10 Cloverfield Lane Review

  • Title:  10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Director: Dan Trachtenberg
  • Review:  ★★★

In 2008 director Matt Reeves and executive producer J.J. Abrams unleashed Cloverfield on the world. Telling the story of a giant monster terrorizing New York City the film furthered the found footage genre made successful by the by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. 10 Cloverfield Lane is produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Dan Trachtenberg. While not a direct sequel. “The idea came up a long time ago during production. We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield. The idea was developed over time.” said Abrams. So what is 10 Cloverfield Lane, and more importantly is it worthy of your time and money? Find out below.

10 Cloverfield Lane stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, a woman running from her relationship with Ben, voiced by Bradley Cooper. Howard an ex-Navy satellite engineer and Emmett, a local boy running from a past of under achievement. Howard saves Michelle from a car accident and brings her back to his homemade fallout shelter to save her from the attack that has occurred on the surface. While they don’t know if the attack was chemical, biological or nuclear, Howard tries to convince Michelle that everyone on the outside is dead. After a run-in and Emmett’s backing of the attack Michelle finally comes to grips with her fate, that she is stuck in the shelter with the mentally unstable Howard until it is finally safe to return to the surface. The plot is pushed forward when Michelle and Emmett discover that Howard may be even worse than he seems. Eventually we get to the big twist and that is where the movie starts to betray the amazing performances. There will be no spoilers here, but the movie really goes off the rails.

The film features incredible performances from all three of its lead actors. John Goodman gives perhaps his finest performance to date. That is about as big a compliment I can pay to a man who has provided us with some amazing work in his career. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is nearly equally as fantastic as Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., in his first major film role holds his own, turning in a great performance as well. The films score, composed by Bear McCreary, who has worked on both Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Walking Dead, is both driving and haunting.


I walked away from 10 Cloverfield Lane unsure if I enjoyed what I had just seen or not. While I couldn’t argue the performances are fantastic, to the point of Oscar worthy in the case of John Goodman. The story ultimately fell flat for me. Unneeded angles and a bizarre plot twist mire an otherwise great film.

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