Take Shelter

September 30th 2011
  • Drama,
  • R,
  • 120 min,
  • Sony Pictures Classics
  • Cast: Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker, Shea Whigham, Ray McKinnon, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Robert Longstreet, Stuart Greer, Guy Van Swearingen, Tova Stewart, Joe Zamora, Bart Flynn, John Kloock, Natasha Randal, Nick Koesters, Jeffrey Grover, Stutz Bearcat, Heather Caldwell, Scott Knisley, Charles Moore
  • Director: Jeff Nichols
  • Writer: Jeff Nichols
  • Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin
  • Co Producers: Robert Ruggeri, Adam Wilkins
  • Executive Producers: Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Richard Rothfeld, Colin Strause, Greg Strause
  • Art Direction: Jennifer Klide
  • Casting: Lillian Pyles
  • Costume Design: Karen Malecki
  • D.O.P.: Adam Stone
  • Editor: Parke Gregg
  • Makeups: Liz DuChez, Julia Lallas, Susan R. Prosser
  • Music: David Wingo
  • Production Design: Chad Keith
  • Set Decoration: Adam Willis


Curtis LaForche lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha and six-year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand-mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mother and part-time seamstress who supplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend.

Money is tight, and navigating Hannahís healthcare and special needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and their family is a happy one. Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm.

He chooses to keep the disturbance to himself, channeling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds Samantha, and provokes intolerance among co-workers, friends and neighbors. But the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within the community doesnít compare to Curtisí private fear of what his dreams may truly signify.

Faced with the proposition that his disturbing visions signal disaster of one kind or another, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing the power of their bond against the highest possible stakes.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • MPAA Warning: Some language
  • Production Companies: Grove Hill Productions, Strange Matter Films

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2011 Guide Analysis: "Scoring stellar reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Jeff Nichols’s follow-up to the well-regarded "Shotgun Stories" explores a feeling very common to many people right now - anxiety. More valuable than happiness in this world is peace of mind, the ability to not worry or even blissfully forget about that dark gaping maw of despair, hopelessness and fear that can swallow a person's mind if one lets it.

That feeling of irrational dread, the kind that can permeate every moment of every day of one's life, can be one of the most isolating and self-destructive emotions there is. Most anxiety ties to back to rational things - income, health, job security, relationships or major changes in one's life. 'Shelter' explores an irrational one, a blue-collar American family man haunted by apocalyptic dreams. Could he be right? or could he be going mad like his mother whose schizophrenia nearly destroyed their family.

Reviews praised the meticulous direction and superb acting, most notably Shannon whose fascinating face can communicate so much without saying a word. The sole complaint tended to be a slightly too long runtime, something that could easily be corrected before a release. Sony Picture Classics quickly snapped up the film before it had a chance to premiere at the festival and it's likely they'll be pegging this for a Fall release and potential awards consideration, especially in the acting categories."

Trailers & Clips

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 11 November 2011: UK
  • 7 December 2011: France