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Movie Review

10 Cloverfield Lane also known as “Ten Cloverfield Lane,” “Avenida Cloverfield 10,” “Calle Cloverfield 10,” “Rua Cloverfield, 10”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language.

Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Older Teens
Sci-Fi Action Mystery Horror Thriller Sequel IMAX
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 11, 2016 (wide—3,391 theaters)
DVD: June 14, 2016
Copyright, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
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Featuring: Mary Elizabeth WinsteadMichelle
Bradley Coopervoice of Ben, Michelle’s boyfriend
John GoodmanHoward Stambler
John Gallagher Jr. … Emmet
Mat Vairo … Jeremy
Cindy Hogan … Neighbor
Jamie Clay … State Trooper 42
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Producer: Paramount Pictures
Bad Robot
more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Prequel: “Cloverfield” (2008)

It was the trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane,” that first piqued my interest. It was very vague, but eye-catching. I was unaware of the intense thrill ride that I was in for.

“10 Cloverfield Lane,” opens in an almost muted tone. We see a young woman who is packing up and preparing to leave her fiancee in his absence. We then see her driving, and she soon receives a phone call from her recent ex. We learn her name is Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and her ex Ben (voiced by Bradley Cooper). He pleads with her to come back, but Michelle remains silent and hangs up. While traveling down a seemingly empty highway. Michelle is run off the road and seriously injured in a car accident.

She awakens in a locked room, chained to the wall, an IV in her arm. We hear footsteps and the unlocking of the door, and we meet Howard (John Goodman). He tells Michelle he saved her life, and that the world has been attacked, the air is not breathable, but she is safe unground in his doomsday survival bunker. Michelle quickly becomes suspicious, and with the help of a fellow inhabitant Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) they become determined to figure out the truth.

Let’s start with the acting, spot on! John Goodman gives us a masterful performance. It’s a very small cast, which is ideal for such an imitate and unique script. The film is intense, but tastefully throws in light and awkward comedy. The direction is superb. The story is told in such a way that you simply cannot look away.

Now, onto the objectionable content, there is quite a bit of it. Most is the violence characters are shown—bloody, burned, beaten, bruised and deformed by acid and a man shot in the head. There are swear words throughout the film, while not gratuitous, they are poignant. As for nudity, a character is shown in her underwear and a tank top.

To avoid giving too much away, onto the spiritual aspects. The story deals with being prepared and being safe. In the crazy world we’re living in currently, fear can drive a lot of decisions. But in Christ, we have no fear. That means, whatever happens in this sinful world, we can stand on the Promises of Christ and weather any storm that may come our way. Jesus promised a place for us beyond this world, and Eternity for those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. Hold you to that promise isn’t easy Earthly life. He does promise of everlasting life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film; it kept me on the edge of my seat. I jumped, and it was very intense and thrilling and satisfying in its conclusion. Please be aware of the objectionable content and decide for yourself, using discernment, whether this film is worth your viewing. It is masterfully done and definitely a movie that will stand out through the years.

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Heavy—“Good Lord” (1), OMG (1), “God” (1), “Oh G*d” (1), “Swear to G*d” (1), “d*mn” (1), “h*ll” (1), f-word (1), s-word (1) / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—It’s barely a sequel to the “Cloverfield” movie. It’s set in the same world, I guess. But the real story is the story with these 3 characters. Amazing filmmaking from a directorial debut. Fantastic acting, script, tension and score. There is no gore, just tension and horror of the human nature. It is like the movie “Room,” it deals with kidnapping, but this movie actually explores the captor, as well. And the movie keeps you guessing, with all the twists and mysteries. It keeps you thinking. You root for the main character.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Michael, age 21 (USA)
Positive—I went into this film not wanting to know much about it, avoiding any reviews or comments on-line, until I had a chance to see it. I really enjoyed it. The viewer is wondering, along with Michelle, the young lady in the film, is her captor/savior out to harm her? Is he not well mentally and imaging that there has been some sort of attack? Did he just save her life? You join her on that emotional ride of whether or not to believe and trust in this person.

If you paid attention, it is at the very end of the film that you get the whole point of it. She discloses something personal to the character Emmett, when tensions grow high, Emmett acts on what she told him, and, in the end, she has a chance to make her own decision on how to stay the same or change. To me, that’s the whole point of the film. I know I’m vague, but I personally don’t like spoilers in reviews, so I’m not giving anything away.

