Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: September 30, 2011
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 197 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
161
Mixed:
19
Negative:
17
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9
MarcDoyleOct 2, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is an incredibly good film which I absolutely would NOT recommend to everyone. It's a remarkably sensitive portrayal of a family dealing with paranoid schizophrenia over a couple of generations. I don't think I've seen Jessica Chastain or Michael Shannon in a better role, and that says a lot because I think each have done outstanding work (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire, The Help, Tree of Life). I also have to mention Shea Whigham. He's such an effective actor - brings so much to every movie he's in, including All the Real Girls, Boardwalk Empire, and The Bad Lieutenant: PONO. Loved his take on Shannon's best friend. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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5
dougreesSep 30, 2011
Am I losing my mind? Between this and the critical approbation showered on that dismal turkey DRIVE, hackneyed phrase be damned, 'cuz here it's appropriate - just WHAT are you folks smoking?? As far as this flick, I'll at least spot you theAm I losing my mind? Between this and the critical approbation showered on that dismal turkey DRIVE, hackneyed phrase be damned, 'cuz here it's appropriate - just WHAT are you folks smoking?? As far as this flick, I'll at least spot you the performances in this one... the very busy Jessica Chastain is remarkable; like Julia Roberts, but with talent. And Michael Shannon anchors this thing in a huge way... any suspense generated in this rather ponderous tale is generated by him and him alone. He is somehow capable of generating heartbreaking warmth and a sense of deep menace simultaneously. Kudos to them, but otherwise, this thing takes a loooooong time to travel virtually nowhere. Expand
3 of 14 users found this helpful311
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8
JUIKERFeb 20, 2012
This movie reminds me of a mostly forgotten film from the '80's called the Rapture starring Mimi Rogers. I think anyone who saw that movie remembers it quite vividly for its uniqueness and its compellingly honest take on evangelicalThis movie reminds me of a mostly forgotten film from the '80's called the Rapture starring Mimi Rogers. I think anyone who saw that movie remembers it quite vividly for its uniqueness and its compellingly honest take on evangelical apocalyptism. This is a great movie for the times and I'm sure we'll remember it ten or twenty years from now (unless the world ends before then, ha). Both leads are excellent, yes, it does tax the patience a bit in parts but it also delivers some unique twists and turns in its two hours. I liked it, I recommend it. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
ScosorNov 6, 2011
A haunting, well acted and near flawless meditation on our national anxiety. The pitch perfect tone and pace invite the viewer to participate fully, and have a stake in the proceedings. Rich, rewarding and worthwhile.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
LynJul 4, 2013
Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. Or in the case of Curtis, that scary storms aren't out to get you. This is a small film but with superb acting that understandably won't appeal to everyone. Pace isJust because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. Or in the case of Curtis, that scary storms aren't out to get you. This is a small film but with superb acting that understandably won't appeal to everyone. Pace is deliberate, to say the least. and not that much really happens. It truly will grip and haunt you if you know someone who's struggled w/ mental illness thanks to brilliant portrayals by Shannon, Chastain and Baker. And you'll want to talk to someone about the ending! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
nutterjrMay 22, 2012
Shannon is once again a pleasure to watch: a very controlled performance of a guy on the brink of insanity, a person dealing with his demons, a person in dispair... A very unsettling story told brilliantly from a promising young director.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
TVJerryNov 8, 2011
Michael Shannon is making a career out of playing dramatic, on-the-edge characters. This time, he's having a gradual encounter with mental illness, He suffers from disturbing nightmares and hallucinations that threaten his safety, whileMichael Shannon is making a career out of playing dramatic, on-the-edge characters. This time, he's having a gradual encounter with mental illness, He suffers from disturbing nightmares and hallucinations that threaten his safety, while trying to hold down a job and be a good father/husband. There's an involving story here, but almost every scene takes too long to unfold. This means the movie is slow and frustrating, although the weather effects are well done. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
