Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 155 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl. When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can't compare with Curtis's privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify. (Sony Pictures Classics)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 20, 2011
    Take Shelter, which, it should be said, boasts haunting but seamless visual effects, is a movie for this moment in time, this moment in our lives.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 29, 2011
    As with "Shotgun Stories," Nichols assembles a tense portrait of blue-collar life, while deepening his thematic interests and working on a bigger scale. Burrowing into the subconscious of a damaged man, he delivers a modern American epic with extraordinary restraint.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 27, 2011
    Not just a fascinating character study but a kind of horror movie as well.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 20, 2011
    Take Shelter plays Curtis's unraveling at daring length. The film will be too slow and dark for some, and it's definitely overlong.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 30, 2011
    Nichols approaches his subject with thoughtful empathy, and while his themes are enormous - he's addressing no less than the state of our nation - he wisely underplays even the most important moments.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 27, 2011
    Take Shelter is a deeply unsettling movie. Writer/director Jeff Nichols (an Austin resident and director of the award-winning 2007 feature "Shotgun Stories") doles out information as strategically as a government official.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 6, 2011
    Take Shelter has a problem, the simplest of all problems but no less serious for its being simple. It's a film without suspense and with a slow-moving story that unfolds without surprise or embellishment.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 54
  2. Negative: 10 out of 54
  1. Feb 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 also intriguing. This event causes one to rethink everything he has just saw. I thought WOW! Expand
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    Great acting by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain accompanied with great storytelling by Jeff Nichols makes this movie one the year's must sees. Also a subtle but wonderful score, which intensifies the suspenseful moments even that much more. This movie will stick with you for a few days, it's that good! Expand
  3. Dec 6, 2012
    One of the best films of 2011. A brilliant film in every way. Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain give Oscar caliber performances in this emotional drama. The last 30-40 minutes are some of the most intense I've ever seen. I absolutely loved it! Expand
  4. Apr 5, 2013
    A la manière d'un M. Night Shyamalan des grands jours, Nichols joue avec nos peurs les plus profondes, sacrifiant tout artifice visuel au bénéfice d'une famille simple, avec ses problèmes et ses moments de bonheur, au bord de la rupture. Si la léthargie des personnages peut faire bailler, le suspense ainsi que le magnifique orage qui sert de toile de fond au scénario devraient vous scotcher jusqu'au bout. Michael Shannon est un très grand, il est plus que temps d'ouvrir les yeux sur son indéniable talent. Hypnotique et fascinant, du pur cinéma Expand
  5. Feb 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, 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
  6. Sep 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 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
  7. Dec 4, 2011
    This movie was so horrible it compelled me to join this site just so I could review it. Everyone better "take shelter" from this mess of a movie. In a theater of 20 people on a cold Sunday night, 10 people, including me, walked out within the first hour. The entire first hour consisted of no plot development. Every 10 minutes this guy was having nightmares, and the only purpose of these dreams was apparently to scare the sh*t out of the audience. By the third nightmare, I was over it. Based on the spoilers I've read, apparently this crap just continues the entire length of the movie. It's a 15 minute plot spread out for what feels like an eternity. Clearly there must be someone in this movie --- either an actor, or someone behind the scenes --- who has a cult following, as it would be the only explanation as to why it has such high ratings on here. It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life. If you want to see great acting and "cinematography", or whatever the hell else people are saying is so great about this movie, you'd be better off seeing a movie whose writing didn't suck. MESS! Expand

See all 54 User Reviews


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