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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look46.67%
Average: 26.67%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 6.67%

1 review, 9 user ratings

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10 Cloverfield Lane
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by Peter Sobczynski

"And You Thought Going Into The Basement With Stanley Tucci Was A Bad Idea."
4 stars

Right up front, it should be noted that “10 Cloverfield Lane,” a film that most people did not even know existed until the trailer was unveiled a few weeks ago, is not a sequel per se to “Cloverfield,” the 2008 alien invasion film that was produced under a similar shroud of secrecy and which went on to become a big hit—there is no shakycam footage of good-looking hipsters trying to elude horrific monsters while making their way through the ruins of a recently attacked city. The only real similarities between the two involve the clandestine nature of the productions, the presence of JJ Abrams as one of the producers and its smashing overall effectiveness.

Kicking off with a touch of the cap to “Psycho,” the film follows Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as she takes a powder on her boyfriend following an argument and goes off for a long drive that is interrupted by a terrible car accident. When she regain consciousness, she finds herself in an underground shelter belonging to oddball Howard (John Goodman), who insists that they, along with goofy third wheel Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) are going to be down there for a long time because a recent chemical attack has killed off most of the population and left the air unbreathable. Because the story is so fantastic and because Howard is clearly a paranoid sort, Michelle immediately tries to find a way to escape but discovers that he may actually be telling the truth about the outside world. Resigned, she tries to make the best of it until she makes additional discoveries that casts further doubt on her situation and force her to contemplate whether she is in more imminent danger outside the shelter or inside of it.

It would be previously unfair to even hint at where the story goes from this point, so I will tread extremely lightly from this point on. What I will say is that writers Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle have peppered what could have been another run-of-the-mill locked-room thriller with a number of clever twists and an ingenious way of doling out information so that we in the audience, much like Michelle, are never entirely sure of where we stand. Debuting director Dan Trachtenberg does an impressive job of milking the material for every bit of claustrophobic tension imaginable and even throws in a few welcome bits of oddball humor to boot. The film is also blessed with what will almost certainly go down as two of the more impressive acting turns of 2016. As the initially fearful woman who discovers her own inner strength and resources under the most unlikely of conditions, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great and will hopefully win the stardom she has long deserved if this film hits big. Even better, John Goodman gives what could be the performance of his not-inconsiderable career here as Howard with a performance that walks the tightrope between misunderstood hero and deranged lunatic so beautifully that he manages to keep viewers off-balance throughout.

As I said, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is not an overt continuation to the original “Cloverfield” but it does share certain thematic concerns with the previous film in much the same way that the upcoming “Everybody Gets Some” is a sort of a sort of spiritual sequel to "Dazed and Confused" without sharing any common characters. This is the aspect of the film that will probably perplex viewers the most and indeed, it is probably the weakest thing about it. (The film was originally written as a completely separate enterprise and I would be curious to see what changes were made to that first version to bring it more fully into the fold.) Other than that, this is an ingenious low-budget thriller that grabs you right from the start and only lets go two hours later, leaving you dazed, excited and freaked out in equal measure. Just don’t let anyone tell you what happens beforehand.

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originally posted: 03/12/16 04:29:33
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell bad very overrated watch the first one instead 1 stars
5/13/16 Chelsie Suspenseful and enjoyable, still room for improvement like most things 5 stars
4/15/16 mr.mike Is "no bad" 3 stars
3/30/16 orpy Good at first, then becomes an ordinary scary movie. 3 stars
3/20/16 Langano I`d prefer a 6-hour blow-job from her, she is such a babe. 5 stars
3/19/16 Langano Not bad, slightly overrated. 3 stars
3/19/16 Langano Not bad, slightly overrated. 3 stars
3/19/16 FireWithFire I want Mary Elizabeth Winstead to give me a 3-hour blow-job. 5 stars
3/13/16 action movie fan tense and claustrophobic but escape should have been earlier with more running away 4 stars
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  11-Mar-2016 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Jun-2016

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