'Midnight Special' Film Review: Michael Shannon'south Performance Is Following Level

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 11:55 PM

Michael Shannon plays Roy, the father of a youthful boy named Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) who's powers not of this world. The legend begins with Roy and his childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), kidnapping Alton from “The Ranch,” which resembles some sort of commune but turns out to be more of a cult, devoted to Alton, whom they believe is their savior.

'Midnight Special' Film Review: Michael Shannon'south Performance Is Following Level

The simple, modest-budget, indie sci-fi look and perceive of "Midnight Special" is certainly portion of its appeal, but that’s hardly what defines writer-director Jeff Nichols’ first studio film.

Michael Shannon plays Roy, the father of a youthful boy named Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) who's powers not of this world. The legend begins with Roy and his childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), kidnapping Alton from “The Ranch,” which resembles some sort of commune but turns out to be more of a cult, devoted to Alton, whom they believe is their savior.

Mind you, they don’t blindly believe the boy has powers: the boy really does have powers, love beams of light that shoot out of his mouth and eyes. He's the skill to shoot those beams of light into another person’s eyes and create them see and perceive things. He can also shake the earth and cause walls to crumble but doesn’t really know how to control that ability.

Unbeknownst to both The Ranch and Roy, the government’s alert of Alton. But they don’t believe he’s a savior. They think he’s way more risky than that.

Alton needs his father to obtain him to a designated spot on March six, though he’s not quite sure why. On their heels is The Ranch, willing to do whatever it takes to obtain the boy back, while the government is desperate to obtain their hands on Alton before he does any damage.

Adam Driver, most recently seen as bad-guy Jedi Kylo Ren in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is grand here as the smartest, calmest guy in the room, an NSA agent tasked with figuring out who Alton is and what he’s up to. Kirsten Dunst, as Alton’s mother, gives one of her more honest and soulful performances, the kind that'll keep casting directors and grand filmmakers on notice.

Also terrific is Shannon, Nichols’ collaborator from "Mud," "Get Shelter" and "Shotgun Stories." These two work well together, and with "Midnight Special," Nichols does something that allows Shannon to get his game to another level.

Nichols, as he's in his previous movies, shows an incredible quantity of restraint. The guy knows the best special effect is when you combine a grand screenplay with grand acting, and that’s what he does here. He’s also expert at building tension though silence and action, number dialogue necessary. Having said that, the finish of "Midnight Special" is kind of cheesy, inconsistent with the rest of the film. Even so, it doesn’t detract too much from the rest of a better than solid effort.

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