This film has received rave reviews, being compared favorably to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” As far as I’m concerned, anyone who puts this film in the same class is “from another planet!” It’s a pretty good movie, but the pace is slow, the characters are not that interesting (except for the boy), and the supposedly mind-blowing ending didn’t do much for me.
This film opens in a dumpy motel room, and, on the TV, there’s an Amber Alert concerning an 8-year-old boy. In this room are two men and an 8-year-old boy, wearing goggles and using a flash-light to read a Super-Man comic book. Apparently, this is the “kidnapped” boy, although he appears comfortable with the two men and doesn’t seem to have been taken against his will. His name is Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and he has special “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.”
Alton is so special that he seems to be the cornerstone of a Mormon-like religious sect. Their leader, Calvin Meyer (Sam Shepard), is convinced that he is their salvation and wants him back on “The Ranch.” Alton also happens to know top-secret government information, and the FBI is trying to find him in order to learn how and why. They have sent an expert, Agent Sevier (Adam Driver), to try to figure out “what’s going on” (as Marvin Gaye would say). Alton needs to get to a very specific location at a precise time, but the religious sect and the FBI are in hot pursuit. (Most of the movie is essentially a leisurely chase scene.)
The mystery is revealed in an ending that I found rather anti-climatic and absurd, but be aware I am in the minority about this. (In my defense, Robin agreed with me. She’s usually right about everything, except when her opinion differs from mine!)
The acting is good, especially Kirsten Dunst as “Sarah.” The Writer/Director, Jeff Nichols, is talented, and there are several interesting scenes, but it’s not quite enough. I’d rent it, but there’s no need to see it now on the BS.