Released without much fanfare, this new thriller from producer J.J. Abrams can best be described as a full length "Twilight Zone" episode with multiple twists and turns. If you're are a fan of the movie, "Cloverfield", be warned that this is not a sequel and only has a sliver of a connection to that earlier film.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who is terrific on the PBS series "Mercy Street") stars as Michelle, a woman leaving her fiancee who's circumstances place her in an underground bunker with two strangers. John Goodman is Howard, the owner of the bunker and John Gallagher Jr. ( "The Newsroom") is Emmett, a local who helped build it.
What happens in the bunker makes up the majority of the film. Credit the clever screenplay for an claustrophobic story of basically three people that will keep you not only engaged but guessing the final outcome (which trust me, you won't see coming). Mr. Goodman is a towering presence, scary and caring at the same time. Mr. Gallagher Jr. is a fine sympathetic character but the film is really driven by Ms. Winstead. Intelligent and brave, she plays a dynamo who refuses to be a victim and this role should elevate her to even bigger and better films.
The story is full of surprises and the latter part of the film becomes very exciting. You may not accept the final moments based on what transpires before but in this cinematic universe, it makes perfect sense. One additional warning I will provide- the film is available in IMAX. Don't waste the additional money. There is really nothing about it that deserves IMAX. It will be perfectly enjoyable on a standard screen.