Living in a bunker isn’t so bad. You have tons of food. Movies on VHS. Board games. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a tank top. John Goodman in a Speedo. The nagging suspicion that your bunker-mate is a crazed psycho who is more dangerous than the deadly disease that is allegedly outside.
All these things and more collide in 10 Cloverfield Lane, the gripping, suspense-laden and highly entertaining thriller from director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams. Unpredictable, unsettling and immensely enjoyable, the movie features terrific performances from the three leads, most notably an award-worthy performance from Goodman, and a sharp script laced with dashes of humor and plenty of where-the-hell-is-this-movie-going-to-end-up mystery.
The John Goodman/Mary Elizabeth Winstead sex scene is especially unexpected.
Or am I?
10 Cloverfield Lane is deserving of any accolades that come its way… largely because it’s simultaneously simple and original, mainstream yet small, confined yet explosive. Its biggest shortcoming–and this may be simply due to the theater ratcheting up the volume too high–is that as impressive as the sound design is, the movie is f**king loud. A little too loud.
The ending is (SPOILER) freaking bonkers. Not quite Cabin in the Woods bonkers, but bonkers nonetheless. Some people will love it, others will hate it, and the rest will, like me, react with an amused okay-didn’t-see-that-coming-not-sure-what-I-think-of-it-but-well-whatever-it’s-entertaining-and-bonkers shrug.
Regardless of what you think of the ending, 10 Cloverfield Lane succeeds thanks to the initial 90 minutes, in which the movie grabs hold and rarely lets go. The movie is a blast, and that’s all you need to know.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.