Midnight Special

HE’S NOT LIKE US. 

Roy Tomlin (Michael Shannon) are on the run together with his friend (Joel Edgerton) and eight-year-old boy (Jaeden Lieberher) who has special, awesome powers… which is also a reason why a cult and government agencies are after them. Jeff Nichols continues to impress with a sci-fi thriller echoing Close Encounters of a Third Kind (1977) as well as his other films that are also set in the countryside and portray the relationship between adults and children. There’s a lot of tension in the hunt for Tomlin and his kid, characters we understand and care for and a supernatural theme that fits well into Nichols’s universe. Not quite as penetrating as I was hoping for, but a great cast.

2016-U.S. 112 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Cast: Michael Shannon (Roy Tomlin), Joel Edgerton (Lucas), Kirsten Dunst (Sarah Tomlin), Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Sam Shepard.

Last word: “I thought I was very smart taking [the studio] a $20 million film. I thought it would be an easier sell. I really wanted to make something like the first ‘Terminator’. Not in terms of aesthetics or sci-fi or anything like that. That first ‘Terminator’ film was just very tightly wound. It felt like this kernel that could explode, did explode into a mega-franchise. I didn’t think my film would necessarily end up being like that, but I liked that idea and I thought maybe the studio could see it that way. […] The reaction I got was: ‘We don’t do that. We make $100 million films so that we can make $400 million. We don’t make $20 million films so that we can maybe hope to eke out $50 million. It’s the same amount of work for us’.” (Nichols, Film Comment)

 

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