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85

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

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 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. HisCurtis 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)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 20, 2011
    100
    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
    100
    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
    90
    Not just a fascinating character study but a kind of horror movie as well.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 20, 2011
    88
    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
    80
    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
    78
    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
    50
    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: 40 out of 55
  2. Negative: 10 out of 55
  1. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    A masterful film with subtle direction red hairings and a multitude of suspense. The director slowly build his suspense throuought the filmA 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
    10
    Great acting by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain accompanied with great storytelling by Jeff Nichols makes this movie one the year's mustGreat 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. Lyn
    Jul 4, 2013
    9
    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.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 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
  4. Dec 15, 2011
    8
    I saw this last night, but upon my return I couldn't put into words what I thought of the film. Now I think I can. This film is a wonderfulI saw this last night, but upon my return I couldn't put into words what I thought of the film. Now I think I can. This film is a wonderful character study. You have this man named Curtis who has these vivid nightmares that suggest the world is going to end. He eventually becomes convinced that the nightmares are a prophecy for things to come. He takes drastic action to protect his family, so drastic that it threatens to rip his life apart. His wife thinks he's going crazy, even he thinks he might be going crazy. But he still continues on because he truly believes in what he's doing. I found this conflict fascinating, and the question that writer/director Jeff Nichols leaves us with is equally compelling. Is Curtis a paranoid schizophrenic or is he a prophet? The ending doesn't give you the answers you're looking for. This isn't the kind of film that's wrapped up in a nice tiny ribbon. It forces you to think. The performances are also terrific here. Michael Shannon really allows us to see the conflict brewing in Curtis. We can connect with his doubts as he makes decisions a sane person probably wouldn't make. Overall, this movie isn't for everybody. It's definitely an independent film in the sense that the pace is slow and the movie ends ambiguously, but for those of you looking for a film that will stick with you for days, be sure to check this one out. Expand
  5. Aug 3, 2013
    8
    The movie restrains itself, making most of the film quite slow, but then it unleashes into an unsettling, terrifying tour de force. MichaelThe movie restrains itself, making most of the film quite slow, but then it unleashes into an unsettling, terrifying tour de force. Michael Shannon is once again amazing, and Jessica Chastain is quickly becoming one of the finest actresses out there. Expand
  6. Mar 13, 2013
    6
    Take Shelter is the story of one man's quest to protect his family from an impending storm. Curtis (Shannon) begins to have premonitions thatTake Shelter is the story of one man's quest to protect his family from an impending storm. Curtis (Shannon) begins to have premonitions that a storm is coming to destroy his world. These premonitions become so real that Curtis begins to prepare a shelter for the storm. Curtis is also fully aware that his premonitions may not be real. At the same time he is preparing his shelter he is also seeking help for what may just be delusions.

    This is the strength of Take Shelter. This film is superbly acted, and the story is laid out with precision. Going through the struggle with Curtis and his family is tense and mesmerizing. We know early on that Curtis is having these premonitions, but the way way Nichols unfolds the story, we are never quite sure when the real storm is coming.

    While I enjoyed many aspects of Take Shelter I didn't connect with it in the way I do in films I enjoy the most. Usually I know immediately why I don't connect emotionally with a film, with Take Shelter I am having a hard time pinpointing the reason. Overall I think the story just feels a little dry, and although the tone of the movie is pretty tense the stakes just never felt as high as they could. A fine film, and a worthy watch, but in the end average.
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  7. Dec 4, 2011
    0
    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 aThis 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 55 User Reviews

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