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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant
Take Shelter is the story of small-town blue collar worker Curtis laForche. He begins to have vivid dreams of a coming storm that continue to appear well into his waking day. With a history of mental problems in the family, he struggles with these dreams, unsure of whether to act upon them or to write them off as the beginning of his decline into mental illness. When the...
Published on 6 Feb 2012 by J. Morris

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Understated to (mostly) good effect
This film is a strange beast. A man dreams of an oncoming storm, unlike any before seen... but with every new vision, the storm and its effects are intensifying. And then the storm begins to cross over into his waking consciousness. But is it mental illness causing the visions, or something else?

Normally in this kind of movie, you'd expect to see certain...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Danny Boy


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant, 6 Feb 2012
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
Take Shelter is the story of small-town blue collar worker Curtis laForche. He begins to have vivid dreams of a coming storm that continue to appear well into his waking day. With a history of mental problems in the family, he struggles with these dreams, unsure of whether to act upon them or to write them off as the beginning of his decline into mental illness. When the frequency and intensity of the dream ramps up, Curtis decides to put all he has into building a shelter for himself and his family. Everyone thinks he is crazy, even Curtis questions his sanity, but just what if he is right?

Take Shelter is a slow-moving but powerful film. The idyllic small-town surrounds foster a sense of safety and security that seem at odds to Curtis' visions. As we see Curtis wrestle with his delusions we see his family members show concern for him as it affects his work and personality. Even the viewer is left in the dark as to what is happening until the very end and it is this uncertainty of 'is he or isn't he' that keeps an electric sense of tension throughout the 2 hour duration. The picturesque surrounds and ominous visions are all beautifully shot - A dystopia fans dream.

Highly recommended for a novel and truly intriguing film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annoy Your Friends: Watch this Film, 21 July 2012
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This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
You know when you watch a film that is truly marvellous, and can't stop gushing about it? Well this, for me, is that film. I literally bother everyone I know (and some I don't) with how great this film is, and what stop bothering them until they've watched it and can carry on spreading the Gospel of Jeff Nichols, Michael Shannon et al.
Some people comment on the slow pace, but I can safely I say I was on the edge of my seat so much I still have the crease mark to prove it. It wasn't a conventional action/thriller edge of your seat type feeling; it was uncomfortable, exhilarating and truly gripping - every 156 minutes or so of it.
Shannon was in truly magnificent form, and I was very touched by his apparent downward spiral in to mental illness. I think with a lot of actors the whole 'waking up from a bad dream' thing would tire quickly - both for actor and viewer. But Shannon's character was believable every time he shot up from bed in a whimpering, sodden mess.
What's more co stars Jessica Chastain and Shea Whigham, as well as the daughter played by Tova Stewart (who reminded me very much of my niece) made this film a pleasure from start to finish.
I can't wait for Jeff Nichols' next venture.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a movie, not to be missed, 30 Jan 2012
By 
R. T. Morris (Fife) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Take Shelter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I watched Take Shelter yesterday and was simply blown away(excuse the pun). The mesmerising climax was set up perfectly with a combination of real world issues, possible hereditary mental illness, the fantastic score (which I'm listening to as I write this by the way) and of course, finally, the powerful acting performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain who play husband and wife, the show is almost stolen by little Tova Stewart, who plays the couples deaf daughter. I'm not going to bore you with a synopsis, just make sure you see this film. But how good is it you ask? Well I've shopped with Amazon for nearly 5 years and have never once wrote a review for a film or anything and after seeing this I felt compelled to do so. How this was overlooked by the Academy is beyond me, I'm not going to rant about that though! Just be there on March 19th to see this movie. Jaw dropping in its entirety.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blow winds and crack your cheeks hurricanoes, 2 April 2013
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
Take Shelter is a film for our times.It gives you the sense of impending doom that come from economic crises, climate change,the loss of our formerly secure way of life,the storm that is prophesied to come, It's about the loss of everything that matters to middle class Americans: their jobs, their homes, their friends, their families, their sanity. Curtis,is a man whose dreams tell him what is happening,they auger a disaster about to happen.He is slowly going mad,there's evidence he has inherited his mother's mental illness,paranoid schizophrenia.He has delusions and hallucinations of end-of-days rain,tornados,strange clouds of birds,assaults,abductions,flying furniture."Is anyone seeing this?"he asks stopping on the side of the road before a huge electrical storm.The question resonates with the crises of money and morale today.

He can't communicate with his wife.He is fearful and protective of his deaf daughter.He is an upper blue-collar working man who works in gravel.He's practical,taciturn,withdrawn,strong yet vulnerable.Family and its protection is everything.Survival.The portents of stormy apocalypse are the projections of an unsettled mind.From the outside his friend Dewar says:" You got it good".But the film views Curtis from inside-dismantling his home,banishing the dog,alienating friends,taking out a high risk loan to extend the family's storm shelter,abusing his job and sacked for misconduct.It's only after an overdose and a seizure that he tells his wife about the dreams. When a minor storm hits, the town's air raid sirens go off and the family wisely flees to the storm shelter. Inside the bunker, when the storm has passed,Samantha forces Curtis first to take off his gas mask and then open the shelter himself. I think Samantha telling Curtis, "We love you very much," followed by Curtis opening the shelter and being confronted by the open, non-stormy sky is very powerful and very telling. Curtis thinks the storm is still raging, but once he opens it, he's forced to confront reality.

