Take Shelter | Chicago Reader

Take Shelter

A molar-grinding performance from Michael Shannon anchors this slow but ultimately haunting drama. He plays a modest, plainspoken working man in small-town Ohio who begins to suffer from terrifying nightmares of an approaching apocalyptic storm. For years his mother (Kathy Baker) has been treated for paranoid schizophrenia, and at first he worries that he may have inherited her illness. But eventually his vision takes command of him, and he begins building an underground shelter in his backyard, to the consternation of his wife (Jessica Chastain) and the confusion of his little deaf daughter. Writer-director Jeff Nichols maintains a cagey balancing act for much of the movie, refusing to specify whether his protagonist is a prophet or a madman, yet in the end this doesn't really matter: the storm inside him is plenty real.



  • Jeff Nichols


  • Michael Shannon
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Shea Whigham
  • Katy Mixon
  • Ray McKinnon
  • Lisagay Hamilton
  • Robert Longstreet
  • Kathy Baker
  • Tova Stewart


  • Tyler Davidson
  • Sophia Lin
  • Sarah Green
  • Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
  • Colin Strause
  • Greg Strause
  • Richard Rothfeld
  • Chris Perot
  • Christos Konstantakopoulos

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