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Midnight Special

Roy (played by Michael Shannon) and his friend Lucas (Joel Etherton) are on the run with Roy’s son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who has some kind of special powers, to some unknown but very specific destination. The story is told from three different angles – one of them involving a cult; the second involving the FBI and the National Security Administration; and the third, Alton. The FBI/NSA and the cult leaders have their own reasons for trying to find Alton that become apparent as the film unfolds. I loved the movie for its technical aspects, its taut script, and the director’s ability to create and tell a really suspenseful and engrossing story; I was at the edge of my seat most of the movie as Roy, Lucas and Alton stay one step ahead of everyone else. The acting is superb, especially by Shannon and Lieberher, whose chemistry charged every scene in which they were together.  It is also a film that felt very contemporary in its story about family. Big thumbs up from me for a film that is a 21st century sci-fi in the way of Close Encounters was for the 1970’s; it was for me more about the story than the actual sci-fi aspects. And I just don’t think Michael Shannon has ever been anything but excellent in his roles. (2016; 4.5 stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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