Hawkeye_LoriOct 21, 2011
Heard this movie did an incredible job of visually depicting his growing madness, and I wasn't disappointed. Excellent movie, excellent acting, found a few soft holes in the script, especially the interaction with his brother, but all in allHeard this movie did an incredible job of visually depicting his growing madness, and I wasn't disappointed. Excellent movie, excellent acting, found a few soft holes in the script, especially the interaction with his brother, but all in all a very good film. Great camera work. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
bitburnFeb 19, 2012
I must say, this film took me by surprise. Its slow pace, haunting, strange and heavy ambiance makes it slightly tough to watch, but increasingly addictive the more you do watch it. I cannot say more. It's a must see for anyone with an openI must say, this film took me by surprise. Its slow pace, haunting, strange and heavy ambiance makes it slightly tough to watch, but increasingly addictive the more you do watch it. I cannot say more. It's a must see for anyone with an open mind and taste for originality. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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7
wishmasterMay 13, 2012
Great story, different and presents the most realistic character's paranoia, which Shannon knew how to handle and leave with good acting, but Jessica Chestain, my god, she is tremendous, what I loved most were the dialogues and how theyGreat story, different and presents the most realistic character's paranoia, which Shannon knew how to handle and leave with good acting, but Jessica Chestain, my god, she is tremendous, what I loved most were the dialogues and how they managed to give you the feeling you want. very good! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
philoOct 23, 2011
Please don't waste your time or money on this clunker. It would have made a nice 1 hour Twilight Zone episode, but nothing more or better than that. A groaner of an ending. ``YGHhhhhh - wish I stayed home
1 of 7 users found this helpful16
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7
FDT44Feb 24, 2012
Perhaps too drowsy in pace for some, "Take Shelter" is not easy to enjoy; it's a ponderously, slow simmer that yearns for one's admiration, while never losing the viewer's interest. The film echoes a sense of dread and anxiety, channelingPerhaps too drowsy in pace for some, "Take Shelter" is not easy to enjoy; it's a ponderously, slow simmer that yearns for one's admiration, while never losing the viewer's interest. The film echoes a sense of dread and anxiety, channeling Shannon's dark, slightly unhinged, sullen aura, his trademark loomy stature and coarse features; he brings to life a "Curtis" character who is so malleable in his purpose, that no one can tell what's to happen next. Moreover, it feels as if what the audience is seeing has much more depth, as if another layer of subtext is just waiting to show itself. Nichols paints a portrait that is both astounding and riveting to hold on to, grimmacing and shuddering uneasily with anticipation and pent-up apprehension, driven by self-discovery, and down-right frightening in the most eerie of feelings. Although it is Shannon that reels in arguably the best performance of his career, more than worthy of an Oscar nomination, Chastain is incidentally moving, though mostly captured in her spot-lighted contemplation and worry. Notwithstanding near impeccable casting, editing, musical accompaniment, and cinematography, not all will appreciate "Take Shelter" due to its slothlike pace, frustratingly ambiguous, conflicting religious and metaphysical themes and interpretations, and its crazed, schizophrenic sequences. Pack plenty of whitey-tighties, because this one's a nightmare. Expand
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
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3
shaunmedMar 6, 2012
slow and spiritless. the entire movie labors to reach the pinnacle ending which is anticlimactic. you will feel cheated.
1 of 10 users found this helpful19
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8
asthobaskoroApr 1, 2012
Take Shelter is movie about family, dream, fear, power, disaster, supernatural, logic an what you could describe about it. Dazzling performance by two its lead, Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. It could be better and the **** is "shake"Take Shelter is movie about family, dream, fear, power, disaster, supernatural, logic an what you could describe about it. Dazzling performance by two its lead, Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. It could be better and the **** is "shake" your logic. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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4
gfnyDec 5, 2011
Poorly directed, too long, and done on the cheap. Trying to build suspense has rendered the film boring. I should have spend my money on the muppets.
