• Guy Jeffries

Midnight Special *SPOILER ALERT* Review


Director: Jeff Nichols.

Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Lieberher, Adam Driver, Sam Shepard.

A very intriguing and often confusing road trip which keeps you wondering wtf is going on. So much so, the film itself is pretty much an extended version of the trailer. You kinda get the gist of what's happening and it's well paced to keep you on your toes pondering about who's who and what's what. It's well shot adding a seriousness to the film that is normally lacking from other sci-fi thriller movies. The atmospheric score gives it an eerie, looming feeling creating enough suspense to make you wonder even more!

It's good to see Jaeden Lieberher again so soon after St. Vincent. Talented young actor who reminds me of the 80s little legend Barret Oliver famed for D.A.R.Y.L., The Neverending Story and Cocoon; which oddly shares the same essence of Midnight Special. The film does actually feel like a really decent mash-up of Cocoon, The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) and Knowing with a gloss of No Country For Old Men. All films I now what to watch again because of this.

It's a great cast, all small parts equal to each other and a minimalist script which doesn't give much away to the unveiling mystery. Shannon and Edgerton are brilliant, playing Dad and Dad's best childhood friend come uncle like protector. You don't see much of Dunst, and like everyone else, she doesn't say much either. Driver is a good, awkward NSA data analyst looking much like a younger Jeff Goodblum scientist. Even with the low word count and multiple key parts, you understand the characters pretty quickly whilst still wondering what's going on.

I started to think this was a darker version of Superman's childhood years before he realised he was super. The glimpses of the boy's ability can be quite scary, not horrifying; more bewilderment and intrigue kinda scary. He behaves similarly to being possessed by something otherworldly and his special relationship with whoever these others are, freakishly reminds me of Caleb from Knowing. And one of the people chasing them is like an older, retired version of No Country's air pistol shooting Anton.

Not seen anything else from Director Jeff Nichols but heard Mud was quite good and if this is anything to go by, he's a good director. This films being shot in only 40 days. On Driver's first day of shooting he apparently received news that he got the part for Kylo Ren and not sure if it was intentional but there's a mention of 'Red Sabre' maybe being a hint. Also the reference to Superman which seems ironic being that Shannon plays General Zod in both the recent Man of Steel movies. I suppose the ending is original, different maybe which is good.

Not quite what I was expecting, but still leaves you with loads of unanswered questions which I believe is done on purpose for the sole effect. Makes you leave the cinema still pondering why, who and what? Why is it always children they pick and who are the 'they'? It's a good watch and it would sit next to 10 Cloverfield Lane on my shelve however don't be expecting all the answers and I doubt there's a planned sequel.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 8

Performance: 8

Direction: 8

Story: 7

Script: 7

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 6

Job Description: 4

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

62% 6/10

#JeffNichols #MichaelShannon #JoelEdgerton #KirstenDunst #JaedenLieberher #AdamDriver #SamShepard #BillCamp #DavidWingo