Directed by M Night Shyamalan, starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Robin Wright Penn and Spencer Treat Clark.

The fact that M Night Shyamalan began working on the concept of Unbreakable while his self-penned and directed hit, The Sixth Sense, was still in the cutting room may explain certain similarities between the films. Both are set in Philadelphia, both feature Bruce Willis - whose acting talent is fully realised under Shyamalan’s direction - both feature a child in a prominent role and both explore the supernatural in realistic terms.

Willis plays David Dunn, the unbreakable man of the title, who is brought to the attention of comic-book vendor Elijah Price (Jackson) after miraculously surviving a horrific train crash in which all other passengers are killed. The victim of a congenital disease, which causes his bones to shatter at the slightest impact, Price believes that he may be able to explain Dunn’s incorruptibility, accounting, in the process, for his own fragility.

Keeping the audience in suspense until the closing credits, Unbreakable follows the successful formula of The Sixth Sense - narrative and stylistic details, which seem peripheral to the plot, prove to be pivotal. This time around, however, the ultimate revelation exposes as many plotholes as it fills. Nevertheless, Shyamalan’s sensitive, evocative direction overshadows the slight narrative discrepancies, making Unbreakable one of the New Year's must-sees.

Nickie Byrne