Josh and Violet share their spoiler-free male vs. female perspective reviews of 10 Cloverfield Lane, directed by Dan Trachtenberg, and starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr.!
Josh’s Movie Review of 10 Cloverfield Lane:
J.J. Abrams dropped a big surprise a few months back. A “cousin” to the monster movie Cloverfield is how he described it—a movie, titled 10 Cloverfield Lane was coming out, and in just a couple months. For those unfamiliar, Cloverfield was a found-footage type movie about a group of young adults that are trying to flee a alien monster that has taken over New York. When J.J. Abrams says that this is a distant relative to Cloverfield, he means it—not much from this has to do with 10 Cloverfield Lane at all. This is a psychological thriller that just gets a little nutty at the end….but the good news is that it’s an interesting journey to get there.
The film was directed byDan Trachtenberg, and starred John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. The premise of the movie, at least from the trailers, have a young woman, mysteriously wake up in what looks like a bomb cellar, and she is told by John Goodman’s character that the world outside has ended and they will have to live underground—for an undefined amount of time.
As often is the case with many J.J. Abrams movies though, things aren’t as they always seem. The trailer shows the young woman trying to escape the confinement, which makes you wonder—is this man telling the truth about what is going on? How does she get answers if outside means certain death?
That is probably the best part about this movie. The “not knowing” really puts you on edge throughout the movie playing out. Could the world really have ended outside? This bomb shelter with 3 people is all that is left? Or is there something more going on? What really drives this all home for me is not just the story and how it is laid out for us, but all the performances in the movie as well.
John Goodman’s character comes off as creepy in the movie no doubt, but at the same time, what if he is right? Clearly there is something wrong with this man, but at the same time, he comes off as a compassionate person—in a creepy, disturbing way.
But I think what really makes this movie worthwhile is the not knowing—if you go into the movie knowing the plot points, it will not be as enjoyable of a movie. Seeing the storyline unfold is certainly how this movie should be seen. The trailers did a great job of selling the movie without giving too much away. One thing for those who don’t like jump scares—there are a few in the movie. For some reason jump scares get me quite a bit, and I really detest them, but they aren’t too bothersome in the film.
The movie does drag in a few places, during the “in between” moments, though, and it makes me wish I could hit the fast forward button to get to the next exciting moment. Additionally, while I enjoyed the plot points of the movie, it does go a little off the rails for me at the end. People who have seen the movie know exactly what I mean regarding this.
Still, these are the few negatives I have for the movie, and I thought it met my expectations of what I thought it would be—a psychological thriller with a bunch of twists and turns. I would give the movie a 7 out of 10, but would suggest if you are on the fence about the movie, see it before you are spoiled about what happens in it. Knowing what happens in the movie would completely ruin it, as going on the journey to see what happens is the best part about this movie.
Violet’s Movie Review
of 10 Cloverfield Lane:
The trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, which producer J.J. Abrams has described as a “blood relative” rather than a sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield, made its surprising debut less than 2 months ago. It was surprising because no one knew about the film. Somehow Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams’s production company, was able to keep it under wraps until then, which is unusual, because these days we usually know about upcoming movies about a year in advance of its release, if not more. 10 Cloverfield Lane is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, and stars John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Roseanne), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and John Gallagher Jr. (Jonah Hex, The Newsroom).
Upon seeing the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. I had liked Cloverfield, and never really expected a sequel. The bunker seemed like an interesting concept, and I was excited by the fact that the movie was coming out so soon. Although I liked Cloverfield, there was one aspect that I didn’t like about it — the shaky cam. I spent a lot of the movie with my eyes closed — not out of fear, but because I get motion sickness easily. So I guess you could say that I liked what I actually saw of Cloverfield. Thankfully, 10 Cloverfield Lane did not have this problem, so I was able to watch the whole thing without feeling nauseous.
To give a general plot description, 10 Cloverfield Lane centers on three people hiding out in a bunker — but from what, we don’t know exactly. But it’s not just as simple as that. A large portion of the film involves finding out how and why those people are there, which in turn makes the movie an intense psychological thriller. Having seen Cloverfield and knowing that 10 Cloverfield Lane is related to it, I went into the movie with certain assumptions about what was happening on the outside. At first, I thought that these assumptions would detract from the movie in that I wouldn’t be able to buy into any conflicting opinions on what was “really” happening on the outside, because I already knew — or so I thought. However, this hesitation was quickly put aside, as the opposing theory was so well presented, both by the story and by the actors, that I myself began questioning what was really going on, thinking maybe I was wrong in my assumption. Whether I was or wasn’t, I won’t reveal, so as not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it.
All three of the main actors, John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr., turned in great and convincing performances. John Goodman was really the standout of the bunch, showing just how versatile he can be. I really appreciated Winstead’s character, Michelle, who was an excellent example of a strong female character, with how smart, strong, and resourceful she was, always taking the initiative, and using her feminine traits to her advantage.
Although parts of the movie felt a bit slow, and there were some aspects that seemed a little too unrealistic, especially near the end, overall I enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane. The film had great acting, great effects, an intriguing storyline, and was exciting in ways that I hadn’t expected. I must point out that before this film, the director, Dan Trachtenberg, only had a couple of shorts and a TV episode under his belt, so I’d say he had a pretty impressive major film debut! I also have to say that the ending makes me want a sequel!
My rating: 7.5