I liked it, I liked the suspense and drama and while others say the violence is high, either I am, sadly, desensitized or in comparison to many other movies, find the violence to be much less and this story relies more on suspense. There is violence but “Hunger Games,” “London Has Fallen” and many others have far more.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrea, age 43 (USA)
Positive—An extremely tense thriller that will startle, surprise, entertain, and keep the viewer guessing through the entirety of the film. Haven’t seen a thriller as taut, shocking, and intense as “10 Cloverfield Lane” in years.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Luke, age 26 (USA)
Neutral—This film was very suspenseful and intense. The acting was good. There were a lot of plot twists that kept you guessing and wondering what the truth was. There was not much foul language and no sex scenes, although the violence was fairly heavy. This film was more of a psychological thriller, and I know it will stay with me for a long time.

I decided to rate it as neutral because I can’t really recommend it, but I also didn’t think it was awful. It was very scary, and not just the aliens—the movie wasn’t even primarily about them. There’s also one scene in particular that, although not much was shown, I found to be deeply disturbing. I recommend that viewers beware and ask yourself if it’s really something you want to put into your mind. I know that for myself, I just hope I don’t have nightmares tonight because I’m still thinking about it and feeling troubled.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Nicole, age 30 (USA)
Negative—Shortly put, if you liked “Cloverfield,” you may like this. If you didn’t like it, you probably won’t like this one. Most importantly, though, this movie was offensive morally speaking. About all I could say was at least there was a low amount of cursing and no sex. The violence level was high, though. I have a very hard time rationalizing violence of humans towards other humans in a movie and find it incredible that filmmakers are scared silly showing any violence towards animals. The film is a great example of when Paul warns us in Romans 1:22 where he says “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Entertainment does not trump godly character.

If you like extreme levels of noises and banging, you will love this film, it’s constant. My view is the sound effects are very overdone. My theory on this method of phony manufacturing of “thrills” is because young movie goers can’t pay attention to, nor keep track of, even mild levels of twists in a good plot. I’m thinking of “Marathon Man.” for example, the movie starts out with seemingly unrelated incidents and leaves the viewer to remember them and sew them together. There are many better films that did not need 120 decibels of effect when doors closed.

John Goodman was the right age to play the weirdo but my gosh, he overdoes it in too many places to try to fake the viewer out. There’s a fair bit of gore, you can decide whether it’s too much or not, but I turned away at a few places.

As you may know from the trailer, there is supposed to be a monster somewhere in this film, but if you want to skip the “thriller” part of the movie, wait until 5 minutes before the end, since that’s the extent of it. In that sense, it was not a science fiction movie, it is properly billed as a thriller and a mystery and, in my opinion, bordering on horror. I stayed only because I wanted to be able to warn those who are on the fence and thought “Cloverfield” in 2008 was a waste of Dave’s money.

From a Christian viewpoint, I would not go see a movie like this if warned prior due to the mayhem and murder in it. Those who tend to subscribe to relativism won’t have as much of an issue. Trading in one’s desire to meditate on godly characteristics for 2 hours of entertainment which are decidedly questionable would require that thicker skin.

I’m glad my wife decided not to come, she would have hated it. As the catch phrase about the movie says, monsters come in many forms but this one was upsetting.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bob Maclean, age 66 (USA)
Movie Critics

…a claustrophobic thriller with a whip-smart script that never tips its hand too soon. … [3½/4]
—Chris Knight, National Post

…it’s a little bit of “Room,” a little bit of “War of the Worlds,” and producer J.J. Abrams’ involvement ensures some dashes of unexpected humor… occasional, brutally effective bursts of violence… [3]
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

…It’s a better movie than its predecessor—one that at least has a sense of humor about itself and its genre…
—Stephanie Zacharek, Time magazine

…sensationally effective… marvelously unnerving… the tension is rooted in psychology rather than gimmickry…
—Justin Chang, Variety

…the movie manages to be smart and shallow at the same time, satisfied with a disposable showman's flair… It is designed to be fun, efficient and accessible…
—Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

…Unexpected, in the best sense… paradoxical conclusion satisfying on multiple levels as it delivers on the thriller setup while introducing surprising new developments…
—Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

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