AWFJ Movie of the Week, March 14 – March 20: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

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Midnight Special poster Opening March 18, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Midnight Special, the latest cerebral sci-fi thriller from young writer/director Jeff Nichols starring Kirsten Dunst and Michael Shannon. Read on…

Nichols has made a career out of penning and directing intelligent, effective human dramas, from his 2007 debut Shotgun Stories through 2011’s psychological masterpiece Take Shelter (also starring Shannon) and 2012’s Mud, which featured a stunning turn from Matthew McConaughey. His latest follows in the same vein, this story of a father (Shannon) and son (Jaeden Lieberher) on the run due to the boy’s striking capabilities, which have drawn the attention of a shadowy cult. The film is both an intimate family portrait and a captivating thriller.

Kirsten Dunst gives another powerful performance as the young boy’s desperate mother, while the cast is rounded out by Sam Shepherd as the cult leader and Joel Edgerton as a state trooper supporting the family in their bid for freedom.

Having wowed audiences on the festival circuit, Midnight Special is sure to enthrall cinemagoers and marks Nichols as a filmmaker of extraordinary vision and talent.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Thelma Adams: My pick is Midnight Special. I’ve seen it and it’s a terrific little scifi thriller family saga. While Kirsten Dunst plays a mother and it is not the lead role, I will watch her in anything. Since Melancholia, she has become one of my favorite actresses. This movie puts the E in eerie.

Jennifer Merin: Stunning relationship-driven scifi drama that challenges commonplace perceptions about the scifi genre. Terrific and fully plausible effects. Kirsten Dunst is terrific!

Film Details:
Title: Midnight Special
Directors: Jeff Nichols
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Running Time: 111 minutes
Language: English
Shooting Location(s): New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Principal Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepherd, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver
Screenwriters: Jeff Nichols
Production Companies: Tri-State Pictures, Warner Bros
Distributor: Warner Bros
Official Site and Trailer

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Candice Frederick, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of March 14 – March 20, 2016

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.