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Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, and Kirsten Dunst star in writer/director Jeff Nichols' drama about a father and his eight-year-old son who go on the lam upon discovering that the boy possesses mysterious powers. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Midnight Special's intriguing mysteries may not resolve themselves to every viewer's liking, but the journey is ambitious, entertaining, and terrifically acted.
Riffing on John Carpenter's Starman, writer-director Jeff Nichols has crafted a sci-fi chase film whose gravely naturalistic style adds to its sense of portent.
It all sounds terribly murky, but few filmmakers are as gifted at making you want to peer through the murk.
While this film isn't great in and of itself, it does still manage to impress, and more importantly, it works as a sign of Nichols' potential.
Nichols has earned the right to take big leaps. Even if he doesn't stick the landing, it's a thrill watching him try. He, too, is something special.
What started with a gripping premise slackens and goes limp.
Whenever Alton interacts with anyone besides his parents, Lieberher's attempt to appear as if from another, more developed plane is more often flat and borderline silly than foreboding.
You watch helplessly as the movie goes off the rails, the suspense and excitement leaking out of the enormous tension the early scenes had generated.
The movie has its flaws, but it is nonetheless an intriguing sci-fi entry and an engaging story about family.
The southern landscapes give Midnight Special a down-home realness that compensates for the hot air of its high-concept plot.
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