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Split (2017)

Released:  Friday, January 20, 2017  
Length:  117 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre: Drama
Rating: Split is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Split Synopsis

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. 

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

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Split images are © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Win a Blu-ray Copy of Split From FlickDirect and Universal Pictures  4/17/2017 12:24 PM EST
M. Night Shyamalan is known for intense, psychological thrillers.  He blew our minds with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and this winter's Split was more of the same storytelling we love to see from him.  Anyone who is a fan of the film and plans to own it on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD will be excited about this contest. Universal Pictures along with FlickDirect are giving one lucky winner a cop...  More>>

M. Night Shyamalan Tweets About Upcoming Split Sequel  2/6/2017 2:48 PM EST
Director M. Night Shyamalan took to Twitter over the weekend to talk about a sequel for his latest successful film, Split.  "I have an 11 page outline for my next film in my bag. I can't tell you what it is, but If you've seen #Split…" tweeted Shyamalan.Split, which has earned $98.7 million so far in the US, is about a man who has 23 personalities. Shyamalan said that Split is the second in a tril...  More>>

Split Blu-ray Review

Split Blu-ray Review
Since 1999 M. Night Shyamalan has given us some really thought provoking and plot-twisting films, and, this week, his latest film, Split, is available on Blu-ray.
Split follows the story of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy; X-Men: Apocalypse), who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, and has 24 separate personalities. As an abused child, he created these personalities to protect himself, as so often is the case.  
The meat of the story begins when Kevin kidnaps three girls - Claire (Haley Lu Richardson; Edge of Seventeen) and Marcia (Jessica Sula; Love and Marriage), who are the typical self-involved teenage girls, and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy; The Witch), who, to Kevin, seems much different from the other two, and in whom he finds a bit of a kindred spirit. The kidnapping is a way for Kevin to sacrifice to "the beast", his 24th and most dangerous personality. Meanwhile, the girls must keep their wits about them and try to escape from the series of underground rooms where Kevin is holding them.  
While many people suffering from "DID", we find out from the story and through his psychiatrist that many professionals don't believe that there really is such as disease.  Luckily, Kevin finds a rare doctor, Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley; Pretty Little Liars) who has been seeing him for what appears to be many years.  She not only believes him but treats all the personalities that emerge in sessions.  Buckley's character is able to identify which personality presents itself in therapy and the storyline of Kevin's treatment and the interaction with his doctor is as important to the plot as the kidnapping of the girls.  
This film is certainly suspenseful, and harkens back to the days of when Shyamalan's films really threw us for a loop and kept us on the edge of our seats. The casting choice of McAvoy was a wise one; he is a superb actor who takes this role on with ease.  Watching McAvoy's performance, as not only his personalities and mannerisms change so clearly as a personality emerges, makes me feel as if every actor in Hollywood should take acting lessons from McAvoy or his acting coach.  We see the versatility in his acting through the various personalities which include a young boy, a maintenance worker, a fashion designer and even an older woman. Buckley, along with Richardson, Sula, and Taylor-Joy, were also a delight on the screen as they all seemed in sync with their roles and their interactions with McAvoy's character.
The Blu-ray is presented in MPEG-4 AVC with a resolution of 1080p and an aspect ratio of 2.39:1.  The color is dark and moody, but in a clear manner, that aptly fits the setting of the movie.  Audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.   McAvoy's speech patterns in each of his personalities are spectacularly understood.  Without this clarity, the movie would not have succeeded as well as it did, portraying the different identities.
The Split Blu-ray includes a number of Bonus Features, including the following: 
  • An Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes: Casey at Party, Meeting Shaw, Shaw Has a Party, Shaw's Date, Girls Talk, Patricia Talks Meat, Casey Tells Her Dad, Hide and Seek with Hedwig, and Maybe We Are Crazy
  • The Making of Split: M. Night Shyamalan talks about his life as a filmmaker and the characters, locations of the film, set designs, and the budget.
  • The Many Faces of James McAvoy: A look at the masterful performance of James McAvoy and the characters he portrays.
  • The Filmmaker's Eye: M. Night Shyamalan: this extra focuses on Shyamalan's way of creating his films.

Split is psycho-drama-thriller that really gets its audience involved with the characters.  I was always waiting for the next identity to emerge, which is a testament to McAvoy. Although the plot itself (a mentally ill man kidnapping girls) has been done before and isn't that much of an engaging storyline, the film succeeds because of McAvoy's extraordinary acting skills.

Grade: B-


Read More Split Reviews

For more reviews please visit our film/television review section.

  • Kevin: The broken are the more evolved.

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