Hot Take: One of the most secretive films in years works because, well, it’s such a secret. Watch 10 Cloverfield Lane and you’ll have fun getting there… you may not like where it takes you but the trip sure is fun.
Every once in a while, you see someone walking around in a ridiculous outfit but for some reason — maybe it’s their confidence or just the way they walk — it looks right on them but you know it wouldn’t look right on anyone else. 10 Cloverfield Lane is that someone. Shrouded in complete mystery (okay, there’s a trailer so maybe it’s only 95% mystery), J.J. Abrams’ “spiritual successor” to Cloverfield is a very different movie than it’s sibling. Actually, it’s a very different movie than most movies. And that’s a good thing.
It’s not worth going on and on about the movie as every little detail you know walking in lessens the viewing experience. You need to see it cold and enjoy the ride because, like an indoor roller coaster, it’s the not knowing that brings out the best qualities of this film and keeps you engrossed.
Talking about the end of the film feels wrong but you’ll want to with anyone whose seen it once your 10 Cloverfield Lane ride comes to a complete stop. Some of you will love it, some will loathe it and very few will fall somewhere in the middle. This is not a movie that gets a shrug as the total package is likely to be polarizing.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- John Goodman
Goodman delivers a strong performance. It’s hard to even dig in without revealing anything so let’s leave it at that.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Winstead is someone you’ve seen before and might not remember. Her filmography is lengthy but none of her performances really stands out. Her performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane will.
- The Tension
There’s an incredible amount of tension that builds up and each scene builds on the last. It’s layers upon layers of build to eventual third act that… see, I almost gave something away. Nope.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- What If You Knew More?
Years ago, I accidentally found out the ending to The Usual Suspects before seeing it. Near the end of the film, I was not 100% sure I heard the person right when they told me and was still somehow shocked by the ending. 10 Cloverfield Lane doesn’t feel like it would be able to pull that off so half the enjoyment comes from avoiding hearing too much about the film. That’s essentially a fault in the movie as it’s probably unlikely to be anywhere near as good the second time around.