Joel Osment is proving himself to be the Lord Olivier of child actors, taking
on a deeply challenging emotional role and striking not a single false note.
Haley Joel Osment, his young co-star, is a very good actor in a film where his
character possibly has more lines than anyone else. He's in most of the scenes,
and he has to act in them--this isn't a role for a cute kid who can stand there
and look solemn in reaction shots. There are fairly involved dialogue passages
between Willis and Osment that require good timing, reactions and the ability
to listen. Osment is more than equal to them.
Everyone who sees ''The Sixth Sense'' will come out talking about the kid. The
kid is Haley Joel Osment, and he's extraordinary. If this isn't the single best
performance ever by a preadolescent male in a motion picture, then it's tied for
whatever is first.
San Francisco Chronicle
If you retain nothing else from the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense (and with
a film of this caliber, that's not likely), then remember these three words: Haley
Joel Osment. For they're going to be associated with a lot of big things -- things
like Oscar nominations, which this phenomenal eleven-year-old actor sorely deserves
this year but will not likely get due to the Academy's aversion to horror movies
starring Bruce Willis.
Hour Magazine Review
Haley Joel Osment is a great kid who pretty much carries the whole movie on his
own little shoulders. Where was he when George Lucas was auditioning for STAR
WARS: EPISODE I? This kid already has an impressive show biz resume, having played
Murphy Brown's baby and Forrest Jr. in FORREST GUMP.
What I got was much, much more, including the best performance in 1999 (to date)
by a child actor. Haley Joel Osments name should be first in the credits.
Its his movie and he nails an extremely difficult role as a troubled child.
The Big Screen Cinema Guide
Young actor Haley Joel Osment, who plays the child medium, is surprisingly good
in this movie. He demonstrates some great acting skills, being equally convincing
when he's screaming and crying in terror and when he's seething with dark, pessimistic
morbidity. Very impressive. I think he actually out-acted Bruce Willis in the
Movie Review Magazine
Bruce who? Haley Joel Osment makes this movie! Haley, it's Oscar calling!
The ''Sixth Sense'' is incredible! Haley Osment was so convincing that I imagined
myself in his position and never felt more scared. I felt like jumping into the
movie myself so I could hold the young boy! He is absolutely breathtaking! If
you're the type to walk into the theater without trying to figure everything out,
then you'll agree this movie was great from beginning to end. In this sense, I
give it a 10!
The Big Screen Cinema Guide
''Sixth Sense'' is the performance of Haley Joel Osment, the 11-year-old actor
with the millennial soul. As Cole Sear, the boy who sees dead people, Osment is
a soulful, stricken, solemn presence with the voice of Linus Van Pelt. Normally,
these are qualities one doesn't want to see in the child actor; in fact, one rarely
wants to see the child actor. This kid is different.
Haley Joel Osment, in a brilliant piece of acting Osment has the transparency
to let us see through his shell and into his very core.
Even better and, considering his age, more astounding is Haley Joel Osment as
Cole Sear. His character practically travels through heck and back here and the
young actor is more than up to the task. Osment delivers his lines and feigns
the gamut of emotions required here with all the seriousness and gravity and professionalism
I'd expect from most of the best actors out there. For God's sake, someone give
this kid some kind of award!
You never think that hes just a cute kid in a movie with Bruce Willis; instead,
you think that theres a well-seasoned actor playing a kid who sees dead
people up there on the big screen, and after the movie you appreciate his ability
to make you forget that hes only 11 years old.
Manley Movie Film Reviews
In addition to Willis, both Collette and young Osment give a standout performances.
Osment's Oscar buzz is premature, but he does play the most convincing scared
kid I've seen on film.
Voices Film Reviews
He (Willis) and young Haley Joel Osment give outstanding performances, especially
Osment. In fact, hes so convincing that I think he deserves an OSCAR nod,
maybe even the award itself. Child actors like him, who can really act, are rare
Back in the 1930s, the Academy gave out small Oscars for the best juvenile performance
of the year. (This was before the word juvenile became a pejorative.) It is a
shame that this practice has fallen by the wayside, since young Haley Joel Osment
(the little boy from BOGUS) would win this year's award hands down for his incredible
work as the star of THE SIXTH SENSE.
Film Reviews by Steve Rhodes
Haley Joel Osment manages to consummate The Sixth Sense's shocking theme in breathtaking
splendor. Every so often, he gives us creepy little glimpses of this corpse-strewn
world as it appears through Cole's tormented vision.
New York Times
Is there a minimum age required for an Oscar nomination? If not, an early suggestion
would be Haley Joel Osment for his amazing performance in this film. Osment, is
the most talented and credible child actor to grace the good screen in years.
His tears of sadness and despair are so frighteningly real it will give you goosebumps.
However, the actor who is most memorable here is 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment.
Osment turns Cole into a warm and tangible character; he delivers many of his
lines in a tired, hushed voice that speaks to his weariness in life, and he never
falls into cutesiness to get sympathy. Had Osment not been so good as Cole, ''The
Sixth Sense'' could have easy buckled and fallen apart.
One of the reasons the movie succeeds is Haley Joel Osment. This experienced young
actor seems to have his own special method of making his character believable.
When he crawls into the makeshift tent in his room - his refuge filled with stolen
holy statues - the horrid nightmares of childhood floood back to us, too. In fact
this boy possesses an amazing endurance, hiding the heart of his affliction from
his mother, postponing telling his doctor until a moment after the doctor tells
his own secrets to the boy. An Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor would
not be out of order for Osment.
Osment's tortured bravery is something to see, a wise-beyond-his-years characterization
only hinted at by his highly composed Forrest Junior in ''Forrest Gump.''
Haley Joel Osment is one of the best child actors I have ever seen; this kid is
sharp and I expect him to be around for many years to come.
The acting in the film is uniformly excellent. Haley Joel Osment, who plays the
boy Cole, is the keystone of the film. Even with all its other virtues, the film
wouldn't have worked as well as it does without someone of his ability in this
role. I don't know if a child actor has ever won an Academy Award, but Osment
definitely deserves one.
San Francisco Chronicle
Osment does an excellent job as the troubled Cole, showing maturity beyond his
years - he conveys the terror of his situation without being melodramatic (if
only he'd been available for Phantom Menace...). Expect to see a lot more of him
in the future.
However the showstealer is Haley Joel Osment who is the first child actor in recent
memory to carry a movie with such dramatic convinction. Child actors more often
suffer in Maculay Culkin type parts. Osment showcases convincing talent which
hopefully will break the curse of child actors and bring forth better roles for
The Milkyway Maltshop
This kid is amazing! The one thing I took with me from this movie other than pure
joy at the twist at the end was how good of a performance Haley Joel Osment turned
in. I look forward to seeing what else he will do in the future, he should have
quite a career in store for him.
Movies for Guys
If there was anything frightening about the film, it was Osment's performance.
It is the intensity of his gaze and his soft-spoken, wise words that denote strength
and vulnerability at the same time.
UTK Daily Beacon
At the risk of repeating other critics, the real star of The Sixth Sense is little
Haley Joel Osment, a frighteningly talented young actor who is more than up to
his unconventionally challenging role. He not only holds his own in talky, complex
sequences with Willis, but he outshines his older, more experienced co-star every
chance he gets. The movie itself isn't an award contender but Osment's performance
should not -- and I expect that it will not -- be forgotten come Oscar time.
Ultimate Movies! Review