Nobody likes a spoiler. And when it comes to the twist-laden movies of M. Night Shyamalan, we would be dead in the water, unable to see the forest for the trees, if we even hinted at some of those big reveals. So consider this a warning about reading any reviews of Glass, the director’s new thriller. If you’re a Shyamalan fan, you should hold off on diving into this piece before you see it.

Split, a 2016 comeback of sorts for the filmmaker, was a reasonably tight serial-killer drama starring James McAvoy as a teen-abducting psychopath. Until its final seconds, when it unmasked itself as a stealth sequel to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, a fine-tuned bit of crazy that posited superheroes were real and living in Philadelphia. Glass is the follow-up to both movies, and the overindulged Shyamalan really wants to let us know how cool that is.

The majority of it is dominated by dull, painfully verbal group-therapy sessions at a secret lab, where McAvoy’s captured cannibal, known as The Horde, sits alongside Bruce Willis’ somber avenger David Dunn (a.k.a. the Overseer) and Samuel L. Jackson’s Mister Glass, a brittle-boned villain in a wheelchair who’s prone to speechifying when he’s not behaving catatonic.

It’s both stupefying and a little sad to realise that this is the movie Shyamalan wanted to make. The Sixth Sense, still his only great film, is also a therapy psychodrama, but whereas that story reckoned with bedrock matters of loss and child abuse, Glass assumes that we’re all going to lean in at dialogue about comic books, origin stories and limited editions (some people will).

The characters, we hear, are suffering from a “specific type of delusion of grandeur,” per an attending doctor (Sarah Paulson, too good for this material), one that makes them believe Marvel-esque heroes and villains exist.

Shyamalan spends so much time on this he forgets to mount a persuasive escape sequence.

The script lacks a real climax, yet has room for unnecessary scenes and a cameo for the director himself. But, does it end with an unexpected jab to the ribs? You bet. Joshua Rothkopf

The pretty obvious follow-up to Unbreakable and Split

Superfans will want to see how it ends

M. Night Shyamalan

Jan 17 (PG15)

20 Jan 2019


Release DateJanuary 17, 2019
Director M. Night Shyamalan
CastingJames McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
Film Category Drama