Indie Gems: Shelter

"I used to be someone."

Tahir (Anthony Mackie) is a Nigerian man who is homeless on the streets of NYC. We meet him as he's being released by the police on a disorderly contact warning. He finds his cart and all his thing stolen. He spots another homeless woman, heroin addict Hannah (Jennifer Connelly) with his jacket, and follows her. After a rocky start, the eventually fall in love and we find out what put them on the street in the first place.

At first it's almost jarring to hear Mackie speak in an accident that's not his own. I've grown so used to him in Marvel movies. It's a welcomed change to see him out of his comfort zone. Jennifer Connelly is intense as always. I found Tahir and Hannah's relationship to be very layered. Tahir finds Hannah at rock bottom, rock bottom for being homeless anyways. While they both homeless for different reasons, the way they somewhat connect is heartbreaking.

This is Paul Bettany's directorial debut. He makes a few mistakes, but wouldn't we all? I think he relied on those long drawn out scenes with only music playing a bit too much. At times I always wanted to skip forward until the characters were talking again. But knowing Bettany and Connelly's history of donating to homeless shelters in NYC, I think they treated the subject carefully. They showed how hard it can be, how anyone could end up that way. It felt very sincere in his hands.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "So you're not one of those Creationists." - Hannah (Jennifer Connelly) 


  1. This is on Prime I think (or maybe Netflix Instant) and I keep planning on watching it...but then I watch something else. Now I'll have to get on this.

    1. I watched it on Netflix, I hope you give it a go!

  2. Wow, I had no idea Bettany directed this. I love both Mackie and Connelly so I should check this out.


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