Not a direct sequel, but the first movie is needed.
10 Cloverfield Lane is being sold as not a direct sequel to the 2008 found footage movie Cloverfield, this becomes true as there is not direct link to the first movie. The characters are new, the story line is different, and it is not another found footage film.
Thank goodness for John Goodman's character in this movie. He carried most of this movie as John Gallagher's character seemed like a last minute add in that was just too flat for his own good. The unsung hero was the fact that Bradley Cooper voiced the boyfriend to Mary Winstead's character Michelle, sadly we never end up seeing Bradley Cooper in the movie.
The music pacing seemed off in this film as well. The music was very intense for scenes that didn't end up needing it. It would start to pick up and as an audience member, you would start to get excited for something to happen during the slow parts just to lead to nothing. It was quite sad.
As I would agree with is not a direct sequel, if you didn't end up watching the first Cloverfield, you might end up thinking this movie is a bit comical. You'll end up laughing at the ideas behind this movie because they will seem far out in left field. Obviously if you watched the first you will already know the back story to this movie.
3 out of 5
What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
Some of the technical details were off in this movie. They were very good at not disclosing the date that this took place, thank goodness for my untrained eye to find the mistake. There is one point where Michelle is looking at Emmett's license, and the date it was issued was in 2014. Now if the events happen in New York in 2008. Then wouldn't Michelle already know about the alien attack, or did the aliens attack New York then just came back 8 years later but no one watched the news.