Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Review: Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman & John Gallagher Jr.

**This is a spoiler-free review! And if it were me, I would do my best on avoiding plot-heavy reviews and just go see the movie!**

First time feature film director Dan Trachtenberg makes his mark in filmmaking with pairing up with J.J. Abrams and a small yet tremendous cast that makes up 10 Cloverfield Lane. Not to be totally confused with 2008’s Cloverfield, one of the first found-footage films of its kind about a major alien attack in New York City and starring the now famous T.J. Miller (2016’s Deadpool). 10 Cloverfield Lane is a perfect example of a franchise reboot that doesn’t all necessarily need to be associated with its predecessor. Which mean you can definitely go into this movie without having seeing Cloverfield at all, although I would recommend seeing it after because its so fun and pretty incredible.

When Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) awakes in an underground room, hooked up to an IV and chained to the wall, she starts to panic. After a while Howard (John Goodman) comes in to her room and tells her he is “keeping her alive.” Confused and clearly scared, Michelle attempts to escape and that’s when Howard says there has been an attack on the outside and the air is fully contaminated, leaving no survivors. Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is a neighbor of Howard’s who is also in the underground bunker. Emmett tells Michelle that he begged Howard to get in when the attack took place and Howard obliged.

There’s no getting around the fact that Howard is a little strange and Michelle is not so easily trusting of him. It’s up to Michelle to figure exactly what is going on inside the confines of that bunker and if the outside is really unsafe.

mary elizabeth winstead cloverfield lane

This movie is awesome. There is no other way to put it. Reminiscent of a Hitchcock film with its eerie and enchanting opening scene filled with a wondrous score by Bear McCreary (2016’s The Forest). This movie had me from the very beginning to the very end and there were more than a few times where I jumped out of my seat, shocked and scared and waiting to see what was going to happen next. Its a massive guessing game up until the very end and then you end up being blown away.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is phenomenal and such an underrated actress. If you haven’t seen Smashed or Alex of Venice, do so. She reminded me of a mixture of Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley while maintaining the grace of a Hitchcock movie star. This is also a great role for John Goodman, who is excellent in this film. Normally, we like to see Goodman as a big teddy bear and lately as the voice of Sully from Monster University, but here he is completely different.

J.J. Abrams proves again to be a successful producer and 10 Cloverfield Lane makes director Dan Trachtenberg one to watch in Hollywood. Don’t read much into the film and just go see it while it is in theatres. Though, skip the IMAX because it doesn’t fill up the whole screen. A standard show ticket will be just as good.

What I Liked: The entire cast but especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead, such an underrated actress! The fact that the director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams went for legitimate surprises and scares as opposed to cheap jump scenes. And definitely the ending. One of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year.

What I Didn’t Like: When it ended, I wanted more! But maybe that’s why it is so good!

How Many Times I Checked the Time: 0

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