Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.

James McAvoy teams up with M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) for a psychological thriller about a deeply disturbed sufferer of dissociative identity disorder.... More

Psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) has already counted 23 discrete personalities in her client Kevin (McAvoy). But there remains another one incubating under the surface, waiting to reveal itself and dominate all the others. After abducting three teenage girls, Kevin's personalities fight for prominence while the terrified girls fight for their survival.Hide

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Flicks Review

After a prolonged bout in director jail, M. Night Shyamalan may never restore his career to the mainstream respectability once afforded by the success of his earlier work such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. With his previous film, the endearingly daft found-footage flick The Visit, and now the gloriously demented Split, he’s managed to rejig our expectations somewhat, comfortably embracing his position as solid craftsman of schlocky, modestly-budgeted genre pictures – nothing more, nothing less.... More

Sure, Split comes with the sort of goofy, gimmicky writing and spoiler-sensitive, sure-to-polarise ending that have made Shyamalan an ongoing source of much derision. But it also exhibits his underrated Hitchcockian flair for tautly maximising suspense through restrained formal rigor rather than gory sensation.

Even if that were lacking, the film would still have the appeal of James McAvoy’s unchecked, laughably overwrought performance as a dissociative identity disorder-suffering kidnapper. He doesn’t quite nail the wide breadth of emotions and personalities required of the role – an uptight germophobe, a 9-year-old Kanye West fan, and a flamboyant fashion designer among them – but as a piece of cartoony showmanship, it’s fun watching him dial it up to 11. That’s in stark contrast to Anna Taylor-Joy, whose palpably distressed victim, played effectively straight, amplifies the unpredictable insanity of his character.

If Split ultimately fails to examine abuse and trauma in any sort of tactful manner, save for the sincere, matronly warmth in which Betty Buckley delivers the script’s expository psychobabble, it’s too weird and entertainingly trashy to write off. It’s Sybil made by a guy who has no qualms casting himself as a “Hooters lover”.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 18 ratings, 8 reviews
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BY KennethP91 superstar

Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and it stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley.

M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller Split, James McAvoy is a man diagnosed with 23 personalities, however upon abducting three teenage girls, the girls find that a 24th personality is emerging and it puts all three of them in grave danger.

M. Night has done it again, following his last movie, The Visit, Split is surprisingly decent. James McAvoy who portrays Kevin and his other... More personalities is great. He is doing the performance of his life and it’s working on his favour. The personalities, though not very distinct from one to another, they are still interesting to watch and you want to know each persona that lives within Kevin’s (James McAvoy) body.

The other characters are also great especially Anya Taylor-Joy, who despite their worrying situation manages to stay calm and think competently, though we are given a backstory as to why she is the way she is, she portrayed her character well and we root for her and her friends.

There’s very little to complain about the movie one of it is the personas themselves, as mentioned they are not very distinct from one to another, apart from when Hedwig occupies the body. Simply put the highlighted personalities aren’t as fleshed out as the movie makes it out to be.

Though this isn’t as much of a problem as the movie’s third act which the movie goes through a huge transformation in tone, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does brake the movie’s rules, until they introduced the notorious Shyamalan twist. Though as forgivable as it is, it felt like a free pass to explain the occurrences in the third act.

Overall Split is another great Shyamalan movie, Split is a good follow up from his previous movie, The Visit, and Shyamalan should keep walking this route. Split is thoroughly entertaining with great acting and great cinematography. The twist itself will no doubt divide the audiences, some people will love it, some won’t and it’s a case of either you roll with it or you don’t. That said, Split will make you look forward to future Shyamalan projects as long as they’re not big budget blockbusters. Split is highly recommended.Hide

All those personalities we saw McAvoy.. crazy, crazy good. Dude disappears into these personalities superbly and I'm just left thinking about how real his portrayals are. I believe him. Worthy thriller to see.

BY JackWallace superstar

"Split" is a solidly crafted psychological thriller and one of M. Night Shyamalan's best. James McAvoy is great playing a character with split personalities. Anya Taylor-Joy from "The Witch" is also fantastic. The cinematography is excellent. The other two girls who McAvoy kidnaps don't have much to do except get scared and try to escape. It's not predictable, I didn't know where the story was going, which is one of the best things I can say about "Split". It does get a bit confusing towards... More the end. I won't spoil anything, but I did not see that twist coming. This movie makes me want to go back and rewatch "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable". Grade: BHide

Thought James McAvoy was great in this movie and was happy it was not just full of over the top gore and violence most of that happend off camera so it was up to you to think through. I felt the end lead itself to a sequal and I would have preferred it to finish then and there but overall I enjoyed the film and McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joys performance's.

First off, if this wasn’t the 21st Century and we hadn’t progressed at least a little in our understanding and treatment of “mental illness” since Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, I’d be cool to say SPLIT is a fun thriller/horror movie, anchored by a great central performance by James McAvoy as Kevin. Cue the film’s tag line: “Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.”

To say SPLIT exploits, or plays fast n’ loose with D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity... More Disorder) is like saying FAST & FURIOUS 7 played fast n’ loose with physics. Okay, so if you can set aside how poorly a real disorder is treated, then what you get is a fun, thrill ride that’s pretty much solely down to McAvoy’s bravura turn as the multitude of characters that are Kevin.

There’s also a thrill to see Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan back on psycho-thriller form. I loved his UNBREAKABLE and SIXTH SENSE movies, but pretty much everything else he’s made has left me either cold, bored or flat out furious at the waste of talent and time (I mean, have you seen THE HAPPENING? No? Well don’t, just don’t.)

The direction is solid, especially so in an opening long-take from inside a car, telling the tale and ratcheting up tension, in a dialogue-free display of excellent visual storytelling.

But, once we’re in the locked room where the bad guy (guys?) keeps his victims it’s pretty much standard serial-killer locks girls in a room fare. Again, 21st Century, yet we have young girls stripped to their knickers and bras. The justification? A quick line thrown in from Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher (an excellent performance by Betty Buckley), along the lines of one of Kevin’s personalities liking to watch young girls dance naked, does not justify the outmoded sexism of voyeuristic slasher cinema.

Still, as a throwback to 1970s slasher cinema, it works much as Brian De Palma’s PSYCHO homage, DRESSED TO KILL, once worked. In other words, if this had been made in the 1980s this kind of misogynist, mental health exploitation would have been just par for the RAMBO-era course.

All up though? SPLIT is a tense and entertaining abduction thriller, anchored by a superb central performance. As a fan of Shyamalan-an-a-ding-dong's earlier films, the inevitable quick “twist” scene after the first credits roll is bloody infuriating.

But the biggest twist is that after a string of stinkers, Shyamalan has delivered a pretty good movie.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • Split really is a movie for all sorts of personalities. Full Review

  • There's a tiny shiver of something in the final few seconds that doesn't exactly change what we've watched so much as say, "I'm still M. Night Shyamalan, and I'm still crazy!" He's become his own twist ending. Full Review

  • Shyamalan papers over plot-holes with dry black humour and well-judged suspense, and - as always - holds back some surprises. Full Review

  • This is a Shyamalan movie through and through. And it's his best in some time, thanks to a magnetic McAvoy. Full Review

  • A welcome return to form from 'The Sixth Sense' director M. Night Shyamalan, whose unhinged new mind-bender is a worthy extension of his early work. Full Review

  • The director ties themes together at the end with more finesse than usual, letting a couple of meaningful visuals speak for themselves where he might have thrown in a line or two of explanatory dialogue. Full Review

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