Nichols has said that the idea for the film emerged from a free-floating anxiety that he sensed in the world at large, the feeling that everything we treasure in life could be lost in an instant. That sensation permeates this strikingly original movie - especially its enigmatic mind-fuck of a finale, which will haunt you for several lifetimes.
Writer-director Jeff Nichols builds his elegantly shot, weather-sensitive horror story in waves of tension that crest as if pulled by tempests.
The Hollywood Reporter
A riveting genre blend of thriller, domestic drama and supernatural horror propelled by a brilliant lead performance.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Nichols has a genius for making landscapes and everyday objects resonate like crazy, for nailing the texture of dread.
Despite a few missteps, Take Shelter powerfully lays bare our national anxiety disorder - a pervasive dread that Curtis can define only as "something that's not right."
The A.V. Club
Writer-director Jeff Nichols re-teams with his "Shotgun Stories" star Michael Shannon for his second feature, Take Shelter, which has a similar setting, but a different mood. Nichols is still concerned with family legacies, and the ways people in smaller communities relate to each other, but Take Shelter is slower and smoother, deliberately developing a mood of creeping dread.
This deliberately paced psychological drama builds an ever-tightening knot of tension around an excellent Michael Shannon, here playing a family man slowly driven mad by apocalyptic visions that could be paranoid, prophetic or both.
It's not easy to give a character study concerning mental illness the aspect of a psychological thriller without some notes of exploitation or trivialization creeping in, and Take Shelter makes a few missteps.
The economics of star casting aside, what would Take Shelter have been like with James McAvoy or Mark Wahlberg or Jake Gyllenhaal at its center?
Shannon makes the man's dilemma plain and moving, and that gives Take Shelter a resonance that last long after the final fade out.