Matthew Lickona 8 p.m., Dec. 17
Michael Shannon, who often seems like Frankenstein looking sadly for his doctor, plays a scared and scary guy in the flat Midwest. His sinister dreams and fantasies clue him that a vast storm is coming, and he hurls his fragile family into panic by building a big shelter (he already has a small one). Director and writer Jeff Nichols stokes the mood with brooding light that anticipates the rainy end of the world. But the gifted Shannon is, too obviously, a symbolic symptom of the economic and social anxiety of fearful, hard-working folk in tough times. Jessica Chastain is sweetly touching as the bewildered wife, a kind of Walmart Ma Joad. 2011.
- Rated R | 2 hours
- Official website