John Goodman steals the show

By: Kyle Casey, Staff Writer

When the trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane” appeared out of the blue two months ago, moviegoers were left with little description as to just what this movie was about.

It had the name “Cloverfield” in it, so we should have suspected some sort of alien-related plot, but all we had to build from was John Goodman and two young adults – a boy and a girl – seemingly trapped in a closed-in type of underground bunker.

Going into the viewing of the movie, that is all the viewers knew, which made for an exciting, edge-of-your-seat classic thriller that keeps the viewer guessing what will happen next.

The movie starts with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) furiously driving into the Louisiana countryside with no real explanation as to where she is headed. A car crash leaves her unconscious, and her next location is an underground cellar, where she is chained up and under the watch of Goodman, who simply goes by Howard.

Goodman’s arrival into the plot is unsettling and mysterious–and he chillingly convinces Michelle that there has been an “attack” on the outside, and that he saved her life just in time to make it into his doomsday bunker.

Howard, Michelle and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), the young man from the trailer, begin life in the claustrophobic bunker.

Michelle and Emmett gain Howard’s trust, but eventually plot against him in fear that he may not be telling the whole story as to what is going on outside the bunker. Howard insists they should stay in the bunker for at least a year, which prompts escape plans by his bunker mates.

It is in the bunker that Goodman steals the show in this film, offering one of the best performances of his storied career. His ability to leave the viewer guessing, “is he the villain or the good guy?” makes the plot hard to decipher (in a good way).

About 85 percent of the movie takes place in the small bunker, and is a rather stellar movie experience. One character eventually escapes to the outside, and (to the film’s doom), the plot returns to its “Cloverfield” roots.

The thriller-type plot inside the bunker was the reason why this film was enjoyable, and the final ten minutes put a damper on the previous 90 minutes. However, when watching the movie, one must know that there will eventually be a reason why “Cloverfield” is in this movie’s title.

But make no mistake about it: the drama, thrills and horror come in the bunker, not on the outside. I give this film 7.5 out of 10 stars.

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