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Film Review: “10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016) ★★★★★


Photo by Photo credit: Michele K. Short - © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Photo credit: Michele K. Short – © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

It is quite rare to see a movie where the narrative is way too rich to comprehend and too great to not be admired. Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE gives you everything you need: an intense narrative, superb performance, nail-biting atmosphere and twisted ending. So here is the question: what is better, to get killed due to end of the world, or surviving the attack but be kidnapped by a maniac? Do not worry about giving an answer. See the film. See the difference. Feel like you got the best surprise of the year if you’re a true movie buff.

Following an argument with her fiancé, Michelle leaves New Orleans and drives through rural Louisiana. Late at night a severe car accident occurs. Soon after, Michelle wakes up in a bunker, locked up by a man named Howard, who explains that due to an unknown attack they are the only survivors. Shortly after, Michelle meets another survivor, Emmett, who literally helped Howard to build the bunker years ago. Now the question is, if this man has no intention to harm his “guests”, so why then he keeps them as prisoners?

As you ask yourself this question, to your great surprise, you get the answer right after. Howard’s hospitality and generosity may amaze you, however, you know there is something fishy about him. But what that is, is quite hard to tell due to the performance delivered by John Goodman, who hides the real truth about Howard’s identity. No, he is not an alien of course. But soon, we find out that he has his own mental issues. When Michelle realizes that there is an opportunity to escape, she uses the first given chance. But to her great surprise, she sees with her own eyes that the world has been under attack, for real.

Imagination is a great power that should be used by any writer, or a screenwriter. After seeing the story screenwriters Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle came up with, you simply will want one thing – to shake their hands. Every time when you pass one scene, you feel like you’ve already figured it out what will happen next. And yes, you surely did. However, there are many surprises hidden in each scene like the one you find under the Christmas tree you eagerly wish to unfold. Everything about the narrative is pure masterpiece. It gives an opportunity for actors to shine. And so did they.

John Goodman’s Howard is totally unpredictable, in the meantime is calm, generous, and warm-hearted person. But that happens only when he wants you to see that. However, who surprised me most with the performance is Mary Elizabeth Winstead. As you watch her throughout the film, you see how hard she tries to give her best to portray Michelle. This is why Michelle never appears for us a weak, and easily-defeated person. She is capable of playing a cat-and-mouse game with Howard, but not always, of course. It is just that Howard is too good to be beaten.

In conclusion, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is an outstanding film by all means. It’s a film that came out of nowhere. It will stun you with its twist, and the ending, that gives a space for possible sequel. Right from the beginning to the end, it’s a hell of a ride you will be glad to have. But of course, the only thing you will wish to avoid is – a 10 Cloverfield Lane, in case, if you find one. But other than that, it’s an intelligently written film that will make you think during the entire film. After all, is it not good – to be able to recreate your own ending as you watch a film?

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (905 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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