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Squeamishly, creepily compelling, producer J.J. Adams and director Dan Trachtenberg delve into the realm of “Howard”, a man lusting and prepared for a post-apocalyptic world; his underground technologically secure bunker is stock -piled with food, films, games and all the essential accoutrements for a year of closeted living.

“Howard” (a staggering, weird, corpulent John Goodman) has two roommates: “Emmett” (likeable, John Gallagher, Jr.) a handyman who willingly helped construct the bunker and demanded entry when the “attack” occurred; “Michelle” (mesmerizing Mary Elizabeth Winstead) kidnapped, after a manipulated automobile accident, vacillates between accepting Howard as her protector or captor. The deterioration of her perfect manicure foreshadows the ultimate culmination of the scenario.

Miraculous directing and cinematography (Jeff Cutter) lends a pristine, suffocating,  claustrophobic atmosphere as the yin/yang tensions explore and eventually explode between the protagonists.

The solitary reason to see “10 Cloverfield Lane” is the performance of Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She commands, controls and brilliantly conquers her every filmic moment; “Michelle” is formidable, enterprising, intrepid, and Winstead, with minimal dialogue, and a face worthy of a thousand ship launchings, imbues her with galvanizing unforgettable strength.

TWO & 1/2 STARS!!


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