Take Shelter (2011) – 3.5/5

Decent, well paced, well acted film with a story that doesn’t really make sense and an ending that leaves you with more questions than answers, and not in a good way. Still, it’s a good film for the most part; enjoyable and suspenseful and entertaining and occasionally a touch disturbing, though, save a few instances of naughty, naughty language, nothing that couldn’t have been delivered to us in a much more audience friendly PG-13 manner. And for a budget of “only” 1 million dollars, it looks great. Really excellent.

The story is pretty good overall. You never quite know whether Michael Shannon, whom I love very much, is crazy, or if what he’s seeing is a real warning of things to come. That is, **SPOILERS** until the stupid ending where, what? Huh? Why? WHYYY??? **END SPOILERS** I get that it’s kind of supposed to be a metaphor for how his family has come to grips with his mental state and all that, but huh? What the hell was that supposed to be exactly? It was an interesting idea, don’t get me wrong, it just didn’t work. I’ll give the movie credit for trying something new, though.

Overall, I liked the film, save the ending which sort of ruins the thing. Some people might think differently, but they’d be wrong. When a movie spends most of its running time **SPOILERS** establishing one kind of reality, then the last 3 minutes completely flipping that reality on its head to make an unnecessary metaphor about something that had already been established earlier in the film, **END SPOILERS** well, it’s going to take you out of the experience. It was clumsy and strange and kind of stupid. Bold, sure, but detrimental to everything that had come before.

Well, at least Michael Shannon was good, and everyone else too for the most part, though I didn’t quite buy the relationship between he and his wife. There was just something off about them. And, though he’s good here, it’s certainly not Shannon’s best performance. Still, it’s worth a watch, right up until the last 5 minutes or so.

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