Movie Review: '10 Cloverfield Lane'

’10 Cloverfield Lane’is a nifty thriller/sci-fi drama that is worth the price of admission alone for the performance of its lead actors.

Director Dan Trachtenberg’s ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is not a sequel to the found footage 2008 classic ‘Cloverfield.’

Think of ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ as a close relative, a “cousin” of sorts, that exists within the “Cloverfield Universe.” A tense, smartly acted thriller on its own merits, ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is sure to rewrite some rules on sequelization and film franchises.

The film is effective enough, with constant cat-and-mouse tension between its lead characters, that the ‘Cloverfield’ relation is almost ancillary. It stands on its own legs as a terrific, tense, efficient thriller in the sci-fi genre.


Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s “Michelle” survives a horrific car accident, waking up in the survival bunker of “Howard,” played by a never-better John Goodman. Goodman’s “Howard” is a character for the genre ages…at once scary, paternal, ominous, and caring.

The outside world has been catastrophically damaged. The exact reasons are unclear, but Howard has sheltered Michelle and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) from whatever dangers lurk beyond the concrete walled safety of Howard’s underground safe house.

Howard is a “black belt in conspiracy theories” and, even before the destruction of life as we know it, has been building and preparing for the end of the world for some time, now.

Where Emmett and Howard are voluntarily self-quaranatined, Winstead’s resourceful ‘Michelle’ would prefer to see the truth of civilizations’ fall for herself.

But, are the horrors of the unknown fate of our world more deadly than the terror that lies within the “safe” confines of Howard’s protective enclave?

You’ll just have to go see ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ for yourself to find out.

John Goodman is an Oscar-worthy revelation as Howard. Seldom seen in genre movies, is an actor so persuasively unsettling. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s ‘Michelle’ is an Ellen Ripley-esque opposing force that gives ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ its palpable tension and suspense.

For those unfamiliar with the events laid out in ‘Cloverfield,’ this new “parallel story” doesn’t require viewing of the origin film. Is it more enjoyable for those who love the original ‘Cloverfield’ title? Hell, yes!

There are some great “Easter Eggs” and surprises for fans of ‘Cloverfield.’

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a squirm-in-your-seat, tense, claustrophobic suspense movie that is well worth your time in the multiplex. The lead performances, especially John Goodman, make this take on the “Cloverfield Universe” a must-see for genre fans!

Flixnerd Rating: ★★★★☆

End Credits?: No, nothing to see here.


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