10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

— by Jeff Schultz
Let us stipulate at the outset that even though it’s only March, John Goodman must surely have a lock on one of next year’s Best Actor nominations. He’s that good in this very fine thriller, which producer J.J. Abrams has said contains the original CLOVERFIELD’s DNA — even though it is a somewhat different type of film. Author Joseph Heller famously observed that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you — which is a fitting description of what’s going on here. More than three-quarters of the way through, we’re still not certain if we’re dealing with a psycho kidnapper or a survivalist canny enough to have prepared for a genuine apocalypse. I don’t want to give away too much here, because that mystery IS the movie, which should be seen with as little foreknowledge as possible. And if the denouement does not quite live up to the impossibly high bar set by the original (IMHO one of the greatest movies ever) — if, say, Paramount talked the filmmakers out of another nihilistic ending like the one that made the first CLOVERFIELD such a gut punch — still, there hasn’t been anything this gripping in a while. Which brings us back to Goodman, who from the moment he first appears looks, sounds and acts like someone you just don’t fuck with, keeping your heart racing throughout because you cannot escape him.

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