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Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane
03.10.2016
8 10

PLOT: Following a violent car accident, a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in an underground shelter run by a survivalist (John Goodman) who claims they’ve survived an attack that’s left the earth uninhabitable.

REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is the kind of movie you should know as little about as possible before settling-in to watch it. A tight, well-crafted thriller, it works best if you have no idea what tricks the filmmakers have up their sleeves, and in a way it’s a shame that the cat’s been let out of the bag that this is connected to 2008’s monster-movie CLOVERFIELD. While that makes commercial sense, audiences will still walk into this expecting to see something wild. Luckily - the film doesn’t disappoint, although one wonders how much crazier the movie might have come-off had this connection been kept a surprise. Marking the directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg, this is an economical thriller done right. Shot in close quarters with only three actors in the cast (save for some bit players), it nevertheless manages to build a sense of anticipation and dread that’s should lead to killer word-of-mouth and big box-office from genre fans.

10 cloverfield lane Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Unlike the original CLOVERFIELD, which embraced the then-trendy found-footage genre, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is deliberately old-fashioned. The wordless prologue, featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s heroine trying to extricate herself from her seemingly comfortable existence, is intriguing in how much information they’re able to convey only through Winstead’s physical acting and the unnerving, Bernard Herrmann-style score by Bear McCreary (a real A-level effort from the prolific composer). Once Winstead wakes up in Goodman’s shelter, the movie becomes an intriguing battle for dominance between Winstead’s ingenious heroine and John Goodman's unsettling Howard, who’s clearly hiding something and is never quite acceptable either to the characters or the audience as the savior he claims to be. John Gallagher, Jr.’s Emmet, another young person seemingly rescued by Howard, makes for an interesting third party, with his loyalties zig-zagging between Goodman and Winstead throughout.

John Gallagher Jr. John Goodman Mary Elizabeth Winstead 10 cloverfield lane

Winstead, who’s always been one of Hollywood’s great, under-appreciated leading ladies, gives a full-on movie-star performance as the incredibly personable Michelle. While we know very little about her at first, we’re immediately on her side and she makes for a very compelling lead, especially as the tension is ratcheted up to breathtaking levels. John Goodman makes for a really interesting choice to play Howard, as he’s someone an audience can’t help but sympathize with to a degree, thanks to his own iconic status, with him having played so many lovable characters in the past. This is a true case of casting-against-type and it works to the film’s advantage in a huge way. Of the three, Gallagher is the least prominent, but he makes a big impression nonetheless. 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is nothing if not impeccably cast.

Which brings us to the denouement, which will likely divide audiences - although the packed-house I saw this with cheered throughout. If the stories about this being turned into a CLOVERFIELD sequel late-in-production are true, then everyone involved has done a pretty seamless job making it work as a true successor (if maybe not quite a sequel) to the original. There are some ingenious bits towards the end, with a climax that suggests there’s a whole mythology to this universe that can be explored in other installments, making the CLOVERFIELD franchise work as a kind of big-screen anthology series. Whether this pans out or not, the final act is undeniably thrilling, and Trachtenberg will without-a-doubt become much in-demand in that he proves himself both capable of character drama and some real spectacle.

Certainly, Paramount and Bad Robot have done an admirable job keeping 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE under-wraps, and this is absolutely a must-see opening weekend as the ending will no doubt be much-debated and commented-on in the Twitter-verse (it’s already happening). Go in as fresh as you can, but even robbed of some of its surprises this is a terrific thriller with great acting, good writing (including contributions by WHIPLASH’s Damien Chazelle) and solid craftsmanship all-around. It’s the ideal winter-sleeper, and a guaranteed good time at the movies.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: If you want to see another great Mary Elizabeth Winstead performance, check out the film FAULTS.
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:06PM on 03/12/2016

Nope....

If they would have called it something else I would see it, but calling it 10 Cloverfield Lane, then dropping all these hints about it being a "blood relative" to the original is just a scam to jack up box office. They should have let the film succeed on it's own instead of trying to trick the movie-going public.
If they would have called it something else I would see it, but calling it 10 Cloverfield Lane, then dropping all these hints about it being a "blood relative" to the original is just a scam to jack up box office. They should have let the film succeed on it's own instead of trying to trick the movie-going public.
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8:31AM on 03/12/2016
Enjoyed it until that last 10 minutes. I expected a big reveal, but the reveal was lacking and it didn't even feel like the same movie anymore. Acting is spot on, Goodman deserves an Oscar next year for his performance, but the intensity of the film was lost when the CGI started. Glad I saw it, don't need to see it again. **1/2 out of ****
Enjoyed it until that last 10 minutes. I expected a big reveal, but the reveal was lacking and it didn't even feel like the same movie anymore. Acting is spot on, Goodman deserves an Oscar next year for his performance, but the intensity of the film was lost when the CGI started. Glad I saw it, don't need to see it again. **1/2 out of ****
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10:57AM on 03/11/2016

