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Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Spoiler Free)

Updated on March 11, 2016


Okay guys, I watched this film without knowing much about it, which may be a primary contributor to why I like it so much. While I am still going to avoid spoilers in my review, it might best if you want to be completely surprised to either drop out of this review, or quickly get down to my Tl;dr subsection.

Either way, it's better to see this sooner rather than later to avoid any potential spoilers.

A movie poster for the film
A movie poster for the film | Source

Initial Impressions

Well, this was exhilarating. The movie started off a bit slow (since all that you can glean from the trailers are recreated for the film), before ramping up, settling down a little bit, and then kicking it into a nonstop terrifying thrill ride. It's really, really good.

If I had to compare this film to another out of recent memory, I'd say Shyamalan's The Visit of last year. The trailers give relatively nothing but a simple premise, mysteries are already present through marketing, and there are multiple twists and spins as the film plays out. Once it gets going, your mind will try to keep pace, creating ideas and thoughts as the film continues to progresses.

It's not a 'smart' thriller (say, like Ex Machina which I absolutely love), but when it gains momentum, it starts going quickly. You won't have much time to create any tangible theories, but that's fine because the suspense gives way to almost constant terror in an effort to overwhelm you. It does this very, very well.

The Plot/Premise

Alright, keeping to a minimalistic summary, girl wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker with two others who both claim that the outside air has become contaminated and they can't go out. Already from the trailers you can see that not everything inside is good either, particuarly from Michelle's perspective (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). A lot of information is given, as well as 'potential information' (what I call things characters may hear or theorize without actual evidence), both which just fuel your energy while trying to figure out what's coming next.

There's also the connection to the title of another film called Cloverfield, but I'm not going to be talking about that here at all.

Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead | Source


In a movie featuring three characters stuck in a bunker, you know they have to act well. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, our POV protagonist, does an excellent job. Her character is built well from the very beginning that helps explain why she does what she does later on. Her wide eyes are perfect for conveying the terror and suspension that film wants the audience to have. Better yet, there's really no extraneous information which helps make her much more concise.

Playing Howard, John Goodman is absolutely brilliant, but I don't really think I can talk about that.

Finally, John Gallagher Jr. plays Emmet, the other 'guest' to the bunker. I don't want to talk about him too much, but he does a good job as well.

From left to right: Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr, Michelle, and Howard played by John Goodman
From left to right: Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr, Michelle, and Howard played by John Goodman | Source

Closing Thoughts

I went into the film with regular expectations, wondering how it may connect to the original Cloverfield film and why the trailer aimed for such an unsettling atmosphere. I was more than satisfied. The cast give fantastic performances and the pacing of the film, after the initial first stretch, is fantastic.

If you want an oppressive, thrilling atmosphere regardless of genre, you might very well dig this film. Finally, if you have any interest in 10 Cloverfield Lane, I urge you to see it sooner rather than later. Even light spoilers may ruin a considerable part part of the film.

Rated PG-13

There's your obligatory F-bomb, but it's just the one time.

There's no sexual content whatsoever. The closest you get is a 2 second window seeing a woman wearing panties.

There is a small chunk of violence and implied gore, but every time you think the camera is going to focus on said gore, it doesn't, which is kinda nice. However, the real threat of this film is the overwhelming loud noises and incredibly intense situation. It's psychologically terrifying and it's meant to suffocate you with such terror. No little kids, please.

The group playing a board game to pass the time
The group playing a board game to pass the time | Source


  • Suspensful thriller
  • Psychological terror rather than gore, sexuality, or profuse swearing
  • John Goodman is fantastic
  • Pacing is excellent and intense
  • Wish I could say more, but I don't want to spoil anything

Do you plan on seeing this film?

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