10 Cloverfield Lane alternates moods seamlessly, ratcheting tension to the breaking point and then deflating it with black humor.
J. R. Jones
Don't give away the secret of this J.J. Abrams production, which begins as one sort of movie before turning into another sort of movie but manages to be continuously bad.
Trachtenberg ... smothers the action in showy camera work and an overly insistent music score. But, as the mystery unravels, he reveals flashes of a giddily hyperbolic pop imagination.
Put this down, close this tab, go to your local multiplex and just buy a ticket. Even better if you haven't seen more than a teaser trailer. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, proceed directly to the theater.
Great publicity, dumb move. The title alone is a spoiler.
10 Cloverfield Lane does what it needs to do: make you sit and squirm and want very badly to know. It has the appeal of suspense radio plays from the '30s and '40s and even a touch of Orson Welles's most infamous Mercury Theater broadcast.
The horrors of that bunker far outweigh anything that could be waiting for them outside. Sometimes what is right in front of you is plenty terrifying enough.
10 Cloverfield Lane is rewardingly claustrophobic, keeping its focus tight on the characters and their cramped space while whatever disasters there are loom outside the bunker.
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.