The Village [2004]

 Although it is pitched as a thriller (which it is), The Village works so well as a drama. There is just one minor plot hole among splendid writing  from much-maligned M. Night Shyamalan. The Sixth Sense is his most respected film, and with good reason. It put Haley Joel Osment on the map and made the genre respectable again with a nomination for ‘Best Picture’ at the Oscars. But, for me, The Village contains Shyamalan’s best plot twist. It’s his most visually appealing, as well, with exquisite cinematography by Roger Deakins, known for working with the Coens. The diverse cast blends movie stars with character actors: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Judy Greer, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Pitt and Brendan Gleeson all appear. But it’s Bryce Dallas Howard, in her breakthrough role, who carries the movie in a flawless performance as ‘Ivy’.