BRUCE WILLIS PLAYS A CHILD psychologist happily married to Olivia Williams (Rushmore). The movie begins on a celebratory night when he's just won an award from the Mayor, and the two of them are drunk and horny. Their mood is spoiled when they discover that a former patient of his -- now all grown up and naked -- has broken into their house, angry at Willis for not being able to cure him, and brandishing a gun. Willis ends up shot.

Months later, he has become obsessed with his failure to cure that boy, and his marriage is suffering. Meanwhile, he has started treating another boy who's exhibiting similar symptoms. Of course, the boy's problem is bigger and more bizarre than Willis is willing to acknowledge. If you've seen the trailer, you've heard the boy utter, "I see dead people," and because this is a movie you know he's not lying.

With his breakup with Demi Moore still fresh in the public consciousness, not to mention his own, you suspect Willis took this role to explore, on film, the collapse of this once-happy marriage. Obsessed with his work, he can only watch as his marriage starts to crumble. Meanwhile, we follow the boy (well-played by Haley Joel Osment) as he gets in trouble at school and at home, unable to deal with both seeing and hearing the living and the dead.

Though the direction of the story by M. Night Shyamalan is often obvious, the structure of his script is very smart and more than makes up for that. Most impressive is that we don't see the boy's ghosts for half the film. We take him at his word, but keep it at a distance, up until the time he admits to Willis how he sees dead people. Then and only then are we allowed to see what the boy sees, and it's really scary. These are the ghosts of the unhappy dead, and he sees them all the time! With strong performances and an inspired ending, this is a movie you'll want to talk about afterward. Just be sure not to listen to anybody until after you've seen it, lest they spoil the ending.

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