I love what J.J. Abrams has brought to movie making. He has a childlike sense of wonder, an unbridled enthusiasm for story telling and a penchant for mysteries, even in the marketing of his films. And he is always proud to support up and coming filmmakers and give them the chances they may not have had otherwise. So while he is reinventing some of the biggest franchises in film history with Star Trek and Star Wars, he is also producing TV series that are different and taking chances like Person of Interest, the upcoming Westworld series for HBO, Fringe, and Lost. He also helps bring other filmmakers to the attention of audiences by producing films like Cloverfield, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Infinitely Polar Bear. His newest production to hit shelves is director Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Michelle, a woman fleeing a broken relationship who gets into a car accident and wakes up in an underground shelter built by Howard (John Goodman) who insists the world has seen a devastating attack of some sort rendering life on the surface impossible. Not sure whether to believe the slightly add Howard, Michelle tried to get more information out of the other inhabitant of the shelter, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.). But Howard may not be who he seems and the situation may not be what it seems and it is up to Michelle to find out the truth.
10 Cloverfield Lane was introduced to audiences with very cryptic trailers and a title that made people unsure if it was a stand-alone film or a sequel to the Abrams produced hit Cloverfield from 2008. While there are connections to that film, you really have to experience 10 Cloverfield Lane on its own and draw your own conclusions, as Abrams certainly does not like to spell things out for his viewers. Taken on its own though, this is one hell of a strong thriller. John Goodman gives a career high performance as the unbalanced and paranoid Howard. He is odd, subtly threatening at times and sincere and downright lovable at other times. Winstead and Gallagher are also excellent and have a great brother/sister chemistry that is instantly tangible. As the story unfolds, writers Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken’s tale is insanely tense, always unpredictable and enormously fun. And for Trachtenberg’s first feature he does a spectacular job of keeping the action in a very small space fast moving, nail biting and intriguing. 10 Cloverfield Lane is very highly recommended.