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Take Shelter (2011)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  10 November 2011 (Croatia)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 60,663 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 215 user | 352 critic | 33 from

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Randall ...
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Scott Knisley ...
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Special Ed Teacher
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Woman in Road
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Man in Road
Marianna Alacchi ...
Bargain Hunter
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News Anchor
Bob Maines ...
Walter Jacobs


Curtis, a father and husband, is starting to experience bad dreams and hallucinations. Assuming mental illness, he seeks medical help and counseling. However, fearing the worst, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in their backyard. This storm shelter threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he builds it to save his family's life. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Far away from the cruel world. [Scandinavian DVD.]


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Croatia)  »

Also Known As:

Atormentado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$52,041 (USA) (30 September 2011)


$1,729,969 (USA) (16 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tova Stewart, the little girl who plays Hannah, is deaf in real life, and so are both her parents. See more »


When Curtis has his seizure, the time on the nightstand clock changes from 2:23 to 2:30, and then back to 2:28 (which then changes to 2:29 on camera). See more »


[first lines]
Curtis: [to daughter] No, no, no. Don't feed the dog, darling.
See more »


Featured in The Good Wife: The Dream Team (2012) See more »


Written & Performed by Ben Nichols
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Slow moving but completely worth it!
6 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It seems that art films come in all shapes and sizes these days. If you look hard enough you'll find small independent art films within any genre. Take Shelter is a film you will find amongst dramatic thrillers, and it is definitely one you should seek out. It stars Michael Shannon as Curtis, a middle class family man working on the pipeline in Ohio. He leads a capable life where he must cope with his monetary issues as well as his deaf daughter. But he makes the most of it and lives a life of relative ease and compassion for his family. However, things become complicated when he starts seeing apocalyptic visions of a terrible storm he believes is on its way. The dreams and visions make his life very difficult and it becomes increasingly more stressful. Curtis must fight a battle within himself as he tries to figure out if these visions are meaningful or if he is just going crazy, as well as with his family and friends who become more disconnected from him as his sanity seems to deteriorate before their eyes. Take Shelter is a harrowing, dramatic, and slow building film that will surely amaze you once it is all over.

Take Shelter is a film that moves so slowly and builds so dramatically that one begins to wonder if we're every getting to the end. It's an incredibly quiet and sincerely somber film. We spend almost the entire movie honing in on Michael Shannon's powerful facial expressions and the deep thought going into the story. It progresses so slowly with a build up that pushes its way through molasses.

I'll admit that I was getting worried about this film not being as good as I expected it to be. I was afraid it might not live up to my expectations and that the payoff wouldn't be worth the crawling build up. But one you reach the end you will be incredibly satisfied. The payoff is incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. It could not have been executed more precisely. It plays to something bigger than what you could have ever expected from this fantastic film. Just as my mind began to slip away from Take Shelter it ended with such a deep and deafening bang that my eyes flew open to realize the incredible film I had just sat through.

Take Shelter might not look like much at first, but it turns out to be a tremendous film. It's smart, engaging, fascinating, and brutally sincere. This is a must see film for 2011. Depending on your attention span you may want to give up about an hour and a half in, but if you stick around for the end you will be very satisfied. I guarantee it.

114 of 161 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The ending explained (There is only one concrete interpretation) griffon652
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The metaphoric ending Crissaegrim
Good job ruining a great movie throwaway50000
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Writer/director's take on ending finny06
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