A scaly, Godzilla-like creature strikes Manhattan during a going away party held by twenty-somethings, and as a group of them attempts to escape the carnage, they catch fading glimpses of the monster on their hand held camera. Though the characters are extremely unlikable and the queasycam approach wears thin quickly, Cloverfield has its moments of shock and stretches where it soars.
** 1/2 out of ****
10 Cloverfield Lane
In a barely related plot and a totally different kind of thriller, a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is run off the road by a paranoid (John Goodman) who takes her into his custody in a self-sufficient bunker with claims of nuclear war ongoing outside as signs point to the fact that he is more crazy and calculating than initially let on. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a solid thriller, with a surprisingly talented cast that goes over the top in its still competent finale with a killer that won't die scenario and even more outlandish occurrences.
*** 1/2 out of ****