Loved 10 Cloverfield Lane

Saw it last night and boy was I surprised! A lot of people are claiming there are no connections with the first film and that this is simply an anthology film, but that's not entirely true. SPOILERS! When Goodman's character is revealed to have worked on satellites for a Japanese company in Tokyo, this connects with Rob getting a job in Japan--but we as an audience don't know what he would be doing in this position. Another subtle connection that I noticed was Jr's character stating that he saw
Saw it last night and boy was I surprised! A lot of people are claiming there are no connections with the first film and that this is simply an anthology film, but that's not entirely true. SPOILERS! When Goodman's character is revealed to have worked on satellites for a Japanese company in Tokyo, this connects with Rob getting a job in Japan--but we as an audience don't know what he would be doing in this position. Another subtle connection that I noticed was Jr's character stating that he saw a red flash hit the city before making his way to the cellar. This is a call back to Cloverfield when the monster first started attacking New York. There were red/yellow firework like bombs falling from the sky during Rob's party. To me, the monster in the first film was probably sent to cities across the world in order to reduce the human populations while alien ships, in smaller areas, were releasing the green toxin that would make the air toxic.
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9:44AM on 03/11/2016
I loved 2008's Cloverfield. But i can HONESTLY day that 10 Cloverfield Lane is actually a better film.
The main reason? In the original film the characters were a little bland, the action kept moving so long it was more difficult to connect with Rob, Lily, Hud, Marlena. There were some great scenes. But in 10 Cloverfield Lane it is almost a character pressure cooker that is so genuine an dwell acted that the characters are completely realized.

I expected to be underwhelmed by 10
I loved 2008's Cloverfield. But i can HONESTLY day that 10 Cloverfield Lane is actually a better film.
The main reason? In the original film the characters were a little bland, the action kept moving so long it was more difficult to connect with Rob, Lily, Hud, Marlena. There were some great scenes. But in 10 Cloverfield Lane it is almost a character pressure cooker that is so genuine an dwell acted that the characters are completely realized.

I expected to be underwhelmed by 10 Cloverfield Lane. I thought the short 2 month turnaround from initial trailer to release was a bad sign. I was wrong. The film works very well. MEW was excellent. Goodman was incredible.
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8:31AM on 03/11/2016
I saw it last night with my daughter and I can say this is a good movie. I have seen some reviews that perhaps dislike the ending or final act. My take on it is that this film is a creepy, tense slow burn. It has a macabre feel to it, reminiscent of Hitchcock's Psycho. It breathes in a claustrophobic enclosed space, but you always get the feeling it is going to pick up and something is going to come to a head. At a specific point (you'll know exactly the point) the films shifts in tone and
I saw it last night with my daughter and I can say this is a good movie. I have seen some reviews that perhaps dislike the ending or final act. My take on it is that this film is a creepy, tense slow burn. It has a macabre feel to it, reminiscent of Hitchcock's Psycho. It breathes in a claustrophobic enclosed space, but you always get the feeling it is going to pick up and something is going to come to a head. At a specific point (you'll know exactly the point) the films shifts in tone and pace. You KNOW something has to be done. I DO like the third act, in fact I think it is brilliant in a lot of ways, as it continues to feed on the most important aspect of the film, discovery. The main character of Michelle (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is constantly like "what the HELL is going on here?" Her amazement and fear is palpable and well done. The third act continues that theme but things are moving quicker and there is more desperation. The writing is excellent as with each character there is a place to go. (By and large there are only 3 main characters in the film.

As far as the connection to Cloverfield, don't get hung up on it. On its merits the story and performances are fantastic. Goodman is terrific.
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4:25AM on 03/11/2016

Okay... For those wondering about the connection...

