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Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

After surviving a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker with two men. Howard (John Goodman) tells her that a massive chemical attack has rendered the air un-breathable, and their only hope of survival is to remain inside. Despite the comforts of home, Howard’s controlling and menacing nature makes Michelle want to escape. After taking matters into her own hands Michelle finally discovers the truth about the outside world.

10 Cloverfield Lane is not a direct sequel to the fan-favorite found footage film Cloverfield; however, it is a well-developed stand-a-lone story in the same universe as its predecessor. This film was originally named The Cellarbefore being acquired by Paramount Pictures and producer J.J. Abrams rebranded it under their Cloverfield franchise. Viewers hoping for a direct sequel might be left wanting a little more, though 10 Cloverfield Lane is a downright exciting, crafty, and thrilling movie experience.

John Campbell and Matt Stuecken are newcomers into the film industry and they take advantage by penning a fantastic, tightly written script. Dan Trachtenberg, also a newcomer, directs with such focus and wit that it makes the film so much fun to watch.

The standout performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. elevate the film to heights it could never dream of reaching. John Goodman plays the character named Howard, an old Navy vet who’s so obsessed with being prepared for the apocalypse that he’s a little creepy. His mysterious past creates an entertaining dynamic with Winstead’s character, Michelle, who becomes weary of his actions in the bunker and attempts to leave. As the mystery about Howard unfolds, the bigger question becomes: is it worse to stay in a perfectly safe bunker with someone who might just be crazy or take your chances in the real world?

10 Cloverfield Lane makes the most of its confined space and boasts some standout performances especially with John Goodman’s charmingly, creepy character. Both him and Winstead have great back and forth banter on screen and make this film very fun, creepy and mysterious. Without ever giving the story away about what happened to the world above and if Howard (John Goodman) is telling her the truth, there’s so much depth and charisma in these characters that it truly makes for a great watch. The final 15 minutes of the film are truly a sight to see as it adds to the lore of the franchise and will have moviegoers and fans alike clamoring for more.

10 Cloverfield Lane has little to do with Cloverfield but is, without a doubt, a clever, gripping, and downright entertaining movie. 10 Cloverfield Lane boasts standout performances and fantastic debuts from writers John Campbell and Matt Stuecken, as well as director Dan Trachtenberg to bring a fun, thrilling sci-fi adventure to the big screen. Trachtenberg’s doesn’t do anything new, but he delivers a top-notch movie experience that will leave moviegoers and fans of the series begging for another sequel.

Summary:

10 Cloverfield Lane benefits from superb performances and a tightly written script, while daring to blow the door open on franchise filmmaking.

4 Stars: Fantastic

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Samuel Tuero View All

Rutgers Student studying Political Science & Government with a minor in Journalism who has an interest in the intersection of journalism and political movements.

Twitter: Sam_Tuero

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