Jeff Nichols is a great filmmaker. That Midnight Special comes close to greatness is undeniable – its first hour is a deliriously inventive, utterly arresting cosmic thriller that keeps its cards very close to its chest. If only the final act didn’t reveal its bluff.
Sadly what opens as a lean and original slice of modern science fiction ends up an excessive array of ideas that don’t quite cohere; that its climax bears a striking resemblance to Tomorrowland is clumsy and unfortunate. That said, when it works, Midnight Special is unquestionably bold filmmaking, often breathtaking and sometimes really quite beautiful.
Beguiling and enchanting, Midnight Special is not lacking in ambition even if it isn’t always fully realised. Often exquisite, other times frustrating, Nichols’ latest once again proves his considerable talents.
CAST: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher
DIRECTOR: Jeff Nichols
WRITER: Jeff Nichols
SYNOPSIS: A cat-and-mouse thriller with a science-fiction twist in which a father and his unusually gifted son go on the run after learning that he possesses otherworldly powers.
Midnight Special was reviewed as part of One Room With A View’s coverage of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival, which runs 11-21 February 2016.