The Missing Person

Rated 4.0

What’ll it take to officially upgrade Michael Shannon’s status from “Oh yeah, that guy” to “Michael F*cking Shannon”? If the Revolutionary Road Oscar nod couldn’t seal the deal, maybe it’s for Shannon’s supporting-actor habit of showing up in movies just long enough to show all the other actors up (see also World Trade Center, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Runaways). But put him front and center, as writer-director Noah Buschel has in The Missing Person, and this apparently cliché-proof performer goes from redeeming individual films to resurrecting whole moribund genres. Here he’s a bibulous private eye, hired to tail a man cross-country and return him to an abandoned post-9/11 New York life. Buschel hopes to push beyond easy neo-noir posturing, all the way back to the genre’s roots in national-trauma hangover, and Shannon is the right man for that job.