Toward the end of “10 Cloverfield Lane,” a disciplined thriller about three people sheltered in a furnished bunker from an unknown disaster outside, the main character, Michelle, finds herself in a kill-or-be-killed situation. She is unarmed, and things are starting to look pretty grim, until a nearby bottle of single malt scotch catches her eye. Rather than taking one last invigorating swig before the end — which, given what she’s been through, would have been a perfectly acceptable way to go — she instead fashions herself a molotov cocktail.
I can think of no better metaphor for the movie. Directed with surprising self-assurance by newcomer Dan Trachtenberg, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is a finely-brewed concoction waiting to explode, a burst of light at the end of a dark tunnel.