10 Cloverfield Lane(2016)
Monsters come in many forms.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. (TV's Newsroom) lead this follow-up to Cloverfield. No longer in found-footage, this "blood relative" to the 2008 sci-fi thriller is set in a bomb shelter. Co-written by the creator of Whiplash and directed by Dan Trachtenberg, known for his impressive fan-film Portal: No Escape.
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BY Tony Stamp Flicks Writer
When a surprise teaser trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane turned up a few months ago, it set tongues wagging about what connection it would have to 2008’s monster romp Cloverfield. Producer JJ Abrams declared it a “spiritual successor”, but while Cloverfield spanned a good deal of New York as it was torn apart by an alien beast, its Louisiana-set namesake traffics in claustrophobia.... More
Shortly into proceedings, Mary Elizabeth Winstead awakes after a car accident to find herself in John Goodman’s bunker, where she tries to process his news that the world outside is ending. What transpires is a terrific, compact thriller with yet another great performance from Goodman (equal parts terrifying and amusing), and an equally good one from Winstead, our focal point as we wrestle along with her about what is actually going on outside the bunker, and inside Goodman’s head.
The film plays coy right up until the end, and it’s obvious why they’ve kept details scarce. It’s the type of film best seen fresh, as its main pleasures come from that increasingly rare feeling of genuinely not knowing what’s going to happen.
10 Cloverfield Lane feels much shorter than its 2 hour run time, thanks to first-time director Dan Trachtenberg’s economic storytelling, and a cracking script co-written by Whiplash writer-director Damien Chazelle (originally set to direct, until Whiplash was greenlit). There’s a real Twilight Zone vibe to it, and if Abrams and co intend this as part two in an ongoing series, we should hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for the next one.Hide
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10 Cloverfield Lane
BY cinemusefilm superstar
The linear plotline opens with soon-to-be-married Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) walking out on her fiancé only to drive straight into a horrific car crash. She wakes up chained inside a bunker and is held captive by Howard (John Goodman), a doomsday prophet who built the sealed underground structure in anticipation of a major global event. He eventually convinces her that the outside world is now a post-apocalyptic and uninhabitable mess. His neighbour Emmett (John Gallagher) is the only other actor and becomes a confidante for Michelle, but not for long. For the first three-quarters of the film, tension builds then slowly flattens while Michelle becomes accepting of her plight in a claustrophobic space with all the comforts of home. When Howard’s temper shifts into horror and gore mode, Michelle takes flight only to stumble into a B-grade science fantasy set created with last century computer graphics. Everything this film achieves in terms of emotional tension, doubt, confusion, and of course, unbridled fear…then goes up in a puff a smoke.
John Goodman’s imposing girth, menacing bluster and steely gaze entertainingly convey total terror with enough glimpses of ‘Mr nice-guy’ to create confusion. For the most part Mary Elizabeth Winstead ably reflects vulnerability, disbelief and fear, although she settles into domesticity rather too easily. The early unfolding story sustains a level of plausibility, even when Howard starts going weird. The real thrill in this film, however, is watching it crash and burn in the last twenty minutes as it runs out of ideas and takes a bad turn in the hope that the applause of science fantasy fans will drown out the boos of thriller fans. But neither group wins as the ending transforms this film into an incoherent and unforgivable mess.Hide
BY DanielK superstar
Essentially what you’ve got (for the most part) is a low-budget but expertly crafted slow-burn suspenser made with just enough Hollywood slickness to keep it from venturing into the territory of the genuinely uncomfortable. The reason that it stays so gripping throughout is twofold. The writing is whip-smart, managing to be blackly funny (great games night), often unpredictable, and with good instincts about when to drop in the occasional hoary thriller cliche for maximum effect. And the performances are top-notch - John Goodman seems to be getting all the plaudits, but the movie stands or falls on Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who takes the tired and potentially thankless role of tank-topped victim and turns it into a movie-star vehicle through sheer force of will - she completely owns this thing from first frame to last.
The final act isn’t going to be to everybody’s taste, but despite the fact that the subject matter might seem like a major departure from what went before it, the playful tone and moderately deranged energy are all of apiece. True, the tension evaporates long before the credits roll, but I was still having plenty of fun and would have been happy to stick around for another twenty minutes just to see what shenanigans Winstead’s Michelle got into next. Overall, super popcorn entertainment.Hide
BY Rick-Vine wannabe
Only a few tense moments and found it a bit boring between them. John Goodman performed well but didn't find there was sufficient misdirection around to get you thinking along one track when the answer was something altogether. The ending was just so unbelievable to make it laughable.
BY Hugo-Burns superstar
Phenomenal direction. Sensational performances. Nail biting and cavity clenching tension. A batshit crazy 3rd act. An excellent throwback to 50s and 60s shows and films such as The Twilight Zone. 10 Cloverfield Lane absolutely blew me away and needs to be seen by everyone. Also, if you live near a true IMAX theatre, go see it there, it's worth it.
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