10 Cloverfield Lane works because it's constantly hiding something from you. It teases information, making you hungry for more. It plays you by giving you a bigger bite of plot before going back to being withholding. Dan Trachtenberg directed a fan-film based on the video game Portal. 10 Cloverfield Land definitely borrows some elements from that piece of work, which is well worth checking out.
I think one of the reasons this film works well is because of the cast. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gave me some strong Ellen Ripley vibes and that's huge praise. After watching him in Hush, John Gallagher Jr. was a welcome sight. His character was well written and performed in such a way that I didn't trust him, at least not at first. And John Goodman. I'll watch him in anything. He owns any scene he's in. He's such an incredible force and he played this character that yo-yos from seeming shady to good-hearted completely effortlessly.
I didn't read any reviews for this because I wanted absolutely zero information before I saw it. I know it was was reviewed favourably but I imagine most criticism was aimed at the final sequence, when we get our best look at what's really going. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that part and with it being a "spiritual sister" to Cloverfield it was only natural. I think I just enjoyed that element less. I liked the characters in the bunker, their complex relationships and the mystery of their backstories. It just shows what you can do with a small location, small cast and a big idea.