Movie Review: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Is A Superior Nail Biter

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What a ride! ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is an edge of your seat thriller from beginning to end and the type of film that seems to consistently circumvent your expectations at every turn. Even more impressive is the fact that all this is done with little more than a set and less than a handful of actors. Things may get a little more expensive in the third act, but it’s every thing leading up to it that makes the film so good.

This movie is also the type of film that is served best by as little knowledge as humanly possible. In fact, this is going to be even better for you if you haven’t seen its sister found footage film from 2008. There’s no found footage this time. Just well written, acted, and edited thrills. Most of those thrills are also psychological in nature. Wondering what’s in John Goodman’s head becomes a large part of the excitement of watching this film.

In the film, Goodman plays a character named Howard. Howard has built a bomb shelter in case of an attack and it appears we have had one. It appears that way. We don’t know because our protagonist, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was knocked of the road in the opening sequence. She has no idea what happened outside. All she (and the audience) knows is that she was leaving her fiancé, she was driving north, and she got knocked off the road unconscious. That’s her last bit of knowledge.

She then wakes up tied to a wall, in a room with no windows, and she is quickly told everybody outside is dead. Of course, she thinks she has been kidnapped, and maybe she has. The fun of this movie is trying to figure out what the hell is actually going on. There is a wildcard in the story. That wildcard is a man named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) and his presence complicates some of the motivations we might think Howard has. He is also Michelle’s emotional confidant when needed.

Telling you anymore about the film would be a cardinal sin that I’m unwilling to commit. What I will tell you is that it would be equally sinful to miss this experience. While it’s not one of those movies that will play as well on further viewings (my only real complaint), it is an outstanding experience the first time you watch it. It’s a movie that will keep you guessing and biting your nails all the way to the close. Sounds like a good time to me.

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Nathan Ligon

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