10 Cloverfield Lane

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
10 Cloverfield Lane Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Sci-fi thriller mixes violence, locked-room tension.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 37 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Brings up issues of what it means to help someone (and whether help is actually wanted), as well as issues of trust (when and whether to believe someone).

Positive Role Models & Representations

Michelle is a strong female character. While she admits that she has a tendency to run away from her problems (as she does in the opening scene), ultimately she's clever, inventive, and brave, especially when under pressure.


Guns and shooting; characters die. Big, loud, scary car crash. Sci-fi violence, explosions. Woman chained to a wall. Character makes a weapon from a crutch and uses it to attack her captor. Bottle smashed against a head; the bleeding cut is stitched by hand. Knife attack. Rotting, dead pigs. Bodies dissolving in acid. Woman with diseased, gory face. Dried blood. High tension, arguing, yelling. Characters tell mildly violent stories of their past.


Female character shown in underwear.


A use of "f--k"; a use of "s--t." Also "bitch," "turd," and "shut up."


iPhone is seen and used several times. Several board games are mentioned by name or shown (Operation, Trouble, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, etc.)

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink a homemade clear liquor in one scene ("technically it's vodka"); used more for medicinal purposes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 10 Cloverfield Lane is loosely connected to 2008's Cloverfield, but it has different characters, a different setting, and a different approach: Rather than a monster movie, this is a sci-fi thriller in which the threat is kept a mystery until the climax. There's sci-fi/fantasy violence, as well as explosions, deaths, guns and shooting, knives, bottle-smashing, some blood/bloody wounds,and some other startling images (dead, rotting pigs; a woman with a gory face; a loud car crash, etc.). Language is brief but does include one use of "f--k" and one use of "s--t." Sex isn't an issue, though the female lead is shown in her underwear in one sequence. Characters drink homemade vodka in one scene, mostly for medicinal purposes (and a laugh). Some teens will be disappointed by the dissimilarity between this and the original, but many will be interested in seeing it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byanne-mariem March 13, 2016


Entertaining edge of your seat thriller. Good acting. Story took some unexpected twists. Fun for my husband and I. However, we both agreed that R was a more app... Continue reading
Adult Written byTheNerdyCritic March 25, 2016

Finally, an intense sci-fi thriller!

If you were like me you had no idea what to except from this movie, and you were just curious to find out what the heck was going on. 10 Cloverfield Lane has am... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHarv___1 March 5, 2017

Amazing Film but has mature themes

Right where do i start, this film is amazing but not for young children. As a 12 rated film, i expected it to have no bad violence but it was very violent and... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJohn A. August 29, 2018

Rated 12 (Contains intense threat and violence, some bloody moments and one use of strong language).

SEX/NUDITY - It is slightly implied that the antagonist might have an obsessive attraction to the main character. Brief sexual references and flirting. VIOLENCE... Continue reading

What's the story?

After a fight with her boyfriend, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) decides to leave town -- but while she's on the highway, she's involved in a traffic accident. When she wakes up, she's locked in a small room, and her leg has been injured and chained to the wall. A man named Howard (John Goodman) enters and informs her that there's been an attack; the air outside is toxic, and everyone is probably dead, but she's safe with him in his bunker. Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), a contractor who helped build the bunker, is also there. But Howard is just a bit too strange, and Michelle starts concocting an escape plan. Could what's outside be more dangerous than what's in the bunker?

Is it any good?

Designed to recall but not imitate Cloverfield (2008), this semi-sequel uses three fine actors and a clever script to craft a creepy sci-fi mystery that tingles the brain until the final moments. It feels like a compact movie that's dependent more on ideas than on effects; the strong performances help sell that. The climax, while exciting, also relies on a low-budget sensibility, finishing the job quickly and cleanly.

If the movie has a fault, it's that it seems to rely on pumped-up music and sound effects to create scares; every sudden noise can make you jump, and it's nerve-jangling. This kind of energy could have been put into expanding the building tension in the locked room, which might have made a better movie. But 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is still spirited, prickly fun. It's quite a bit different from its predecessor but still worth seeing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in 10 Cloverfield Lane. How does it compare to what you've seen in other sci-fi/action movies? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

  • Does Michelle seem like a positive female role model? Why or why not?

  • How is this movie different to or similar from Cloverfield? Are the changes better or worse? How?

  • How does the movie build a sense of danger inside the bunker? Does Howard seem trustworthy or untrustworthy? Why? How does keeping the threat a mystery add to the tension?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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