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Now Playing

10 Cloverfield Lane

Playing at:   Camera 12 Downtown - Buy Tickets

Director: Dan Trachtenberg

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.

Synopsis: A young woman wakes up after a terrible accident to find that she's locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper, who insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Uncertain what to believe, the woman soon determines that she must escape at any cost.

Running Time: 105 Minutes
(plus 8-10 minutes of trailers)

Official Web Site:

MPAA Rating: PG-13


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Must End Thu, April 28th!
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John Goodman is a psychopath for the ages in ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’

By Sara Stewart

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is a real nail-biter of a monster movie. The question is: Who’s the monster?

When Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) wakes up in a windowless basement after a car wreck, she assumes it’s her caretaker/captor (John Goodman), a wild-eyed schlub named Howard who has both bandaged her wounds and chained her to the wall. But he tells a different story. “There’s been an attack. Luckily, I’ve prepared for this,” he says. The air outside is contaminated; they’ll need to stay underground in his well-stocked bunker for at least a year.

This ostensible sequel to J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” (2008) is the stylistic opposite of its precursor: Where that film was a frenetic found-footage thriller, this one’s a claustrophobic three-person drama, directed by Dan Trachtenberg in an impressive feature debut. He ratchets up the tension at about two minutes in and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. John Gallagher Jr. (“The Newsroom”) rounds out the trio as Emmett, a local hick with a broken arm who claims he begged for admission to the shelter when the mysterious attack — aliens? Russians? — began. (Bradley Cooper also puts in a voice cameo as Michelle’s boyfriend.)

As the resourceful Michelle tries to figure out what’s really going on, Trachtenberg gets to work on your nerves with the help of an unrelentingly taut score from Bear McCreary and an occasional pop hit on Howard’s old-timey jukebox — “I Think We’re Alone Now” has never seemed so malevolent. This setup isn’t exactly novel (plus, Winstead bears a striking resemblance to Brie Larson of the hostage drama “Room”), but the screenplay is so nicely sparse, its twists so well deployed, that you don’t feel anything’s being reheated. And speaking of twists: The less you know, the better. (In fact, don’t even go on to the next paragraph if you’re a real spoiler purist.)

All three actors hand in first-rate performances, but this is Goodman’s film, placing him in the homebody-psychopath hall of fame alongside Annie Wilkes and Norman Bates. One minute, he’s exhorting his guests to use coasters under their drinking glasses; the next, he’s uncapping a barrel of flesh-eating acid. But you’re so consistently unsure of what might actually be going on outside that he also brings to mind an oft-quoted line spoken to him in “The Big Lebowski:” “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an a - - hole.”

Winstead also makes a terrific heroine; her character is a problem-solver, not a freaker-outer, and it’s a stressful sort of fun watching her devise one plan after another to get around Howard’s creepy patriarchal rules. As for the denouement — again, the less said, the better. But suffice it to say Trachtenberg anchors his film firmly in the J.J. Abrams universe of mysterious happenings (look closely and you may spot a visual shout-out to Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot). Much has been said about Abrams having produced this one on the down-low while we were all busy kvelling about “The Force Awakens.” This film shows he’s still got a firm appreciation for the stuff that’s low on budget but big on chills.

Copyright 2016 New York Post

10 Cloverfield Lane' a sequel that tops original

By Jonathan Hickman, Newnan Times-Herald

Unlike the 2008 “Cloverfield,” its sequel is unnervingly steady.

The nauseating and shaky camera work that marked the found footage predecessor is thankfully absent, and even though this new film bears the “Cloverfield” name, this is a whole new chapter.

Starting like a Hitchcock film (think “Psycho”), we meet Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as she hastily packs her belongings and leaves her fiancee. Her drive takes her into a rural area.

News reports hint at some kind of massive power outage, but given Michelle’s romantic crisis, she is oblivious to events around her. But when her car is suddenly struck and she is injured, Michelle awakens in a concrete room shackled to the wall.

In time, Michelle learns that she was “rescued” by Howard (John Goodman), an odd man who has constructed a bunker to be used in case of a catastrophic event. Howard tells Michelle that there has been a chemical or nuclear conflagration. The outside, according to Howard, is not safe — the air is polluted and an attack has occurred. But as time passes, Michelle comes to realize that her safety in the bunker with Howard is an open question.

To Howard’s displeasure, Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), a young man, managed to stow away in Howard’s underground refuge prior to the events that went down outside. And Emmett’s presence is a constant irritant to Howard. Given the mystery surrounding everything around her, Michelle is understandably resistant to form an alliance with Emmett. But more than anything, Michelle questions what happened above her. Was there an attack? When will it be safe to leave the bunker?

Given the first “Cloverfield,” viewers bring with them the knowledge that the crisis outside the bunker is of the extra-terrestrial nature. The aliens have landed. What is surprising is how, even though we are aware of certain story elements, the questions that Michelle has are still our own.

We don’t know the extent of the alien invasion. We don’t know how far along it is. And we don’t know if it will ever be safe to go outside.

Along with the larger questions, we are also not sure about the players in the bunker itself.

Michelle’s story is somewhat clear. She appears to be innocent and a kidnap victim. Emmett also appears to be safe, but given the vagaries of the forced cohabitation, no one knows nothin’!

The biggest wildcard is Howard. John Goodman shines here hefting his large frame around the bunker like the captain of a ship. He plays Howard with a creepy sadness that permeates the disquieting narrative. And as scary as the threatening aliens crawling around outside might be, Goodman’s gonzo Howard is still a truly frightening creation.

Howard is a survivalist and a conspiracy theorist. And given the state of the world today with North Korea ratcheting up the nuclear threat against the US, this kind of character seems to be more and more common. Conservative media personality Glenn Beck has been known to champion survival food some of which is packaged in 5 gallon buckets. We see this type of thing adorning the walls of Howard’s underground lair. “10 Cloverfield Lane” makes a subtle comment about the state of things.

The “Cloverfield” universe seems poised to spawn a mini-franchise. And as long as things are kept tight with smallish budgets and limited casting, a couple more “Cloverfields” that focus on the more intimate aspects of an alien invasion might prove to be a refreshing alter- native to the normal overblown blockbuster offerings.

Copyright 2016 NEwman Times-Herald


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