M. Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker so strange, daring and divisive that every attempt to rank his movies looks remarkably different. Each feature he releases causes so much discussion one could argue the reason he's been around so long is due to the discourse he generates, rather than the quality of his work.
At least, it can feel that way. But the truth is much more simple and -- especially in a cinema landscape dominated by mindless, money-hungry franchises -- refreshing than that: Shyamalan is a one of kind director, who makes films that make money, and are clearly produced by a man who cares about what he's giving us.
Particular and methodical, menacing and deceptively muted, Shyamalan's films are made with such precise framing and narrative techniques that, at their best and their worst, it can be easy to miss what he's trying to say. He loves twists, yes, but at their heart his films tend to bleed into reality despite their outlandishness.
Whatever side of the fence you're on -- that he's a one-hit wonder who's been slipping inexorably downward for years, or that he's a misunderstood genius who only makes great, unfairly maligned masterpieces -- you can't deny M. Night Shyamalan is one of our most interesting and endearing filmmakers.
With that in mind, and to celebrate the release of his latest hit, Knock At The Cabin, here are all 15 M. Night Shyamalan movies ranked worst to best.
15. The Happening (2008)
The Happening is a rare, complicated beast of a Bad Movie, in that while it's utterly absurd -- to an honestly laughable degree -- it also manages to be very dull.
For one thing, there's the premise: Plants are killing us! Run away! It's nonsensical, and crosses the line from camp and dumb-fun to just plain dumb. Then there's the cast, led by a horribly miscast, impressively airless Mark Wahlberg, and the muted finale, which allows the film's silly mystery to end with a whimper.
And all that's without actually getting to Shyamalan himself, whose rushed, odd, self-serious exploration of climate change is so clunky and tired it often slips into parody. He wants the ideas to pack a punch, but they barely register in the first place. There's nothing here worth sitting through.