When a woman, entangled in one of life’s many crossroads, wakes up in a mysterious bunker after a horrible car crash, she begins to believe her capture may harvest only the bleakest intentions. Told a tale of possible nuclear fallout-or a number of the most catastrophic outside circumstance- Michelle begins to meticulously plot her courageous escape. Only, sometimes the truth can sound like the most unlikely of lies. Now she must determine if leaving really is her best option and if her new “family” is her safest bet. Being in danger is torturous. Staying away from it could be murder. Welcome to 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Crazy is building your arch after the flood’s already come- Howard
Like a legendary Beatles tune, the acting in 10 Cloverfield Lane is simply breathtaking.
Starting out the principle players, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing ,Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is electric in the latest out from Abrams’ Bad Robot. Playing Michelle, Winstead turns in great work in a film that expands the Cloverfield brand which stared with the 2008 found-footage hit. Winstead is so good in Lane, evenly displaying each emotions at the perfect time. At the perfect moment. At the perfect pitch. The role required so many sides to the human struggle and the ever-talent Winstead makes it look easy.
John Goodman ( Argo, Monsters, Inc. ) is also pure magic in 10 Cloverfield Lane. In a career defining performance, which is shocking given Goodman’s illustrious filmography, the screen veteran is simply brilliant in the role of Howard. Goodman consistently displays subtle nuances which informs the true nature of Howard’s motives. Goodman must straddle that line between safety and insanity throughout the film’s running time. It was startling to see the actor insert small touches to the characters that pays off in the end but I loved every minuet of it.
John Gallagher Jr. ( Jonah Hex ,The Newsroom) also adds so much to Lane. Playing Emmett, Gallagher Jr has great comedic timing in Lane. Giving the film much needed humors moments, Gallagher Jr made me crack up more than once and adds to the film’s ability to make us believe its narrative wholly. Not only that, but the actor is so genuine and engaging that the film would have taken a hit had he not been in it. It was real work to stand next to the likes of the other two performers and Gallagher Jr more than does the job. (A+)
Dan Trachtenberg (Portal: No Escape [Short], Kickin’ [Short]) directs 10 Cloverfield Lane with the ferociousness and vision of a 20-year veteran of the silver screen. Without any feature film experience- Lane marks Trachtenberg’s first voyage into big boy motion-picture storytelling- the burgeoning director defies expectation with a piece of work any filmmaker would be proud of. While 10 Cloverfeild Lane isn’t exactly a showcase for mind-blowing camerawork and composition, Lane does offer some fine examples as to why Trachtenberg will be a voice to be reckoned with in the future.
Not only does Trachtenberg display decent composition and camerawork in Lane, but he opens his film much like an Alfred Hitchcock flick. While I was watching the movie, I couldn’t help but think it reminded me a little of 1960’s Psycho:Lane opens with only visuals and score. It’s a perfect example of how to set your tone early in a film. You get a sense things aren’t going so well for Michelle; you get a sense things are about to get much worse.
Most stunning about Trachtenberg behind the camera is his ability to delve out the right amount of information at a given time. Half of a directors job is knowing what information to give the audience, and more importantly, when to give it. In Lane, a film that feature less cutting than most films exhibited publicly, Trachtenberg knows the right ingredients like a crazy cook in a cinematic kitchen. There’re many twists and turns in 10 Cloverfield Lane, and the director knows when to give enough so the viewer will feel one way about the characters and then take it back for the opposite effect. Look to the scene when Howard’s gun is finally used as a fine example of this: my jaw was on the floor. (B+)Original U.S One-Sheet
The script, 10 Cloverfield Lane, is a thought-provoking thrill-ride to its satisfying conclusion. Written by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken, Lane’s script encompasses many things that make it one hell of an effective script.
Of the many solid point of the script, the screenwriters keep the audience chasing the truth in the guise of the films many twists and turns. The screenwriters do this with great dialog and expertly crafted scenarios. Just when you thing you have the film figured out, the narrative flops again. It was a great theater experience to be consistently thrown for a loop-and the film does this well-while never coming off contrived.
Winstead turns in great work in a film that expands the Cloverfield brand
The script also has many setups and pay offs. The screenwriters expertly, but ever subtlety, inject little characters moments in the film that, when organically paid off later, make the characters seem fully believed. The more organic the characters, the more the audience will be immersed in the film. In 10 Cloverfield Lane, I was into the film completely. (A-)
10 Cloverfield Lane is one hell of a movie. While the film has absolutely nothing to do with the original Cloverfield, Lane is still a fine flick that other filmmakers should take note from. It’s a film that will stay with you far after you walk out of that theater into that bright sunlight. I recommend it to all who are bored with most cinematic experiences we all get on the regular; You won’t regret it. So close that laptop now and get in your cool-cruising car because today could be your last chance.THE GRADE: A