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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films of 2015: #1. Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special

Midnight Special

Director: Jeff Nichols // Writer: Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols has been a steadily rising director since his excellent 2007 debut, Shotgun Stories, which first united him with star Michael Shannon, who has gone on to appear in all his features since. 2011’s Take Shelter, starring Shannon and Jessica Chastain, premiered at Sundance before hitting Cannes, while 2012’s Mud played in the main competition at Cannes before heading to Sundance. Each film has seen a significant increase in production value, so we’re not surprised to find Nichols finally working on a studio financed production with Midnight Special, starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, and returning cast members Shannon and Sam Shepard. A sci-fi film concerning a father and son that go on the run after discovering his child has special powers, this recalls a heyday of adult studio genre films from the 1980s, perhaps Stephen King’s Firestarter (1984)? We’re assuming that the popular folk song of the same name will make an appearance, which also reminds us of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s cover featured in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Nichols promises to deliver one of the unique studio films of 2015 and we can’t wait for the season.

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard

Producers: Sarah Green (Knight of Cups), Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Sinister 2)

U.S. Distributor: Warner Bros.

Release Date: The film is set for theatrical release on November 25, 2015.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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