Midnight Special

Scale matters. Writer-director Jeff Nichols has kept close and tight reins on an outsized vision in his previous films.

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click to enlarge Jaeden Lieberher in 'Midnight Special'
Jaeden Lieberher in 'Midnight Special'

Scale matters. Writer-director Jeff Nichols has kept close and tight reins on an outsized vision in his previous films. His breakout second feature, Take Shelter, starred Michael Shannon as a regular family man plagued by dreams of an approaching apocalypse that slow-builds into a taut thriller without engulfing the world in CGI flames. Five years later, he’s back with Shannon along for Midnight Special, another speculative sci-fi ride, this time as a father on the run with his young son (Jaeden Lieberher) who is suspected of having special powers or potentially being from another world. The premise, mixing family and otherworldly fantasy, screams Spielberg, but Nichols refuses to play it big and bold, seeking to make good on the promise of offering us something truly special. (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) (PG-13) Not screened in time for review

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