking lot.


Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist (Bruce Willis) tries to help him.

Not one for the kiddies, this one ties with two other films on our list for the highest Minimum Recommended Age. This one is a wonderful but spooky film, and parents who have seen it already will enjoy experiencing it again with their teenagers.

Watch Out For

Common Sense Media: "Several scary surprises, some quite grisly. Child is stalked by the dead who want something from him; he looks terrified most of the time. A child is poisoned. Image of three people hanging in a school. A shooting and a suicide."

Parent Previews: "Parents should take extreme caution when deciding to show this film to teens. This tale is psychologically involving, includes an on-screen shooting and may even leave mature viewers with the nervous feeling that they are are not alone."

The Dove Foundation: "One obscenity spoken by Willis, but when the boy chastises him for swearing, Willis apologizes; one startling shooting; a suicide occurs off camera one profanity by the boy's mother when she believes other kids harmed her child; some unsettling imagery, but the strength of this chiller is in what is suggested rather than shown."

Screen caps courtesy of newsie__nympho


"The Sixth Sense" airs throughout the month of October on the Encore channels

Talk About It

From Parent Previews:
The creators of this film included the sound of humans breathing in every scene. How does that sound enhance the suspense achieved in this movie?

All of the deceased people portrayed in this story still carried their wounds, except for one. Was this an oversight by the scriptwriter?

Of Note

  • AMC's Filmsite lists the scene in which Cole encounters Kyra in his bedroom as one of the "scariest movie moments"

  • I got the idea for my son's name from the character Cole Seer
  • Is one of only four horror films to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture; the other three were The Exorcist (1973), Jaws (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Ranks #1 on AMC TV's list of Greatest Plot Twists


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