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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4
CitizenCharlieOct 14, 2011
Curtis (Michael Shannon) is having bad dreams. Bad dreams are a bit low key to accurately describe what he dreams at night; absolute night terrors works better. He dreams his faithful dog suddenly attacks him and takes a chunk out of hisCurtis (Michael Shannon) is having bad dreams. Bad dreams are a bit low key to accurately describe what he dreams at night; absolute night terrors works better. He dreams his faithful dog suddenly attacks him and takes a chunk out of his arm and later he dreams his best buddy stabs him with a pickax. There is no warning these events would ever occur in reality, but for some reason, Curtisâ Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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9
MorriBeyFeb 14, 2012
Excellent. If you enjoyed Donnie Darko you will enjoy this. The ending, whilst confusing at first, makes sense when you think about it. A very very enjoyable movie.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
Khunter4382Feb 17, 2012
Shannon & Chastain are remarkable in this film. It is in these performances that keep the film grounded and engaging. Shannon portrays a man that is truly terrified, down the the very fiber of his being.....and even when everyone else in theShannon & Chastain are remarkable in this film. It is in these performances that keep the film grounded and engaging. Shannon portrays a man that is truly terrified, down the the very fiber of his being.....and even when everyone else in the film doubts him, he still draws belief from the audience. I found myself wondering the whole film, "What if he is right?" Throughout the entire film, that question contains far too grave of repercussions to merit dismissal, which makes this film engaging to the very last moments. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
nhalerNov 22, 2011
There is masterful filmmaking at work here, this is true. Cinephiles will love the cinematography, editing, and what may be at one point an homage to Magnolia. You'll know what I mean when you see it. To address the criticisms, or at least toThere is masterful filmmaking at work here, this is true. Cinephiles will love the cinematography, editing, and what may be at one point an homage to Magnolia. You'll know what I mean when you see it. To address the criticisms, or at least to elaborate upon what they are alleging is something which "undoes" film via its ending, I should first point out that this film is not about an entire family. It's about a particular man's relationship with his family. Where there are complaints that he does not 'connect' with his daughter, or that we do not see her characterized with as much depth as the other primary actors, misses the point. Her characterâ Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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7
eliotwalnutOct 31, 2011
A darker FIELD OF DREAMS, this film took me about 45 minutes to get into. Once it became focused it shined. Not a great film in any cinematic sense, but the central performance by Michael Shannon is earth-shattering. There is a sensitivityA darker FIELD OF DREAMS, this film took me about 45 minutes to get into. Once it became focused it shined. Not a great film in any cinematic sense, but the central performance by Michael Shannon is earth-shattering. There is a sensitivity in his nuanced mannerisms to early onset schizophrenia. I was also impressed with the positive light treatment and family support play in this character's tragedy. It is oddly uplifting and inspiring. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
cabritaFeb 4, 2012
A masterful film with subtle direction red hairings and a multitude of suspense. The director slowly build his suspense throuought the film until it's climax. However after the climax comes a revelation that is not only startling but alsoA masterful film with subtle direction red hairings and a multitude of suspense. The director slowly build his suspense throuought the film until it's climax. However after the climax comes a revelation that is not only startling but also intriguing. This event causes one to rethink everything he has just saw. I thought WOW! Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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10
jocerealMar 14, 2012
Woah... No idea where that came from, but it is of an impeccable quality. Cinematography is gorgeous (once more, Jessica Chastain receives lighting like nobody else), Michael Shannon is breathtakingly solid, and I've been in some momentsWoah... No idea where that came from, but it is of an impeccable quality. Cinematography is gorgeous (once more, Jessica Chastain receives lighting like nobody else), Michael Shannon is breathtakingly solid, and I've been in some moments completely freaked out. Unquestionably, something grandiose happens in these 120 minutes. May seem a bit long and tedious in the middle, but trust me, it deserves that you hang on till the end. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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3
jon44Oct 23, 2011
I wish I had read some of these user reviews before going to see the movie. Manipulative is the key criticism. The film-makers toy with viewer's emotions without grounding the plot in any real insights into human nature or interpersonal dynamics.
