Midnight Special Review

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


I went into this movie without any real knowledge of the premise or the plot and I can honestly say I was very pleasantly surprised at almost every turn of this movie. Midnight Special is written and directed by Jeff Nichols who also directed another movie I enjoyed a few years ago called Mud which you should also check out. I’ll begin by saying this movie is not going to be for everyone; I can imagine that not everyone is going to like this movie. Without spoiling anything this movie leaves the audience with many questions and a lot to interpretation and imagination, which can be seen as one of this movie’s strengths.

I loved that this movie is so well paced and thrilling right from the get go and never lets up until the very end. You are immediately thrown into the movie with barely any setup or exposition and you as the audience are left to try and figure out what is going on by listening to and watching what the characters are doing and saying. It’s actually refreshing to watch a movie and not have things spoon fed to you in enormous amounts of exposition dialogue.  This element is great as it adds to the tension and suspense throughout the entire movie because you don’t quite know what is going to happen next. I loved that feeling of trying to figure out what is going on and not know what to really expect next. I swear there were some moments where I literally jumped out of my seat because I was caught completely off guard.

The other aspect that really sets the great tone and mood of this movie is the acting. I absolutely loved every major character had great performances all around. Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton as Roy and Lucas are awesome I love this moment early in the movie where they were confronted by a state trooper while trying get Alton away and the way they both handle the situation really tells you what their characters are. Adam Driver was great as the NSA Agent Sevier he brought a sense of levity and humor to an otherwise very tense movie. Even though I’ve never really been of Kirsten Dunst she actually was pretty good in this movie even though she didn’t really have too much to do in the movie. Jaeden Lieberher the boy who plays Alton himself I gotta say was really damn good and I don’t mean just for a child actor. I really believed him when he was struggling with his powers and then when he began to understand them you could really see it in his acting how he was more confident and brighter.  

Midnight Special really makes you think and/or imagine. It doesn’t come right out and tell you exactly what Alton’s special powers are or where they come from, in fact, it doesn’t really come out and tell you anything. I feel like that isn’t really the point of the movie though it deals more with how different people would react to a person with special abilities that weren’t a superhero or a god. You get all sorts of view points in the movie from the cult community where Alton was born to US government and their different levels belief and interpretation of what Alton’s abilities are. There were a few things that I didn’t quite feel landed that well. The whole cult story line didn’t really get any resolution as in just sort of abruptly and unceremoniously stops and you never get to see how the events of the end affected them, but in the end that’s a really minor point and I’m nitpicking.

Midnight Special is a great suspense drama that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat while it gets your imagination into overdrive trying to figure out what’s happening. Combined with an awesome cast and great acting this makes for an interesting movie experience.


Should you see it?: Yes!

Theater Worthy: It can wait

Final Grade: B