Parents' Guide to

Midnight Special

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Powerful, emotional sci-fi drama about love and sacrifice.

Movie PG-13 2016 111 minutes
Midnight Special Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 10+

Great movie to watch with the kids

My younger children totally got the plot and it is a great Sci Fi movie with the main character being a boy (child). I don't think its too graphic or confusing not if you are with them to answer questions about the plot.
age 12+

Quickly for parents

Worrying moments: kidnapping, nosebleed in car, mysterious strangers, general anxiety about the small boy, car crashes and chases and particularly when the boys mother has her head smacked against bathroom wall. Attn characters do have a shootout.. Scary light from boys eyes v disconcerting. But a very good film full of excellent performances & a solid logical premise once u accept the proposed reality Watched it with our 11 year olds. They said it was complicated but good. They gasped when the mother was slapped but that was the only shock.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (12 ):

Though talented indie filmmaker Jeff Nichols borrows from established sci-fi classics, this movie tells its story in a new way, rooted in characters and emotions, embracing uncertainty and loss. Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud) has said that he made the movie to help him process becoming a father, and those ideas and feelings take precedence over the story details. It begins without exposition; the focus is on moods, lighting, silences, and a music score filled with wonder.

Sci-fi buffs may feel slighted that not every detail of this particular situation is explained in full, but that's not what MIDNIGHT SPECIAL is really about. Plus, if things were solidified, it would only draw concrete comparisons to Close Encounters, E.T., Starman, the Witch Mountain series, and many other similar stories. This Midnight is special because it's less about visual effects and more about connections, bonds that can't be broken, and the kind of fear, bravery, and acceptance that comes through them.

Movie Details

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