One minute Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is leaving her boyfriend (an off camera Bradley Cooper; The Hangover), driving away from their shared apartment. The next, she wakes up in an underground bunker, injured and confused and unsure if she is a hostage or not. With her are Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.; The Newsroom) and Howard (John Goodman; Roseanne) who explain there has been some kind of attack.
Howard is former military who is a doomsday theorist. He built a bunker in case of chemical (or alien) attack. Emmett helped him build the bunker so when they saw such an attack they ran for the underground. Michelle was brought down by Howard because he felt guilty for accidentally causing her car to crash.
All of this seems normal (somewhat) until Michelle finds some mysterious items in the bunker and begins to suspect Howard may not be mentally balanced.
The movie is an hour and 45 minutes of intense drama and a few scares that will have you jumping out of your seat. Based on a script entitled "The Cellar", it was eventually adapted to fit more closely with Cloverfield. With little advertising, not much has been known about the film until it started being screened for critics, which usually doesn't bode well for a movie.
However, in this case, that simply isn't true. 10 Cloverfield Lane has a good, solid script, a great cast – with early Oscar buzz for Goodman – and enough suspense to keep audiences waiting to see what happens next. Winstead and Gallagher are both excellent, as well, and overall, I was impressed with the movie.
Towards the end of the film, it relies on CGI to help move along the story, however, they seemed to take me out of the film instead of engaging me more. However, for a $15 million dollar total budget, I can see how a
few of the graphics could be lacking.
I suspect the movie will make back the investment, and then some, and since it ends in such a way as to continue the story, it is possible there could be a sequel or perhaps another "parallel film" exploring what is happening outside the bunker and the immediate aftermath of the attack above ground.
For those who are of the faint of heart, I'm not going to recommend this film. For everyone who loves a little drama, a thriller, and a little bit of gore, you can't go wrong with 10 Cloverfield Lane.