DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
Looking at his filmography, I'd say it is impossible to ignore the storytelling talent of Mr. Nichols. No matter where he takes us, his ability to craft compelling stories and characters is one I admire greatly.
And for the better part, Midnight Special is no different. From the opening moments it's clear this is going to be Nichol's love letter to the science fiction genre. The first two acts are nigh perfection. A slow and deliberate show and tell that reveals a lot, yet still keeps you intrigued. As mundane as the plot may seem, it's Nichol's Midas touch and the great character work by the cast that lifts this several cuts above the rest.
Shannon's performance especially is as intense as ever. It is through that intensity and the surprisingly outstanding Lieberher we are treated to the core and beating heart of this film. The beauty of Science Fiction is that it allows artists to explore simple things in a fantastical way. Midnight Special is essentially about a father-son relationship. About the unconditional love that bond can provide. And Shannon and Lieberher make it work and then some.
The final act is somewhat disappointing in that the story only ever seems to go in one direction. And when it finally gets there, the unfulfilled wishes of what might have been take away some of the potential enjoyment.
It's a small blemish though on an otherwise outstanding film.