I’ve been a fan of writer/director Jeff Nichols ever since seeing 2011’s “Take Shelter,” in which Michael Shannon plays a man obsessed with building an impenetrable storm shelter for his family. His follow up in 2012’s “Mud” was even better, simply starring Matthew McConaughey as a dude named Mud (still waiting for Mud 2: Muddy Waters btw). Nichols really has a knack for writing and directing thrillers set in the rural South that are based in reality but hint at possible mysterious elements in play, and I actually think these two films served as partial inspiration as to how HBO shot the first season of True Detective.
Midnight Special is Nichols’ first major studio film (WB) and he reunites with Michael Shannon, who plays a father on the run with his “gifted” son from the Feds and other parties. The Arkansas native sticks to the rural South setting that he knows all to well, however instead of only hinting at supernatural forces, this thriller is equally of the sci-fi genre. This is a good movie and worth seeing, but I did not like it as much as it’s predecessors mentioned above, mainly because of the heightened mystical nature. I enjoy a good sci-fi movie, I just don’t think those elements mixed well with this story, and it seemed like the best scenes kept the mumbo jumbo at bay. Also starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver. Tier 4