Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Cloverfield is a found footage film released in 2008 to critical acclaim and box office success. The movie was also accompanied by a fun and captivating marketing campaign to boost audience interest. I’ve never watched the film but am aware of its basic plot. 10 Cloverfield Lane has been revealed as a spiritual successor to that first film. These details have little to do with the plot or my enjoyment but context is important when experiencing this movie.

10 Cloverfield Lane is simply about a young woman, Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who wakes up in a bunker after a major car accident. She is being held captive by Howard, the conspiracy theorist who built the bunker. John Gallagher Jr. is the last part of this small cast, and he plays Emmet.

All three performances are strong. Mary Elizabeth carries the film as its lead and the audience surrogate. We experience this story through her. Gallagher is a literal sigh of relief. Bringing a calm to a film that is almost all tension. John Goodman is the star of the show. His performance is nuanced and ambiguous. Is he crazy? Does he know what he’s talking about? Does that even matter? The film successfully answers all of these questions during its run-time.

What makes this so interesting is how the dynamic between our three leads change so drastically. It’s all thanks to how well Goodman plays his characters. He goes from villain to protector to creeper without skipping a beat.

The ending will be the most talked about part of the movie. It felt a bit out of place while still feeling enjoyable.

I’m doing my best not to reveal too much about the plot here. The trailer is all you need to watch to understand the setup. 10 Cloverfield Lane is full of great tension and amazing performances. Highly recommend you check it out.

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