Director Jeff Nichols has done quite well for himself with just two commercial films under his belt - Take Shelter (2011) starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Mud (2012) with Michael Shannon, Matthew McConaughey, Sam Shepherd and Reese Witherspoon.

Both films were critically acclaimed and although they were in the Drama/Thriller genre they both hinted at the possibility of bordering on the Sci-Fi supernatural.

In Nichols new offering, ‘Midnight Special’ this is certainly an out-and-out Sci-Fi/Drama. And if you are on to a good thing then why not roll out one or two of the stars from the last two movies, namely Michael Shannon and also that old acting stalwart Sam Shepherd?

Midnight Special is a chase movie with a twist. Our main protagonist is an eight-year boy, Alton (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) who has strange powers…and he’s not like us!

The film opens with two men rescuing Alton from a religious cult run by Calvin (Sam Shepherd) who wants to use Alton’s powers for their own means and purpose. We soon find out that one of the men is the boy’s father, Roy (Michael Shannon), and his best friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton). They are later reunited with the boy’s mother, Sarah (Kirsten Dunst).

Alton is being chased down by the FBI, an NSA agent (Adam Driver, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and the religous cult. To say too much more would be a spoiler. All I can tell you is that they must get Alton and his unique abilities to Texas by a certain day.

The film has elements of Spielberg with a lot of bright lights, mystery and the build-up of suspense. In fact Nichols admits being influenced by two classic Sci-Fi hits Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Starman (1984).

Nichols delivers an intelligent script with no real background to how Alton acquired his powers and goes straight in from the start.

A very watchable Sci-Fi thriller with some good use of special effects.

A good treat for this weekend.

This Is Local London:

Out now.