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Critical Consensus: "Take Shelter" Narrowly Tops "50/50" As The Pick of The Week

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire September 28, 2011 at 4:26AM

Coming off an acclaimed run on the festival circuit, Jeff Nichols' psychological drama "Take Shelter" opens in limited release this weekend via Sony Pictures Classics, and it's the pick of the week, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.
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Coming off an acclaimed run on the festival circuit, Jeff Nichols' psychological drama "Take Shelter" opens in limited release this weekend via Sony Pictures Classics, and it's the pick of the week, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.

"Take Shelter" is the story of a young husband and father (Michael Shannon) who finds begins being plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions that threatens the comfortable existence he has with his loving wife (2011’s actress of the year Jessica Chastain). Thirty-one critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page. indieWIRE's own Eric Kohn gave the film a A, offering up these very warm thoughts in his Sundance review:

Part family drama, part psychological thriller, "Take Shelter" manages to succeed as an otherworldly blend of "Field of Dreams" and Noah's Ark. Following up his 2007 festival hit "Shotgun Stories," director Jeff Nichols re-teams with Michael Shannon for the absorbing saga of a mentally disturbed husband and father inexplicably driven to build a tornado shelter in his backyard. As with "Shotgun Stories," Nichols assembles a tense portrait of blue-collar life, while deepening his thematic interests and working on a bigger scale. Burrowing into the subconscious of a damaged man, he delivers a modern American epic with extraordinary restraint.

"Shelter" narrowly topped Jonathan Levine's cancer dramedy "50/50," which also averaged a B+ but with a slightly lower overall average. Also receiving generally positive notices was Eli Craig's "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil," while Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill's "Sarah Palin - You Betcha!" had a much more mixed response, averaging a C+. Meanwhile, Kenneth Lonergan's long-delayed "Margaret" is also opening this weekend. It has yet to receive any grades whatsoever, but check back as reviews begin to curiously trickle in.

More extensive takes on the films opening this weekend are all are linked below. Also offered is the top 10 criticWIRE scores for films already in theaters, which is currently topped by doc "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" for the third week running, Note that only films with three or more grades have their averages included.

iW Film Calendar & criticWIRE:
criticWIRE | Opening this week | Opening this month | All Films A - Z

criticWIRE: Films Opening This Week
NOTE: The averages listed here are current as of the publishing of this article. They are subject to change as new grades come in, and will be updated in next week's edition of this article.

Take Shelter (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

50/50 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Sarah Palin - You Betcha! (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

Benda Bilili! (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

Margaret (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD


criticWIRE: 10 Best Bets Already In Theaters

1. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

2. Senna (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

3. We Were Here (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

4. The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

5. Drive (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

6. Weekend (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

7. Moneyball (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

8. Circumstance (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

9. Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

10. Buck (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

This article is related to: In Theaters, 50/50





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