(1999)4Jason ClarkA successful update of ghost stories and thrillers that forego gore and violence to create suspense, this breakthrough film by writer/director M. Night Shyamalan reconfirmed star Bruce Willis' credibility as a leading man and as an actor, in his most sensitive screen work to date. Newcomer Haley Joel Osment won heavy acclaim (and an Oscar nomination at age 11) for his quietly studied portrayal of a haunted youngster, and Toni Collette shines as his working-class mother who doesn't understand his strange abilities. The film is too moody by half, and too reliant on its ending (which, admittedly, is quite well-done), but the director's perceptive study of young people's fears and the consequences of death is highly admirable. A giant summer hit that nobody anticipated (it was rumored that Disney, its distributor, originally planned it for a fall release until they realized what they had), Sense rejuvenated the suspense thriller in a way no one had seen in ages. Additionally, the film garnered six major Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and two for Shyamalan.