Pretty please, Academy, can this at last be the year John Goodman garners an Oscar nomination? He was robbed, not only of a nomination but the win itself for Barton Fink, and was infinitely more entertaining than the (inexplicably) Oscar-nominated Alan Arkin in Argo. In the J.J. Abrams-produced 10 Cloverfield Lane, which garnered some pretty nice box office receipts in its opening weekend, Goodman delivers an immensely unsettling and unforgettable performance.
The picture, which brings to mind the likes of Misery and Room, as if presented as an extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone, is engrossing and exceedingly well-written, with an assist on the screenplay by the fantastic Damien Chazelle of Whiplash. The film basically asks of its audience, "would it be worth surviving an apocalypse, natural disaster, alien attack, etc. if your rescuer from the chaos happens to be a controlling psychopath?"
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, doing her best Linda Hamilton, and John Gallagher, Jr. are in fine form as well here, though Goodman all but walks away with the film. The inspired soundtrack brilliantly features the likes of The Exciters' "Tell Him" and Tommy James and the Shondells' pre-Tiffany "I Think We're Alone Now." The picture is an impressive debut from filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg.
Unfortunately, I did feel the picture stumbled a bit in its conclusion, with an unfocused and rushed finale, filled with uninspired CGI. On that note, I have to wonder if 10 Cloverfield Lane perhaps would have been even more satisfying as a play?
With that said, the film is plenty worth a visit, in particular for Goodman's marvelous work, which, with reasonable certainty, will stand as one of the finest performances of 2016.