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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Michael Shannon
Jessica Chastain
Shea Whigham.
Directors
Jeff Nichols.
Screenwriters
Jeff Nichols.
Running Time
120 minutes

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Take Shelter
A storm is coming...


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Plot
Blue-collar worker Curtis LaForche (Shannon) lives with his wife Samantha (Chastain) and their young daughter in the suburbs of Ohio. A series of strange goings-on in the LaForche's home town seem to signify impending disaster. Curtis quickly starts stockpiling food but his paranoia soon frightens his family...


Review
Take Shelter
When an ordinary Joe (Michael Shannon) begins seeing dark, ominous signs and portents of catastrophe, he doesn’t know himself whether they presage an imminent natural disaster on a big scale or a personal mental breakdown. His dumbfounded, shrieking wife (Jessica Chastain again! and good again) berates him and his ‘friends’ turn vicious when he obsessively commences building an underground shelter to protect his family. Nichols’ intense drama is disturbing and unsettling, while Shannon, no stranger to nutters, delivers a tour de force as a man cracking up under the strains of normality. It’s overlong, and the realistic depiction of a working-class community falters in everyone’s failure to understand or sympathise with this man. But while you are praying for a really big storm to vindicate him, the palpable dread that builds is extraordinary.


Verdict
Terrific. Michael Shannon delivers a fractured everyman who'll stay with you long after the final frame.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Take Shelter
Empire Star Rating

RE: RE:

I'm really surprised no-one's given serious thought to the ending being metaphorical rather than an actual premonition 'come to life'. To me it's telling that on the DVD commentary Michael Shannon and Jeff Nichols the director refused to say one way or the other whether the ending was real or just a dream. Sure, you could say they did that to foster debate and add an element of mystique but I really think it is ambiguous and in no way conclusively leans either way. To me, it's another one of hi... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 21:37, 25 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: superdan I enjoyed it, Michael Shannon is excellent in it. It is a bit of a slog though, and I'm still not entirely convinced I understand the ending ote] **************8ENDING SPOILERS***************8888 Watched it last night and I didn't like the ending - at all. Like most, I was expecting it to end with him opening the doors of the shelter then just cutting to credits before we saw anything - leaving you to make your own mind up. Like someone else has said, the mo... More

Posted by discodave101 at 15:02, 20 September 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I enjoyed it, Michael Shannon is excellent in it. It is a bit of a slog though, and I'm still not entirely convinced I understand the ending ... More

Posted by superdan at 11:23, 23 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Can't help but feel this is a an hour long Twilight Zone episode extended to a full runtime. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 11:07, 23 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Hmm... watched this tonight. Mixed thoughts, really. I was really, reaaaally hoping they wouldn't end the film in the way they did as it completely changes the film that goes before it, which might be the point but I for one can't see the point in spending an entire two (ovelong) hours convincing the audience that the guy has mental issues when really, oh no its some sort of supernatural ability. Agree with the comments above in that its a frustrating watch, most of the film's dramatic mo... More

Posted by UTB at 20:43, 19 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: The REAL Bozz you wanna look at it, and he didn't confide in nobody. Meanwhile his life, family, job, social life are all going to hell. I just didn't buy into it. You'd tell someone and while he does eventually it again felt more like a tool so the film could ease into the final actote] One of the most common traits of mental illness is that you do your utmost ]to confide in anyone. ... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 00:20, 05 April 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

For me this was a frustrating watch. It was a great idea but the execution felt so forced. All the times he was having the visions or premonitions, however you wanna look at it, and he didn't confide in nobody. Meanwhile his life, family, job, social life are all going to hell. I just didn't buy into it. You'd tell someone and while he does eventually it again felt more like a tool so the film could ease into the final act. It's decent and well worth a watch, with a gut punch of a ending but ov... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The REAL Bozz at 21:30, 04 April 2012 | Report This Post


RE:

possible spoilery stuff below **as really looking forward to this because everything sounded like it couldn't lose. Unfortunately it never lived up to my expectations or the positive reviews, becuase come the abrupt ending, all I felt was an overwhelming sense of "so, what was the point of all that?". I like ambiguous endings that one can discuss and debate, but because this had a definite and most unambiguous ending, it just created a lot more of the wrong sort of questions (like "why... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 13:13, 22 March 2012 | Report This Post


Incredible movie! As much a horror movie as a drama. Loved the performances from Shannon and Chastain. The academy should be ashamed for not nominating him as Best Actor. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Turd Ferguson at 14:22, 15 February 2012 | Report This Post


Stunning

A fabulous performance by Shannon and a building sense of dread and unease make this a film that really stays with you. Excellent low-budget gem. Movie Man Dan ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danclay77 at 07:10, 11 January 2012 | Report This Post


The scariest film since We Need To Talk About Kevin

a stunning film from start to finish. an intense movie on overcoming mental illness within the family unit. contains a beautiful ending showing the family's acceptance of his illness ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmFOCUS at 16:30, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

The problem with the ending is you know what is going to happen, once the film doesn't stop at where the natural point is. It can only go one way. Just felt like they lost steam. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 15:53, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

I have to disagree with those that weren't happy with the ending. I thought it was absolutely perfect. The false ending 10-15 minutes or so before would have worked well and I truly believed the film was going to end there only for it to carry on and deliver a much more satisfying finale. Overall a stunning film that, at times, reminded me of Donnie Darko and Close Encounters. Only slightly mind you as this was a truly original piece of cinema. Great performances throughout with the only d... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChudMonkey at 13:26, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

I thought this film was pretty darn good and really keeps you g on"h out. I too loved (as mentioned up thread) the moody, atmospheric sky scenes. Shannon delights and plays the character well. I partly agree also with girv, in relation to the ending being somewhat disappointing. You feel slightly robbed. (Slightly I said). verall ... More

Posted by NinjaShortbread212 at 02:24, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

Agree with most folks - the ending is flat though and disappoints. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 00:59, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

Agree with the above, excellent and subtle portrayal of a 'man on the edge' (or is he?) fable with a solid support cast. Loved the gloomy mood and foreboding, some great storm sequences. Shannon should be in for an oscar nom at the least. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Spaldron at 00:18, 29 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

Excellent psychological drama about a man deeply conflicted over whether his vivid nightmares of an unforgiving mother nature are a result of a hereditary mental illness or a premonition of an impending catastrophe, resulting in his stable and happily married life gradually unraveling. Michael Shannon, an actor certainly accustomed to playing a character of an eccentric disposition (Revolutionary Road, The Runaways, My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?, Boardwalk Empire and many more) delivers argu... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 13:37, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

Really wanted to like this, but somehow the film didn't quite work for me. I like slow films, but this ends up being repetitive by hammering the same plot points home again and again. I really found the mid-section a slog. Unlike some others I liked the ending though. Take Shelter strongly reminded me of an early, now mostly forgotten Peter Weir film called The Last Wave, which managed to weave an engaging mystery plot into a similar premise of a man having visions of a cataclysmic catastr... More

Posted by Herr Schnitzel at 11:46, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: One of the best films of the year

Caught this on Friday in CIneworld. The good doctor K gave it a good review, and I went in with high-ish expectations. D: -l Shannon gives a brilliantly restrained performance of a man teetering on the edge of insanity. In fact the entire cast is nearly flawless: each having their moment to shine. -For a low budget film the SFX are excellent and more importantly: necessary. -Lack of any noticeable score keeps the gloomy atmosphere building, and doesn't take away from the ac... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by st3veebee at 10:19, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


One of the best films of the year

If this isn't showing at your local moroniplex, take a piss on their foyer. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BatSpider at 17:49, 27 November 2011 | Report This Post



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