Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD June 21, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
“Midnight Special” follows a father, Roy (Michael Shannon), who goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), a boy with mysterious powers that even Roy himself cannot comprehend.
What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Risking everything, Roy is committed to helping Alton reach his ultimate purpose, whatever that might be and whatever it costs, in a story that takes audiences on a perilous journey from Texas to the Florida coast, while exploring the bonds of love and trust, and the nature of faith.
‘Midnight Special’ tells the powerful story of a boy who is quite unlike the rest of us and a father, mother and friend who are willing to do whatever may be necessary to prevent anyone from harming their boy, or worse. We join their story with the unique Alton (Lieberher) already on the run accompanied by his birth father Roy (Shannon) and longtime friend Lucas (Edgerton). Now, Roy and his small group of trusted accomplices must fight their way to their intended destination before it’s too late while being continuously pursued by folks from the Ranch where Roy and Alton previous lived, in addition to a mass of law enforcement officials who have become aware of Alton’s mysterious abilities and will stop at nothing to acquire him for themselves.
Written and directed by talented filmmaker Jeff Nichols (Mud) who does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘Midnight Special’ guiding his own script with a true beauty and perfectly capturing the tension and passion always present throughout. The film also owes a great deal of a credit to the remarkably talented individuals comprising the cast which includes Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel), Joel Edgerton (The Gift), Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), Jaeden Lieberher(St. Vincent) and Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) along with a number more, all of whom providing highly capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Midnight Special’ is a fantastic film that is brimming with heartfelt emotion and a strong cast of characters that will immediately pull you in and bring you along on their painful and mesmerizing journey, while also providing some beautiful and spectacular sci-fi action and intrigue. A perfect recreation of the beloved science fiction films of the 80’s and reflecting numerous aspects from such classic films as E.T. and many more, Jeff Nichols has created a powerful, riveting and downright gorgeous film both in its surroundings and relatable characters which are portrayed by some of the most talented individuals around including Michael Shannon. ‘Midnight Special’ is a remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable ride that any fan of similarly themed science fiction films of the 80’s or simply fantastic filmmaking in general will definitely not want to miss out on.
Overall, ‘Midnight Special’ is a beautiful, emotionally powerful and at times quite tense throwback to the fantastic sci-fi chase films that were so prevalent around the 1980’s and talented writer/director Jeff Nichols recreates those gems wonderfully here, while also delivering one remarkably enjoyable and gorgeous film overall. I would highly recommend ‘Midnight Special’ to anyone who appreciates notable and original filmmaking as well as fans of the marvelous films that inspired it, the latter of which especially will not dare to miss out on this one.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Midnight Special’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic, providing a sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within. It holds up remarkably even during the numerous darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible (although some of these moments are certainly best viewed in a dark environment). Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. complimented by a more than adequate birthrate that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a consistently crisp, clean and often quite aggressive audio presentation. Utilizing all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the films score, along with some action related auditory effects that also provide an impressive workout for the subwoofer, while never allowing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Midnight Special’ includes a deeper exploration of the key characters in ‘Origins’ Featurettes for ‘Lucas’ ‘Sarah’ ‘Alton’ and Sevier’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a behind the scenes Featurette ‘The Unseen World’ (running approximately 5 minutes) which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew discussing the film.