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
TheMudDoctorNov 29, 2011
Take Shelter is one of the most poignant and disquieting films Iâ
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
MikefromAngusJun 23, 2012
Great movie! I started to believe that the main character was going crazy. I started feel the pain he was going through. I felt scared for his family members, and when you think what the movie is about. They have a twist at the end of theGreat movie! I started to believe that the main character was going crazy. I started feel the pain he was going through. I felt scared for his family members, and when you think what the movie is about. They have a twist at the end of the movie! The movie isnt for everybody, it is "Slow" but, I enjoyed the story to develop slowly. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
Sir_BrandonNov 7, 2011
Take Shelter is an amazing mystery of a film with outstanding performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Director Jeff Nichols keeps his film tense and disturbing all the way through. He lets the madness slowly start to come inTake Shelter is an amazing mystery of a film with outstanding performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Director Jeff Nichols keeps his film tense and disturbing all the way through. He lets the madness slowly start to come in until it kicks the door wide open with brutal force. The film is a true battle between reality and fantasy, and Nichols creates the perfect mixture of suspense, drama, and insanity to feed it. Take Shelter is a horror film unlike any other because it has nothing to do with monsters or ghosts. Instead this film allows a feeling of terror to overwhelm us that is familiar and much closer to home.

Curtis LaForche (Shannon) is a hard-working father and husband who lives in a small town in Ohio. Samantha (Chastain) is his beautiful wife who you can tell is completely in love with him, and they have a young daughter named Hannah (Tova Stewart) who is deaf. They live paycheck to paycheck and most of their money is spent on their daughterâ
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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2
mokomukuOct 17, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a mostly well executed movie that is completely undone by its ending, which essentially turns the film into an offensive parody of mental illness. If the hook had been delivered as they emerged from the shelter, it would have worked. But after they spoke with the doctor it crossed the line. Expand
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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3
MJTOct 23, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow is this movie overrated. There are some things to admire: the actors are all very good and the cinematography is outstanding. But, somehow it doesn't quite work. I'll point out one element that seems dishonest and safe: having the daughter be hearing-impaired means that the filmmaker doesn't have to really give her a point of view. That is dishonest because of course she has emotions. She just sits like a sweet little cherub (and she is adorable). But, she is given no room to react to the craziness around her. Kids have personalities too. Key scenes that show this: We get to see some of her spunk when she is feeding the dog some of her own breakfast in the opening scene...but later when her father gives the dog away we get no reaction from anyone--not even a mention of it! That shows me the filmmaker wasn't really interested in the real emotions of the family members. The whole film felt designed to get good reviews, but it felt very manipulative to me. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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9
Friskytiger81Oct 29, 2011
Similar to Polanski's "Repulsion", this is a psychological tour-de-force, but on a grander scale. In contrast, Chastain and Shannon's performances are beautifully-restrained, with the exception of a couple appropriate scenes. ThoughSimilar to Polanski's "Repulsion", this is a psychological tour-de-force, but on a grander scale. In contrast, Chastain and Shannon's performances are beautifully-restrained, with the exception of a couple appropriate scenes. Though everything wasn't perfect - the VFX (birds) were questionable, at times - the acting was spot-on and the sound cues/music set-up the dread perfectly. Frankly, I loved the story. If you haven't read a lot about it, leave it that way until you've seen the film. To me, the greatest scene wasn't the ending, but the scene where Shannon warns the community about the pending storm. Not since "There Will Be Blood" was there that much intensity in a scene and it was invigorating to see it on-screen. For those that don't like this or "Drive", they don't appreciate great direction. Don't miss this one, especially in theaters. It's quietly disturbing. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
DagoblogOct 31, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For about 110 minutes I really did not like this movie. But the last 10 really saved it for me. The funny thing about it is that's the most controversial. Some people really liked it until then, but for me the ending was key. But I guess it's all about what you took the ending to mean. Was Curtis crazy or was the apocalypse forthcoming? That I think is the key to loving or hating this. Outside of the ending it was a beautiful film with incredible acting and tension throughout. I had never seen Jessica Chastain before and only knew of Michael Shannon and Shea Wigham from Boardwalk Empire, but all three blew me away. If beautifully shot movies and good acting with thin story lines are your thing then you will love this. But if you need constant action to keep your interest and hate movies like Drive then this is a pass. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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