Every so often, there comes a movie seemingly out of the blue; a movie that’s so shrouded by mystery and secrecy that when you watch it, you relish the feeling of unpredictability. You enjoy the fact that you have no idea whatsoever as to what’s going to transpire on the screen next.
Last year, for me, that movie was the excellent Predestination.
This Year, so far, it’s 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Now, if the title sounds familiar, it’s because this film shares part of its title with 2008’s Cloverfield, a unique found footage monster movie directed by Matt Reeves (Dawn of The Planet of the Apes) and produced by J.J Abrams (Star Wars Episode VII- The Force Awakens, who produces this film as well). 10 Cloverfield Lane is directed by newcomer Dan Trachtenberg and once again, produced by J.J Abrams; and as both of them put it, this film is more a spiritual successor to the original Cloverfield rather than a direct sequel. You’ll get what that means once you see this film.
And see it, you must; for it is, easily, one of the best movies released in 2016 so far. 10 Cloverfield Lane is an extremely well-directed, well-acted, taut, mystery thriller that grabs you from the opening frame and doesn’t let go until the very end. It is engrossing and downright thrilling, making for an excellent cinema experience. I do not want to give away anything here, so I’m not going to even bother writing a plot synopsis as I wish for you to have the same experience that I did, and revel in this film’s mysteries. It is the sort of Spielbergian tale that’s in woefully short supply these days.
Suffice to say, that this film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher and John Goodman; all of whom gives incredible performances, with John Goodman in particular giving the performance of a lifetime. (Then again, that’s expected from John Goodman; one of the best and most underrated character actors out there).
Dan Trachtenberg deserves a special mention for directing this film incredibly well. So well, that it’s hard to believe that this is his first directorial feature. Some of his directorial choices were truly incredible to watch as a film geek myself, for he places small clues in shots and lines of dialogue that would be easy to miss for those not paying attention to them. Trachtenberg earns the audience’s attention in this fashion, thereby lending his film an air of never really “letting up”. Rest assured, I cannot wait to see what he brings next to the big screen. Also, it has a climax that, although can be quite controversial, was nothing but a sheer thrill ride to me. There were moments were I found myself clenching the armrests of my chair with such intensity that my fingers started hurting. I would gladly watch this film again.
If this review seems woefully short on content, it’s because there’s very little I can discuss about this film without spoiling even a minuscule portion of it. It’s simply that great.