Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst and newcomer Jaeden Lieberher star in this dazzling, genre-defying sci-fi/chase movie from the director of Mud and Take Shelter.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
“Jeff Nichols [Mud, Take Shelter] is a distinctively Texas filmmaker; his work is giant yet personal, tackling huge ideas on an intimate scale. His latest is a masterful blend of road adventure, family drama, and science fiction, in which two estranged parents, the goons of a Jeffs-like cult leader, and the federal government are all after a remarkable child with inexplicable powers. As with his earlier Take Shelter, Nichols is using his large canvas to ask pressing questions about faith and belief, all the while acknowledging his story’s loudly ticking clock and relentless momentum. The matter-of-fact effects and bluntly efficient action beats are marvels, but the real power here is in the connections between parents and child, and the tenderness of their interactions. Nichols does so many things so well, and all at once, that it sort of takes your breath away.” — Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
“Built around a performance of formidable gravitas from Michael Shannon… Midnight Special confirms Nichols’ uncommon knack for breathing dramatic integrity and emotional depth into genre material. The film also benefits from the formal elegance of its two-act structure, the first part unfolding mainly in the secrecy of night, and the second in the glaring vulnerability of daylight… In all departments, from script to performances to technical execution, Nichols’ film is a rare throwback to mesmerizing sci-fi for grownups.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
“A rivetingly smart and level-headed piece of adventure storytelling, executed with expert tautness.” — Jonathan Romney, Film Comment