10 Cloverfield lane is to Cloverfield as Halloween III: Season of the Witch is to Halloween.
Get it?
(And look how cool Halloween III is now.)
10 Cloverfield lane is to Cloverfield as Halloween III: Season of the Witch is to Halloween.
Get it?
(And look how cool Halloween III is now.)
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1:34AM on 03/11/2016

So, I'm lost lol

I saw it and I enjoyed it, but I guess I just don't understand how the two are connected in the slightest. I'm not going to give anything away. I guess I must have just missed something besides the obvious name of the film. Loved the everything up to the final 10/15 minutes and a pretty solid film all together. I expected to leave with questions I just didn't think I'd be more confused afterwords than when I went in.
I saw it and I enjoyed it, but I guess I just don't understand how the two are connected in the slightest. I'm not going to give anything away. I guess I must have just missed something besides the obvious name of the film. Loved the everything up to the final 10/15 minutes and a pretty solid film all together. I expected to leave with questions I just didn't think I'd be more confused afterwords than when I went in.
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1:12AM on 03/11/2016

I was loving it...until the final 15 minutes.

This review sums up the exact feelings I had after the movie ended...I read the review after I saw it.

"The film’s failing is that, in linking it to Cloverfield, it abandons the elements that made the majority of the movie effective. Take away the disappointing, disjointed, and anti-climactic final act, and this is an effective white-knuckle psychological thriller."
[link]

I thought the exact same thing after the movie ended. ">
This review sums up the exact feelings I had after the movie ended...I read the review after I saw it.

"The film’s failing is that, in linking it to Cloverfield, it abandons the elements that made the majority of the movie effective. Take away the disappointing, disjointed, and anti-climactic final act, and this is an effective white-knuckle psychological thriller."
[link]

I thought the exact same thing after the movie ended.
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9:39AM on 03/11/2016
I liked the ending a lot.
I liked the ending a lot.
9:54PM on 03/10/2016

Now that's a movie

BRAVO MR JJ BRAVO... you kept a movie underwraps the trailer really didn't give anything away at all. The tension was insane, this was like two movies in one. And its neither a sequel or prequel its a stand alone film within the same universe, which will and hopefully be tied together. I got a question for all you though remember at the end of first clover when that satallite came crashing into the ocean do you think that can be the alien ship ? That we saw ? JJ can play on that idea too.
BRAVO MR JJ BRAVO... you kept a movie underwraps the trailer really didn't give anything away at all. The tension was insane, this was like two movies in one. And its neither a sequel or prequel its a stand alone film within the same universe, which will and hopefully be tied together. I got a question for all you though remember at the end of first clover when that satallite came crashing into the ocean do you think that can be the alien ship ? That we saw ? JJ can play on that idea too.
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2:43PM on 03/10/2016
And let me guess, skinny white girl saves the day despite all the physically and mentally capable males around her...no thanks. I'd rather read the spoilers and not waste my money....no disrespect to John Goodman. If I pay to see it, then I only do it because he worked in this movie.
And let me guess, skinny white girl saves the day despite all the physically and mentally capable males around her...no thanks. I'd rather read the spoilers and not waste my money....no disrespect to John Goodman. If I pay to see it, then I only do it because he worked in this movie.
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3:23PM on 03/10/2016
No disrespect to John Goodman? You literally disrespected women everywhere with this comment.
No disrespect to John Goodman? You literally disrespected women everywhere with this comment.
9:39AM on 03/11/2016
You are mistaken. This is not a "skinny white girl saves the day" film. It is very much a slow burn like a Hitchcock film. The spoiler stuff may come across a certain way for you, particularly the 3rd act. But the meat of the film is everything before that. It all works well. Winstead is excellent.

As for "physically and mentally capable males around her" there are 2 males, one with serious arm injury (not physically capable) and the other no where NEAR mentally capable to save the
You are mistaken. This is not a "skinny white girl saves the day" film. It is very much a slow burn like a Hitchcock film. The spoiler stuff may come across a certain way for you, particularly the 3rd act. But the meat of the film is everything before that. It all works well. Winstead is excellent.

As for "physically and mentally capable males around her" there are 2 males, one with serious arm injury (not physically capable) and the other no where NEAR mentally capable to save the day. John Goodman's Howard is a looney, he isn't there to save the day but only to ratchet up the macabre tension.
12:40PM on 03/10/2016
Chills, baby, chills! I hope I get them while watching the film as well...I'm so ready for this...
Chills, baby, chills! I hope I get them while watching the film as well...I'm so ready for this...
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4:10AM on 03/11/2016
Accidental down vote. Meant to up vote you.back to 0.
Accidental down vote. Meant to up vote you.back to 0.
10:01AM on 03/10/2016

Saw advanced screening (no spoilers)

