Nichols has directed Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012) and Midnight Special (2016). Most recently, he directed the drama Loving, a film about the landmark U.S. civil rights court case Loving v. Virginia, which was released on November 4, 2016.
Nichols studied film-making at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He wrote his first screenplay, Shotgun Stories, with actor Michael Shannon in mind to play the lead, and contacted the actor though a former teacher.
2007's Shotgun Stories, Nichols' debut feature film starring Shannon, was shot on a budget of only $250,000. Nichols moved into larger independent productions with 2011's Take Shelter, also starring Shannon, and 2012's Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, which competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, he became the President of the Jury of the 7th Rome Film Festival.
|Year||Film||Credited as||Rotten Tomatoes|
|2016||In the Radiant City||Yes|
|TBA||Alien Nation remake||Yes||Yes|