Critic Reviews



Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Cloverfield, a surreptitiously subversive, stylistically clever little gem of an entertainment disguised, under its deadpan-neutral title, as a dumb Gen-YouTube monster movie, makes the convincingly chilling argument that the world will end -- or, at least, Manhattan will crumble -- with a bang and a whimper.
Mercifully, at 84 minutes the movie is even shorter than its originally alleged 90-minute running time; how much visual shakiness can we take? And yet, all in all, it is an effective film, deploying its special effects well and never breaking the illusion that it is all happening as we see it.
Produced by "Lost" and "Alias" mastermind J.J. Abrams, Cloverfield has been one of the more interesting experiments in large-scale guerrilla filmmaking.
The genre may be old news, but the skillfully made Cloverfield offers a heart-racing experience with plenty of chills, thrills and exhilaration.
Manhattan has always been a fat target for apocalypse filmmakers, but with its 9/11-inspired imagery, Matt Reeves' breathlessly fast-paced Cloverfield is going to resonate with New York audiences in a way no other horror film has.
Chicago Tribune
It's dumb but quick and dirty and effectively brusque, dispensing with niceties such as character.
Miami Herald
There are a few surprises lurking in Cloverfield, and director Matt Reeves has an uncanny ability to time his jolts and scare when you least expect it.
Cloverfield is content to be a creature feature; that's what makes it bearable and what keeps it from greatness. The genre, not the script, does the psychological heavy lifting.
The Hollywood Reporter
Think "Godzilla Unplugged" -- with chillingly effective results.
Now that the fanboy hype has cleared, we can see Cloverfield for what it is: borrowed inspiration, trite screenwriting and amateurish acting all in the service of a ballsy idea -- that a horror movie could maybe, just maybe, have a soul.
Much scampering, yelling, quaking and crying is required of the actors, and they acquit themselves well enough, even with oozing fake wounds and prop rebars piercing their shoulder blades.
Adept at wringing maximum suspense and might have reached the heights of the Korean monster film "The Host" but for the limitations of the camcorder ploy. While it injects the film with a run-and-gun urgency, the device grows tiresome and ultimately leaves the film shortchanged.

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