** out of ****
Directed by Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Shepherd
Release Date- March 18, 2016
Midway through Midnight Special there’s a line that’s uttered from a father to his son that sticks with us, despite how generic it initially seems, and encapsulates its director’s entire film oeuvre. “I like worrying about you,” Roy (Michael Shannon) says to his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), after a near death experience. Such a simple line depicts the compulsion men invariably encounter in each of the four films made by Arkansas director Jeff Nichols. His men are troubled, burdened, and eventually consumed by an unhealthy urge to either protect their family, friends, or legacy.
Unlike the best films of Nichols (this ranks last on his list), Midnight Special does not fully go with the reverberations that such a faithful adherence to a compulsion would lead to. Rather, we are dragged along an erratic journey that fuses a variety of genres (inevitable comparisons to E.T. Will ensue), eventually losing sight of Mr. Nichols’ sweet spot: examining man’s unerring religious devotion to protection and human emotion.
...continue reading »