Signs takes a great deal of time and creates a very elaborate context to teach us one simple, and not very original idea: everything happens for a reason. Mel Gibson is Graham Hess, a former minister who left the church after the tragic death of his wife. Everywhere he goes his former parishioners call him “Father,” even though he vows “not to waste one more minute of his life on prayer.” You see, Hess lost his faith when his young, beautiful wife was taken from him, cut down in her prime. When giant crop circles appear in his corn field and then start popping up all over the world, it seems his faith is to be tested once again. Are these bizarre configurations a hoax, or a sign that an alien invasion can’t be far behind? Bet on the latter. When the tall green ETs do touch down Hess fights for the survival of his family, and learns more about the complex nature of fate. In the end he realizes that life is not just a series of coincidences, but a carefully arranged pattern that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle – everything happens for a reason. Director M. Night Shyamalan handles the material with his usual incredible visual style, but unfortunately the story is too thin to sustain interest. The aliens are not the focal point of the movie, but simply used as a plot device to help Hess learn about himself and his beliefs. Shyamalan has an almost Hitchcock-like ability to build suspense, unfortunately, unlike the late-master he doesn’t follow-up the anticipation with any thrills. Signs is limp – all fore-play and no sex. If you’re in the mood for an exciting alien invasion movie skip Signs and rent the 1953 Byron Haskin directed War of the Worlds, you’ll have a better time.