6.6/10
72,742
271 user 340 critic

Midnight Special (2016)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.

Director:

Jeff Nichols

Writer:

Jeff Nichols
Reviews
Popularity
3,189 ( 521)
3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Shannon ... Roy
Joel Edgerton ... Lucas
Kirsten Dunst ... Sarah
Adam Driver ... Sevier
Jaeden Martell ... Alton (as Jaeden Lieberher)
Bill Camp ... Doak
Scott Haze ... Levi
Sam Shepard ... Calvin Meyer
Paul Sparks ... Agent Miller
David Jensen ... Elden
Sharon Landry ... Merrianne (Doak's Wife)
Dana Gourrier ... Sharon Davison (Councelor)
Sharon Garrison ... Jane Adams (Sarah's Mother)
Allison Gabriel ... Hannah (Ranch Member) (as Allison King)
Sean Bridgers ... Frederick (Ranch Member)
Learn more

More Like This 

Take Shelter (2011)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham
Mud (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland
Loving (2016)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court's historic 1967 decision.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

Director: Colm McCarthy
Stars: Sennia Nanua, Fisayo Akinade, Dominique Tipper
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the twilight of the 1950s, on one fateful night in New Mexico, young switchboard operator Fay and charismatic radio DJ Everett discover a strange audio frequency that could change their small town and the future forever.

Director: Andrew Patterson
Stars: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer
The Gift VI (2015)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young married couple's lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.

Director: Joel Edgerton
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Stars: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.
Colossal (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Leaving small-town life in her dust, Adele moves wide-eyed to New York City, and her best friend Sara is stuck in their boring hometown. Separate for the first time in their lives, the film... See full summary »

Director: Devyn Waitt
Stars: Vanessa Ray, Megan Guinan, Lynn Cohen
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son. Then a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

Director: Trey Edward Shults
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo
Long Way Back Home (Video 2018)
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sing Sideways in the Style of "Darryl Worley". Stingray Karaoke Country, 2001, English, Key D.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Michael Shannon, Garrett Hedlund, Scoot McNairy
Edit

Storyline

Alton Meyer is a boy unlike any other in the world with bizarrely powerful abilities and strange weaknesses. In the middle of the night, his father, Roy, spirits him away from the isolated cult that practically worships him and is determined to regain him at all costs. At the same time, Alton's abilities have been noticed by the US government as well and they are equally insistent on getting to the bottom of this mystery with Paul Sevier of the National Security Agency leading the Federal pursuit with his own questions. These rival hunts force father and son into a desperate run towards a looming date with destiny that could change everything. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's not like us.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in 40 days. See more »

Goofs

On the first night, they're supposedly in hiding but they take a motel room adjacent to the motel office, and instead of waiting until dark, they leave at dusk in a car parked within easy view of the desk clerk when they could have parked right outside the door of their motel room. See more »

Quotes

Sevier: Is it too much to ask you to punch me in the face? No? Never mind.
See more »


Soundtracks

A Season in Waters
Written by Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist
Performed by From the Mouth of the Sun
Courtesy of Experimedia Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Terrific opening scene
18 March 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Austin-based filmmaker Jeff Nichols serves up some of the familiar themes of spiritualism and parenting seen in his first three films: Mud (2012), Take Shelter (2011), Shotgun Stories (2007), but this time he goes a bit heavier on the science fiction … while maintaining his focus on the individual.

An exceptional opening scene kicks off the story, and Nichols makes sure we are alert by forcing us to absorb and assemble the slew of clues flying at us … an Amber alert, cardboard on the windows of a cheap motel, a news report tying us to San Angelo, Texas, duct tape on the peep hole, a duffel bag of weapons, two anxiety-filled men, and a goggled-boy under a white sheet who seems extremely calm in an otherwise hectic environment. We learn a lot, yet many questions remain.

As the boy and the two men speed off down the backroads, the setting switches to an eerily calm Calvin Meyer (the always great Sam Shepard), who is the leader of a religious cult similar to the Branch Davidians. "The Ranch" is desperate to get the boy back, and we learn they worship the numbers and words the boy has "received" from above. An FBI agent (Paul Sparks) leads the raid on the compound and takes us to an interrogation of Calvin by NSA analyst Paul Sevier (Adam Driver).

Alternating between sci-fi special effects and an "on the run" story line, we slowly pick up more details about the boy Alton (Jaeden Lieberther), as well as the men with him – his father Roy (Michael Shannon) and Roy's childhood friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton). It's not long before they reunite with Alton's mother Sarah (Kirsten Dunst) and we really start to comprehend just how different and special Alton is.

It's easy to see the influence of such films as Starman, E.T.: The ExtraTerrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. We are reminded that our society inevitably assumes the worst when something we don't understand appears right in front of us. The Ranch sees the boy as a savior, and the government labels him a weapon. But it's Shannon who captures the protective determination of a father trying to do the right thing for his son. Shannon again flashes the best 'pained' expression in the business, but it's young Lieberther (so terrific in St. Vincent) who allows us to accept the father/son story in spite of the bright white lasers shooting from his eyeballs.

There are plenty of unanswered questions – not the least of which is, how did two "normal" parents end up with this "special" son? The visuals near the end are impressive to see on screen, but don't appear to have much impact on the final questioning of Lucas or our understanding of how it all happened. It should also be noted that the piano score is especially impactful during both the quiet and thrilling moments. Director Nichols is a talented idea man, but he does leave us wanting more details. (That's his brother singing the song over the closing credits.)


25 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 271 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Greece

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 2016 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Jeff Nichols/Sci-Fi Project See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$190,012, 20 March 2016

Gross USA:

$3,712,282

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,740,647
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed