10 Cloverfield Lane

Rated 3.0

What’s the significance of the word “Cloverfield” in this movie’s title? Producer J.J. Abrams is calling this movie a blood relative to the original found-footage monster movie. The new film is not a found-footage film (and thank god for that). After seeing it, I can tell you that the title is not misleading, but don’t go to this thinking you’ll see the Cloverfield monster laying waste to middle America. It’s a much different kind of movie. The film starts with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) having an urgent phone call with somebody. She grabs her keys, hits the road, and drives for what appears to be many miles out of the big city into the cornfields. After stopping for some gas, her car crashes for mysterious reasons. She wakes up from said crash with an IV drip and her leg cuffed to a bar. Shortly thereafter, she meets Howard (John Goodman). Howard seems a little bit anxious and tells her she needs to hydrate, practice using crutches, and, oh yeah, the end of the world is nigh. No one really knows why, but the air above is now contaminated, and they must reside in his emergency bunker for what could be years. There’s another inhabitant of the bunker, and that’s Howard’s soft-spoken neighbor Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.). The film then becomes an intense “is she a hostage?” drama, and then something altogether different by the time credits roll. Goodman and Winstead are both excellent in what turns out to be a nifty little thriller.