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Midnight Special

Coming Soon

There seems to be a typical blueprint for movies that compels the majority of the studios to just churn out carbon copy after carbon copy without a second thought. Since the movie industry is a big business at the end of the day, their decisions should not be unilaterally bashed. Without a substantial working capital it becomes increasingly difficult to take a chance on the “little guy” from time to time. Because of this, rarely does the audience get to experience something new and refreshing. Warner Bros. kind of bucks that trend with Midnight Special which has seen its initial very limited release finally widened to cover Metro Detroit. While traditional in some senses, this sci-fi drama has some unexpected creativity to it.
Shrouded in the unknown, Midnight Special starts off with very little explanation as to what is happening on the screen. Two men are on the run with a young boy in their company. The two men in question are Roy (Michael Shannon) and Lucas (Joel Edgerton). The child, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), we learn very early into the movie is Roy’s son. Roy and Lucas are attempting to evade two sets of hostiles. The commune in which Roy and his son were living are very anxious to get the child back for reasons that become clearer as the plot plays out. The other group that is out to find this child is the FBI. What’s so special about a young boy that everyone up in arms? That is the mystery of Midnight Special. And with patience, a great deal of it at times, all will be revealed.
It seems that you LITERALLY cannot have a Jeff Nichols’ directed movie without Michael Shannon so it should come as no surprise that Shannon is once again front and center. In every one of Nichols’ previous movies (Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012)) have all featured the veteran actor. And it doesn’t stop there. Nichols’ next movie, Loving which is slated for November 4th also stars Michael Shannon alongside another familiar face from Midnight Special, Joel Edgerton. Actually there are a few more actors that Nichols’ has worked with in other features. It would seem that Nichols knows what he likes and isn’t worried about casting the same people multiple times. And it’s that bond that he has with his actors that allows him to get solid performances from them.
Midnight Special is very well-acted. In addition to Shannon and Edgerton, they also share the screen with the likes of Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Shepard, Paul Sparks and Bill Camp. All of these actors come together to help tell an immersive winding tale of a boy with special gifts that everyone wants a part of. Only a select few are looking out for his best interests in the hopes of keeping him out of the spotlight. The plot reveals small pieces of the puzzle at a time, and while it might feel a bit “long-winded” in parts, the final results are still gratifying. If you’re familiar at all with any of Jeff Nichols’ previous movies you’d come to expect this.
If you’re looking for a story with depth and is well acted, Midnight Special should supply two hours of feeling content, complete with a payoff by the movie’s end. Take a break from all of those big budget commercial flicks and switch things up by enjoying a work with actual depth and meaning. To cheap gags or CGI overload to be found here. Check it out in theaters now in theaters everywhere across Metro Detroit.

Midnight Special is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler


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