Fortunate enough to see it yesterday and man what a ride. I'd classify this as a genre-bending flick that does an excellent job building tension and does not rely on cheap scares. If suspense is what you want from it, this has a lot. The acting was solid all around w/ Goodman truly displaying his incredible talent once again in a memorable role. Ending will leave you with questions, which to me is a good thing.
Fortunate enough to see it yesterday and man what a ride. I'd classify this as a genre-bending flick that does an excellent job building tension and does not rely on cheap scares. If suspense is what you want from it, this has a lot. The acting was solid all around w/ Goodman truly displaying his incredible talent once again in a memorable role. Ending will leave you with questions, which to me is a good thing.
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9:48AM on 03/10/2016
I really want to see this. I enjoyed Cloverfield quite a bit. It probably didn't need the found-footage aesthetic, but whatever. If this is truly a sequel, then it really leaves the door open for maybe one of the most unique franchises in film. With each installment not only separate from the previous movie, but also a different genre of film - Cloverfield was a survival movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a psychological thriller, who knows what the third movie will be (if there is a third
I really want to see this. I enjoyed Cloverfield quite a bit. It probably didn't need the found-footage aesthetic, but whatever. If this is truly a sequel, then it really leaves the door open for maybe one of the most unique franchises in film. With each installment not only separate from the previous movie, but also a different genre of film - Cloverfield was a survival movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a psychological thriller, who knows what the third movie will be (if there is a third movie).
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9:43AM on 03/10/2016
This looks great. The fact that it doesn't need to be a sequel of sorts just a group trying to survive this new world in their own way is cool. You could do many stories this way, and since it was pretty vague how many monsters actually exist now since Cloverfield, seeing as how the bridge monster with his octopus-like arms was clearly different than the one walking around terrorizing downtown, plus whatever it was that drops into the water at the end when they are on the Ferris wheel, you
This looks great. The fact that it doesn't need to be a sequel of sorts just a group trying to survive this new world in their own way is cool. You could do many stories this way, and since it was pretty vague how many monsters actually exist now since Cloverfield, seeing as how the bridge monster with his octopus-like arms was clearly different than the one walking around terrorizing downtown, plus whatever it was that drops into the water at the end when they are on the Ferris wheel, you could have numerous monster stories.
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9:25AM on 03/10/2016

Totally seeing this...

Hopefully in future installments, they can continue in the mystery of the Cloverfield monster.
Hopefully in future installments, they can continue in the mystery of the Cloverfield monster.
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5:42AM on 03/10/2016

Going in fresh?

I was big fan of the first one due to viral campaign it had, I followed every bit of it.

My girlfriend has yet to see the first. Would it be better for her to just go see this before having seen the first one?
I was big fan of the first one due to viral campaign it had, I followed every bit of it.

My girlfriend has yet to see the first. Would it be better for her to just go see this before having seen the first one?
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10:54AM on 03/10/2016
I saw the film last night and there really is no need to see the first one to understand this one. They are almost 2 separate films.
I saw the film last night and there really is no need to see the first one to understand this one. They are almost 2 separate films.
5:11AM on 03/10/2016
Very excited to read the positive review. Absolutely love the fact that they were able to keep this a secret for as long as they did and that it was actually worth it.
Very excited to read the positive review. Absolutely love the fact that they were able to keep this a secret for as long as they did and that it was actually worth it.
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3:59AM on 03/10/2016
Oh man. I used to love watching Dan Trachtenberg and friends geeking out over movies and computer games on The Totally Rad Show. Still haven't filled that void after it stopped. Well done sir. Well done!
Oh man. I used to love watching Dan Trachtenberg and friends geeking out over movies and computer games on The Totally Rad Show. Still haven't filled that void after it stopped. Well done sir. Well done!
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+1
2:09AM on 03/10/2016
Another issue, I think, has been the viral marketing, which if you follow it has details that may reveal further spoilers. I won't say anything here, but I have to agree that the least one knows about this the better. It would have helped if they hadn't put Cloverfield in the title.
Another issue, I think, has been the viral marketing, which if you follow it has details that may reveal further spoilers. I won't say anything here, but I have to agree that the least one knows about this the better. It would have helped if they hadn't put Cloverfield in the title.
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+1
12:47AM on 03/10/2016

That's the plan....

It's getting really good reviews and that's enough for me. Going to see it Friday and hope it's as good as advertised. I didn't even read your review to avoid any possible spoilers, just the last paragraph and the score.
It's getting really good reviews and that's enough for me. Going to see it Friday and hope it's as good as advertised. I didn't even read your review to avoid any possible spoilers, just the last paragraph and the score.
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