10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 cloverfield lane poster 2016 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice suspense and tension

Movie gets over-the-top at the end

Movie Info

Movie Name:  10 Cloverfield Lane

Studio:  Bad Robot Productions

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s):  March 8, 2016 (Premiere)/March 11, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


You can be a winner at the game of Life!

Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has decided to leave her home and her boyfriend.  When she goes off the road in a car accident, she wakes up chained to a bed in the bunker of a man named Howard Stambler (John Goodman).  Howard tells Michelle that the world has ended in an invasion and the surface has become toxic.  This is backed up by Howard’s other “guest” Emmett DeWitt (John Gallagher, Jr.) who claims to have seen the invasion first hand.  Michelle questions if Howard could be lying and a game of cat-and-mouse could become deadly.


Did you ever see The Descent, Michelle?

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 10 Cloverfield Lane was written under the working title of The Cellar.  Produced by J.J. Abrams, the movie was retitled 10 Cloverfield Lane to tie in to Abrams’ 2008 film Cloverfield.  The movie was released to positive reviews and a strong box office return.

It is always strange when you go into a film knowing there is a twist.  I don’t know if it is more surprising to be completely taken off guard or to keep questioning what the twist might be.  Due to the type of film 10 Cloverfield Lane is a *****Spoiler Alert***** is in effect for the rest of the review.


It tingles…

To get right into it, I don’t think the twist of 10 Cloverfield Lane is much of a twist.  The film in general feels like a Twilight Zone episode and The Twilight Zone always did endings like the ending of this film.  The problem is, that the twist is rather lowbrow when the rest of the film is rather highbrow.  I like the battle and sometimes alliance between the main three characters.  When the twist is revealed, it gets a bit ridiculous.  The movie should have ended with the ships maybe rising from the cornfield and cut to black…instead you get this prolonged fight sequence that feels over-the-top and not in spirit with the rest of the film.

There is some complaint that there is no character development but that is kind of the point of the movie.  Goodman, Winstead, and Gallagher are good in their roles but you aren’t really supposed to know much about them because it really doesn’t matter in the long term point of the plot.  The movie is almost a riff on the Jean-Paul Satre 1944 play No Exit where three characters are trapped in Hell in a room…and they learn that Hell is other people.  That how I felt the plot worked and even could have been expanded.


Well, this is just a bad day

I visually also feel the twist lets down the movie.  I liked how the film was shot up until the twist.  The opening sequence (with no talking) was a great way to introduce Winstead’s character and felt a bit like the sequence in Dressed to Kill at the museum.  The tension and action was building but the appearance by the aliens at the end just wasn’t the same level and felt forced.

10 Cloverfield Lane overall was a good experience.  It was about ten minutes too long, but that can be said about many movies.  The movie is a nice tense thriller and with a second strong response, the Cloverfield “Universe” was destined to release another monster.  After long delays, 10 Cloverfield Lane was followed by The Cloverfield Paradox in 2018.

Related Links:

Cloverfield (2008)

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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