The whole film is a metaphor,including the ending still being in the dream,only his family through empathy are included in its disclosure.The performances are superb,with Shannon's diffident,furrow-browed,tight-wound, freighted with dread-enigmatic,sympathetic and infuriating.Jessica Chastain portrayal has warmth,strength, vulnerability,conveying the horror of watching her husband's deterioration,the possible destruction of theirlives, yet tries to understand to help her life partner.Curtis rages at friends and neighbours at a supper about their ill-preparedness for the coming storm.Baldly shot on DV with some crisply stylised visual effects.It deals with ordinary life under pressure,with the realities as well as the surrealities of the world.The methodical,paced inevitability of a slow-burn film giving a distress signal from a civilization gone awry.A modern Noah for our out-of -joint times.Compelling.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Understated to (mostly) good effect, 26 Feb 2012
This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a strange beast. A man dreams of an oncoming storm, unlike any before seen... but with every new vision, the storm and its effects are intensifying. And then the storm begins to cross over into his waking consciousness. But is it mental illness causing the visions, or something else?

Normally in this kind of movie, you'd expect to see certain things with a summary like that. A shedload of CGI effects, hysterics, DRAMA, arrests, that kind of thing. But no. This movie defies many conventions and goes for the understated approach, every single time. That mostly works in its favour- events certainly have a more realistic feel to them. The man in question is well portrayed as an average family man, who begins to question his own sanity; being fully aware of his own mothers' schizophrenia, he's understandably terrified he is succumbing to the same illness.
As his own personal situation gets worse- he's sacked, his friends turn on him, his wife loses patience- the low-key acting help convince us that the character is real. But....

...it feels like something is missing. The same low-key approach, which is good for delivering a realistic feel, means the start of the film is INCREDIBLY slow-moving. there's understatement- then there's underinvolving. The first 20 minutes or so were, frankly, boring to sit through. It didn't help that the stylised execution seemed to result in many mumbled lines, making me wonder if I'd overlooked something at some point. The movie, despite having a good idea, simply drags its feet along.

Things get better late in the game. Although it's all still low-key, events surrounding our man are spiralling out of control, and he's at his wits' end. This is when we get a sense of excitement, and things lead in to the conclusion. It's a satisfying ending- don't expect a super-storm to rip the town in half, or the man to reveal he was on haloperidol medication all along- but it resolves everything, in keeping with the film to that point.

In summary, the film has good ideas and is worth a watch, but just too understated for its own good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow (e)motion........., 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
I can only describe this film as being somewhat akin to what an avalanche in slow motion must feel like, a rolling beast with heavy acting, uncomfortable silences and thousand yard stares. It's a film that has a number of different threads which have been heavily documented by some of our other reviewers. Mental Illness appears to be the underlying theme that holds this haunting film together. It's a story about doubt, belief, and relationships. How far would you be willing to go to protect those you love from something that appears to be grounded in nothing more than your psyche?

This film is NOT a party film, if you've a few mates around for Doritos and a few beers then I'd give this film a swerve. And, if your frame of mind is a tad tender from a bad day in the office, a break up etc then save this film for a time when you want a thought provoking and insightful drama that will perhaps make you question your own moral values and outlooks on others.

You'll find a wide spectrum of reviews for this film on amazon, I personally think that when a film has the 'Marmite Factor' then it's worth exploring further, better to be a swing of the pendulum than to be forever middle of the road.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digging The Shelter, 17 Sep 2012
This review is from: Take Shelter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A winner at the Cannes Film Festival, we need to look deeper than the surface on this one. A metaphor for all our fears, secret or otherwise, and the way the modern world can make you feel uneasy. The movie succeeds in drawing you in and holding the suspense at every level. Not a blockbuster for sure, but a brave and honest allegory and treatise on these strange, rapidly changing times we all live in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly powerful performance by Michael Shannon, 14 May 2012
By 
Fergus Stewart (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Take Shelter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Michael Shannon's performance here as the troubled family man plagued by delusions and visions of a coming apocalyptic storm is quite simply a tour-de-force; if anyone should have got an oscar it was him.

The story is not wildly dissimilar in plot and tone to the equally impressive Bill Paxton movie 'Frailty.' In both movies men who are fundamentally decent and loving fathers are pushed to the edge by seemingly irrational visions which they have no power to prevent. And in that film and this one both actors give towering performances which are a sight to behold.

A very unusual, carefully told and really impressive psychological thriller. Very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking story-telling, 26 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
This is amazing; simply breathtaking movie to watch.
I purchased it on a whim, simply because I like Michael Shannon and I wasn't disappointed. I love how it was filmed. I jumped, I fought the tears... I cared for the characters. Michael Shannon is at his prime here.
I love how they left it at the end - how they left it open so we can make our own ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not quite the storm i was expecting, 19 May 2012
By 
Jason Fortune (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
great acting by everybody involved and some hairy dream scenes, but i felt it lacked in overall punch and you know the ending is comming right from the start, couldnt recommend this except to those with an aquired taste for films just left of centre
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Take Shelter [Blu-ray]
Take Shelter [Blu-ray] by Jeff Nichols (Blu-ray - 2012)
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