Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 4/5 stars

Bottom Line: Mr. Owl, how many genres does it take to get to the center of “10 Cloverfield Lane”?  One, twhoo, three. *crunch* Three.  Wait, no, four, five, six?  WTF?

It is very difficult to put fingers to keyboard and describe exactly what you’re in for when you go to see “10 Cloverfield Lane”.  Every good description I can come up with requires revealing things that are best left shrouded.  One thing I will say is that it miraculously succeeds in keeping you guessing from start to finish.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is about Truth.  As Agent Mulder would say, “The Truth is out there.”  But how do we know Truth from lies and how do you piece together that Truth when the information you’re fed is limited to your sheltered world view?  The answer is you don’t and you can’t, but you need some sort of Truth to spur yourself to action unless you want to supplant your will to those who claim to speak Truth.  So you follow your own Truth and you see where it leads and when your Truth shows cracks, you alter your Truth and fix those cracks and when your Truth explodes around you, you abandon that Truth all together and form another Truth to fit the new narrative.  In “10 Cloverfield Lane”, everyone has their own Truth and no one has the incorrect Truth.  It’s up to us, the viewers, to decide for ourselves what the true Truth is.  I am still unsure of the real Truth.  That’s effective storytelling.

All of that is accomplished with a minimalist cast and setting and, I assume budget.  The whole movie is basically three people; Howard (John Goodman!), Michelle (Mary Elisabeth Winsted?), and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.?!).  ! = John Goodman is great in everything and this is no exception. ? = never heard of her but she’s in a lot of stuff and does an excellent job in this movie.  ?! = this dude looked so familiar and I couldn’t quite place it until I looked at his IMDB page and recognized him from “The Newsroom”.

It will be interesting to see if the movie holds up on a second viewing.  There are certainly enough mysteries left to piece through where you might be able to catch something you missed the first time.  Regardless, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is definitely worth a first viewing.

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