Silent J’s review:
For years now, I always believed Viggo Mortensen was the very best actor working today. If any actor comes close to giving Viggo a run for his money, it's Michael Shannon.
Michael Shannon feels so perfect for the role. There's something about him that makes you completely believe he is a tortured soul. His emotions are subtle and his presence is just so intense. He presents such a sense of desperation and paranoia and you can feel that whatever is inside of him is bound to spontaneously combust. He feels real and makes the film feel real. It's one of those speechless performances that words cannot do justice to. He is simply outstanding. It's a crime he was'nt nominated for an Oscar. Speaking of the Oscars, Jessica Chastain may have been nominated for The Help, but I think this was the better performance that deserved a nod. Of course, with all of the fantastic performances in so many films last year, I'd personally give her like 5 noms but she gives an amazingly subdued and calm performance. The two, along with the girl who plays the daughter, have great chemistry. You feel and understand their bond. You completely buy into them being a family and the terrific acting amongst the three make for some upliftingly happy as well as tremendously heartbreaking moments.
I love how the story plays out. The way the narrative is told makes you wonder, and even second guess a few times, is there really an apocalypse coming and Shannon's character is the only one who can see it or is it all in his head. It's masterfully compelling, spellbinding and thought provoking storytelling made even better with terrific direction on Jeff Nichols behalf. The subtleness of the story, the dialogue, and the direction creates a sense of paranoia, dread, and ominous terror. It's so simple, yet so powerful.
A simple, yet very effective mix between drama and thriller. It sucks you in from the beginning and and never lets go until the shocking conclusion. A masterpiece in the making.