10 Cloverfield Lane Review

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 9.46.54 PM     Finding a picture that encapsulated this film and didn’t spoil anything was hard, thus I chose the one you may observe to your left. With this still I can describe what you should know about this film, John Goodman is always giving you his back, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is always searching for a solution, and John Gallagher Jr. is simply there, and he’s great for a character that’s just there most of the time, plus they’re all stuck in a bunker even though knowing really knows why. With only this information or even less is how you should go into watch this film, being surprised with every turn the film takes and constantly analyzing how this and Cloverfield are connected. Yes, you’ve been warned, 10 Cloverfield Lane is to Cloverfield as men are to The Duke of Burgundy, you assume they’re somehow involved yet you never even get a hint of clarification on the issue. That and the ending are the only issues I had with this terrifically acted, wonderfully directed, confined thriller birthed by Bad Robot Productions. John Goodman has shown he’s got tremendous range as an actor in films like Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, and Argo, and now with 10 Cloverfield Lane Goodman delivers with what might be the first Oscar-worthy performance of the year. John Goodman presents with a very unhinged man who seems very confident about his reasoning, which happen to be scariest people portrayed on-screen if you take a look back, but then because of his physicality Goodman also able to subject the individuals around him with powerlessness, which adds to the films suspense knowing there’s only two other people in this bunker apart from this troubled man. One of those being John Gallagher Jr. who basically serves as comical relief and assistance to Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Some might think, that’s it? But, that’s really all you need, he provides the viewer with enough entertainment and helps our protagonist enough that he checks off everything he needs to do and proves a working component of the film. Finally, there’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, our awesome female protagonist. Normally, I find myself frustrated whispering what the protagonist in one of these films should and should not be doing, but it was so satisfying to watch this film and  as I thought of what Winstead should do, its as if she heard me and did the right thing, many times even beating me, proving herself to be a clever female lead who knows how to solve problems. Since I don’t want to delve into what occurs in the bunker, I’ll just say 10 Cloverfield Lane moves at a quiet pace and strikes when you least expect it too, the score and directing simply accumulate tension in the underground facility, and that’s probably the best thing about this film, the way the tension is handled. Leaping onto his first feature film, Dan Trachtenberg (which I’m really sad about because he’s discontinuing his adaptation of Y: The Last Man) shows his directing talent, astutely placing hidden pieces among the film to help you complete the puzzle that is 10 Cloverfield Lane, slowly building stuff up, giving enough character the attention they deserveand giving us as the audience a really fun neo-Twilight Zone/Stephen King-vibed adventure on the big-screen. As for that final issue I mentioned early regarding the film’s finale, that is the big reveal. The problem with this reveal is an odd situation, because it completely makes sense once you process it, once you go back and analyze certain sounds, certain titles, yet its very expected, thus because it makes that much sense its also that predictable, devaluing the rest of the cinematic experience somewhat. All in all, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a really well directed film that stumbles a bit in its third act yet introduces us to another realm of Bad Robot Productions, a alien dimension we shall eventually come to call the Clover-verse, hopefully finding the solution to how all these projects are connected one day, leaving it at a 75 out of 100.

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