Take Shelter received a 94% critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes website. But, watch out. This movie may not be for you. Or, maybe, you will find it brilliant, as many critics did.
Wow. Unsettling. Eerie. Disturbing. These are the words that buzzed through my brain after seeing this movie. Many people go to the movies to have a good time. This isn't one of those kind of films. What it is, though, is the kind of film that people who appreciate and understand filmmaking will enjoy.
Personally, I don't know anything about filmmaking. Even so, it's obvious that to make a film with such an unusually narrow focus, and be able to maintain tension over a more than two hour time period, is a directorial feat. There isn't so much a story here; it's more of a festering idea. I won't share what that idea is.
The main character, Curtis, has the job of keeping you connected and interested throughout the film. Actor Michael Shannon does a terrific job with this. You genuinely like and admire Curtis as a strong, hard-working, backbone-of-America sort of guy, who is lovingly committed to taking care of his wife and daughter. When circumstances in his life go increasingly awry, you feel truly terrible for him. Most of the performance is characterized by subtle expressions and gestures which pull you in close to him. It seems meant to be painful to endure, and it is. This will probably be an Oscar-nominated role.
So, star rating? Should you see it? If you like tense, slow developing, unique movies, focusing on a thought more than a plot, go see it. If you are looking for a fun time at the movies--a smile, a laugh, a thrill--this is not going to be your cup of tea. If you like the former, this may be a 5/5 stars for you. If you like only the latter, this might be a 0/5 stars for you.