6.6/10
69,179
247 user 331 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
3,942 ( 161)
3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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
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
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
99 Homes (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A recently unemployed single father struggles to get back his foreclosed home by working for the real estate broker who is the source of his frustration.

Director: Ramin Bahrani
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern
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
Super 8 (2011)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler
Logan Lucky (2017)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Director: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo
Silence I (2016)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Green Room (2015)
Horror | Music | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat
Paterson (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
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 King ... Hannah (Ranch Member) (as Allison King)
Sean Bridgers ... Frederick (Ranch Member)
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

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:

$6,212,282
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because he wanted final cut of the film, Jeff Nichols originally considered to make the film with an independent film studio rather than at Warner Bros Pictures. It wasn't until his last meeting with Warner Bros that he informed them of this. However, the producers at the company still agreed to make the film, due to the small budget needed for it. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end, when the aliens are walking towards the structure, for a split second over Sarah's (Kirsten Dunst) right shoulder, you can see an actor with lights over his/her eyes (the lighting apparatus) See more »

Quotes

Calvin Meyer: Gulf eclipse and the numbers came... 35 47 97 52... buildings tower, the light comes, to know the source of such things is to know our place in the world.
See more »

Connections

Features St. Bears Doll's Hospital (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight Special (Take Me with You)
Written by Ben Nichols
Performed by Lucero featuring Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, John C. Stubblefield, Roy Berry, Rick Steff, James Spake (as Jim Spake) and Scott Thompson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A slow-burning ideas-driven sci-fi that is refreshing, entertaining and pays great homage to the sci-fi's of the late 70's and 80's
30 March 2016 | by gricey_sandgrounderSee all my reviews

Since finding out who was involved, I was definitely excited to see the trailer. I may have only seen one of Jeff Nichols' previous work (Mud), but that was enough for me to the potential in where he could go next.

With a stellar cast also announced, this intriguing sci-fi showed me a trailer with a lot of potential.

Nichols has yet to do sci-fi. But I felt this was a genre that I feel he could succeed in. But maybe not in the mainstream fashion.

A striking opening definitely shows the look that Nichols is going for. We seem to have jumped right in the middle of the story and it is the job of the film-makers to give us subtle bits of info for us to catch-up with the history of why our characters have ended up at this point in time.

As the film goes on there are moments of surrealism that is never over-blown and does not de-tract from the pacing and tone. Whilst trying to work everything out, there was a particular scene about two-thirds of the way through that got me completely hooked. Then we get a pleasing conclusion for every character involved that also leaves some questions opened to our interpretation.

Firstly, it pays wonderful homage to those sci-fi's of the late 70's and 80's. You can see similarities from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Starman and even FLight Of The Navigator and Cocoon. Nichols and his team even show moments of mixing in religion and sci-fi. When done well, it gives us very interesting ideas and theories and this done it in spades.

Nichols regular leading man Michael Shannon captures his character so well and gives us powerfully subtle performance. Partnering with Joel Edgerton, it was a strong on-screen partnership and made me confident that we were in safe hands for these two to carry this film. A big bonus was the wonderful acting from Jaeden Liberher. The 12- year old child actor gave us great moments throughout and is certainly a big draw. It was also nice to see Kirsten Dunst. After being busy with TV work over the last couple of years, her solid supportive role keeps me interested in any of her future projects. The only other notable performance worth mention was Adam Driver. For the short time he was on screen, the fitted the tone perfectly and also gave nice moments of comedy relief.

The general look of the film was gorgeous to look at. The use of lighting in the night scenes felt soothing and the cinematography made the most of those moments. The action scenes are well made, especially in the final act.

It is an entertaining slow burning sci-fi that leaves us wanting to know more about it. Nichols gave us a great ideas driven story whilst still managing to feel like it is done on a small scale. I loved it that it began in the middle of the story, and that we're catching as the films goes a long, and most importantly they are not spoon feeding us the info along the way. I also liked the execution of mixing in religion with sci-fi that felt so real. The performances in every department were spot on, the score is wonderful and it really does take you back the 70's and 80's with those similarities to sci-fi's that were released back then.

I was really unsure whether to give it a 7 or an 8. But I think the main reason why I eventually gave it a 7 was the pacing. It was too slow for my liking. I like a lot of slow burners. But there were too many moments that lingered too much in my opinion. I think this did not quite work enough for me in this type of film to give it an 8. However, this is an entertaining watch and goes into ideas that we do not see enough.


12 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 247 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed