Cloverfield (2008) Poster

(2008)

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1/10
This movie was an absolute joke!
ramcritic1119 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Cloverfield is the type of film that asks so much from its audience and delivers so little. Right from the start it basically gets down on its hands and knees begging and pleading everyone to take it seriously.

It tells you to excuse the bad camera work which tries desperately at times to cover up the next thing it asks you to ignore, the pathetic acting abilities of all the unknown actors involved.

Then we get to the story (if one could call it that) and the tissue paper thin plot. We begin at a going away party in New York for this guy Rob that gets interrupted by rumblings and explosions in the distance which which are being caused by some sort of monster. So then Rob, his cameraman and friends start heading out of New York when Rob gets a call from a girl (Beth) that he slept with one time, apparently is in trapped in her apartment. So Rob decides to go and save her and his friends for tag along for the ride. To quickly sum up, one by one all our main characters die either by a big monster, a little monster or an explosion.

The entire movie is filmed from the point of view of a hand-held camera which for some reason has the longest battery life I've ever seen, and somehow is able to still function properly despite being dropped a couple of times and survive a helicopter crash.

Overall, Cloverfield is filled with people pretending to be actors, A boring story with little or no explanation of much of anything, and one indestructible video camera.

It is clear that the marketing campaign was where the majority of the budget for this movie went as this film was all hype and no substance. The hype for this movie was caused it go to the top of the box office in its first week and when word spread of how bad the film truly was, it sunk at box office falling in 5 weeks from 1st to 4th to 9th to 12th and the out of the top 20.

If you really hated this movie as I did, check out rifftrax.com home of our friends from Mystery Science Theater who know a thing or two about bad movies. The running commentary given is perfect as they give this movie the beating it deserves.
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1/10
Terrible storytelling, horrible cinematography, poor CGI: Cloverfield is over-hyped and overdone
marlenrf3 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this yesterday. I actually regret doing it. The moment it ended there was general booing and disappointment in the theater. Not a single applause. Throughout this film, I got to see more than 10 people walking out of the theater. I left after the credits ended with a terrible headache and the nausea of a lifetime. It got so bad that I actually had to take a Dramamine pill when I was back at my place.

I didn't like this clichéd film. I believe it is a flawed exercise about character perspective and documented realism. However, the special effects were poor but some of them passable; the editing kept an appropriate rhythm; the performances were regular, with the clear exception of T.J. Miller who played the obnoxious camera man, Hud. He did an awful job.

My main dislikes with this film were the camera movement and the argument overall.

First, the camera moves excessively all time. Even during the party sequence, all the scenes are horribly captured. Hud wasn't running from a monster then, was he? I get the filmmaker's intention, but I felt more nauseated than afraid because they went too far with their movement. The moment I dissociated myself from the movie and started feeling trapped inside a really expensive handy-cam, I knew the original intention had gotten lost. In that respect, the Blair Witch Project (which I also didn't like, but for other reasons) is superior by far. Its technical proposal does help convey a profound emotional impact; whereas Cloverfield's camera trembling doesn't. Consequently, the characters on Cloverfield remain mostly aloof, which really makes some silly elements in the plot to stand out.

SPOILERS START NOW: That brings me to my second main dislike: the argument. Were they joking? I don't even mean the monster. It's a monster movie, so I won't even go there. Everyone goes to save Beth, the romantic interest of Rob, who is beyond logical salvation. Sure, Rob's friends try to stop him from going to his certain death, but they all end up joining him anyway (!) Consequently, "Beth" becomes more of a cheap plot device than a character.

But I mean Marlena joined them? From what we know of her, she wouldn't. That's character inconsistency right there. So, let's assume she had her psychological reasons to do it. She's after all supposedly human and complex. But throughout her time on the screen nothing happens to shed any light as to why she is with them. So, there's no depth to her. No need for her, expect to save Hud's life once.

Also, the love story between Rob and Beth rests so much in what some people say of them and a few lines between the wretched lovers, that it becomes shallow and boring. Sure, some say he's been in love with her forever and they do share a wonderful day at Columbus Circle and Coney Island. Of course, she has got to be the love of his life. I'm not cynical, and I actually enjoy romantic themes, but this was an insult. I mean, the whole story rests so much on this supposed doomed love that it ought to have been better explored. The performances were so flat in this category, that they didn't help either. Again, the love story turned into yet another sort of plot device.

When the friends "rescue" Beth from her building, she is severely injured, and yet she can walk and even run. At the end, when they arrive to the evacuation area, despite her bleeding injury, Beth is not the first one to climb into the helicopter. In fact, she has to wait for another helicopter to take her out because the soldiers offer the only seat to Lily, who is physically well. It is ridiculous. Obviously, the real reason the filmmakers did that is so that the lovers, Rob and Beth, could remain together until the end. Have I said plot device before? Cheap and trashy plot device? And there's more, much more rubbish like that throughout the film.

SPOILERS HAVE ENDED.

Also, the fact that Hud was filming everything -even in the party- almost every private moment, is ludicrous. The filmmaker's choice of the handy-cam as the true narrator is too limited, so he naturally had to use it to an unbelievable degree. The consequence is that the purpose of capturing a sense of realism is defeated, and Cloverfield ends up being an absurdly unrealistic movie –in its own monster-destroying-New-York-movie context-.

In Cloverfield, the filmmakers ask you to accept too many things just as they tell you they are. However, the movie consistently fails to provide you with valid reasons for doing so. They keep forcing on you a story of the poorest quality. It's almost offensive.

Weak screenplays do that. And when they do, one at least expects something in return, whether a feeling or a memorable moment. Something that would justify the torture. Unfortunately, with Cloverfield one ends up empty-handed, jerky camera movements aside.

I don't recommend this film at all, especially if you value the use of a tripod or the meaning of storytelling. In any case, if you're going to see it, please don't expect anything great and try not to eat or drink liquids for a couple of hours before and while watching it. In all honesty, it can make you feel physically (as well as mentally) nauseated.
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1/10
Emperor's new clothes
MartinPh22 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers... Really now, what's to spoil? Story lines don't come any thinner than this. Synopsis: Huge monster appears out of nowhere, destroys city, everybody dies, the end. There isn't any sense of commitment to the main characters, who after the random, gratuitous intro spend their time running around screaming. There is no suspense, no explanation, no point. Predictably, the full view of the monster is saved for last, when even the appalling camera work (yes, I KNOW it's intentional) can't disguise the mediocre CGI, nor the lack of inspiration among the monster-designers. Equally predictable, the nasty foot-soldiers it drops look like big spiders – contact with which will make you feel ill and eventually reduce you to an Alien-plagiarism. One does wonder why American filmmakers are so eager to destroy their big cities, especially after 9/11 has provided us with bone chilling imagery that will make any movie of this kind look silly in comparison for decades to come. Not just silly, actually; the way 9/11-like images are opportunistically recycled in this cinematic non-event struck me as rather tasteless. A BBC reviewer quite rightly called it 'plain 9/11 porn'. The makers have worked under the false assumption that 'live', shaky camera-work in dark surroundings will lift it all to a high level of hip artistry, but really, all it does is give you a headache. Any inexperienced klutz suffering from advanced Parkinson would get steadier handycam images than the guy supposedly holding the thing during these exasperating 75 minutes. It's all a very poor Blair Witch rip-off. Add to that the prevailing darkness and half the time you simply haven't got a clue what you're looking at: as a viewer, I felt insulted. This isn't 'intriguing' or 'artistic' or 'novel', it's just sheer, lax arrogance. Avoid at all costs.
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1/10
Dreadful
David Anderson9 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It appears that the writers had the idea of the Statue of Liberty having its head roll down a street and then struggled like crazy to pad the rest of the movie. Hence it is extremely short and extremely bad.

The storyline that drives the characters within spitting distance of the monster at every opportunity is flimsy at best and to be honest, even though it is a movie about a monster terrorising a city it's the small things in it that make it most unbelievable. The fact that the guy talks the military into letting him risk his life (for a girl he slept with once by the way!), the exploding people, the fact that you can abuse a camera so badly and still have it work, the fact that you can buy a phone battery in a shop and not have to charge it before use, the convenient buildings propping each other up allowing for a daring rescue, the immense healing capabilities of the main characters who survive impalement and a crashing helicopter with barely a scratch, carrying the camera incessantly throughout this whole 'terrifying' ordeal, the stare out between monster and camera man at the end. I could go on but its making me feel ill thinking about this movie so much, so soon after seeing it.

The fact that you can barely make out what is going on doesn't help either. I think it was meant to add grit and suspense to the film, only giving you fleeting glimpses of the monster, but in the end it just helps to tarnish this train wreck of a movie even further by making sure its a blurred mess.

I left the cinema feeling cheated of my money. If it wasn't by J.J. Abrahms and the viral marketing didn't happen this film would have went largely unnoticed and would have been barely memorable. Its carrying mostly on the crest of Abrahms 'Lost' wave but anyone with a little bit of common sense and their rose tinted Lost spectacles removed can see how much of a weak movie this is.

Avoid.
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1/10
Didn't live up to the hype
Bensonrecon19801 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the viral campaign with extremely well done fake news footage I had high hopes for this movie. I've always been a lover of the monster movie/horror genre...hell I even sort of enjoyed the Godzilla remake despite it's many failings and strong smell of cheese but Cloverfield? well what can I say...

I went into watching this film knowing it was filmed entirely in a shaky "Blair Witch" cam style,but I didn't expect over an hour of motion sickness overkill.

Unless you have taken the time to watch ALL of the viral marketing the first 20 minutes of the film are a COMPLETE waste of time.Don't get me wrong I don't expect any film like this to slap you in the face from minute 1 with monster attacks and carnage but the first 20 minutes would have made much more sense to those going in totally fresh if they would have spliced in some of the back story.Namely the reasons behind the career move and the company he was going to work for,the attack on the oil rig and possibly a teaser news clip before going into the final few minutes of the party and then the attack.

I understand the idea behind having "amateur footage" but the film tries WAY to hard to get that idea over.Seriously I knew full well that it was supposed to be a handy cam after 5 minutes,they didn't need to vaguely wave the camera around every few minutes to get the point across.

Yes this film has been compared to Blair Witch but Blair Witch had something that Cloverfield SERIOUSLY lacks...Ambiance.In Blair Witch even though you never see anything the off camera sounds give the film the mood it needs to drive the story and give the feeling of fear.Cloverfield simply doesn't have that and it leaves me feeling no compassion for the characters and no sense of danger unless they are in the open and within shouting distance of the monster(s) Simply put this movie is a love or hate experience,there isn't any middle ground.Although it's meant for the big screen I'd advise waiting till it's available for rent to avoid disappointment
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1/10
Sturdiest Hand-held Camera Ever!
CSBurningDestiny30 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
... I do not believe that digital camera survived a nuke. I'm sorry, there you go. That was the final nail in the coffin for this movie, it just heaps one immersion-breaking sequence of events after another.

So, let's count off:

Cloverfield stops just short of carving 'all the characters in this movie die!' into your forehead in the first 40 seconds of the movie, making it impossible to feel any sort of emotional attachment to them? Check.

Magically-appearing army which arrives roughly TEN MINUTES into the monster attack despite the fact that one of the main bridges into Manhattan was destroyed not thirty-seconds earlier? Check.

Monster can't be hurt by weapons? Check. This is forgivable, it's a trope of all giant monster movies. Most make some attempt to explain it... in Cloverfield, they just assume you'll go: "Oh, of course that doesn't work. It IS a giant monster, after all."

Monster drops off little baby monsters (in this case, parasites) that only serve to pad the movie and give the filmmakers an excuse to film someone (literally) exploding off-camera with no explanation as to WHY said character exploded because of the bite of a little monster? Check.

Exiting the subway into a conveniently-placed Army hospital? Check.

Baby monster bite that, while severe, doesn't slow down any of the caste UNTIL the poorly telegraphed "I feel a little dizzy" followed by the above-referenced character explosion? Check.

Skyscraper improbably leaning against another skyscraper without either of them collapsing? Check.

Girl survives roughly six hours with a rebar spike through her shoulder without bleeding to death... OK, this one's plausible. People have survived weirder, and the rebar MIGHT have kept her from bleeding to death.

Girl is capable of running not once, but twice, roughly ten minutes after being REMOVED from said rebar? Without being slowed down because of blood-loss, pain, nausea, or any other reason? Check.

Monster pulls a 'Dragonball Z' and gets back up despite lots of bombs and a huge cloud of smoke? Check.

Helicopter crashes in central park, and only the three main characters survive? Check.

Guy and his girl fiend wind up together at the end, complete with useless and weepy Blair Witch "I'm scared, why is this happening to me?!" dialog? Check.

Camera Footage survives a NUCLEAR ATTACK, despite the fact that a nuke's EMP will still erase digital footage even if it IS protected by a flimsy central park bridge? Check.

... and that's the whole movie. Seriously. Every scene contained something needlessly immersion-breaking which, coupled with the nausea-inducing camera-work made for a decidedly poor movie.

If given the choice of being bitten by one of the little monster-lice from Cloverfield or watching the actual movie, I'd take being bitten. At least then, you'll only feel sick for about half an hour.
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1/10
Duped by Excellent Marketing
brc2319 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have to hand it to JJ Abrams....we fell for this flick hook line and sinker.

The only downside is it COMPLETELY lacked substance. There was NO story. We went to see a monster movie only to find out NOTHING...I mean NOTHING about it. It was about stupid people who were unwilling to leave the city...and then were killed. Big deal.

In the end you didn't know how the monster got there, if they actually killed it, what it's powers were, what the little monsters were, where it came from, what it wanted....you never even got to see the entire shape of it or the use of all it's body parts.

It is the only movie I have ever wanted to walk out of. I just kept waiting for it to get better.

If Abrams ends Lost this way the world is going to come unglued!!!!!
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1/10
like watching a strobe light
marlincoast27 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If you like screaming through the whole movie and a home movie effect where the camera holder is totally useless and cant stay upright or in perspective you MAY like this. Besides strobe like effects and completely ridiculous situations, ie: helicopter falls from 39 stories+ and only the 3 heroes survive, a 39 story building leaning on its opposite counterpart and the hero climbing stairs, crossing the roof, removing his live girlfriend from reo stuck through her chest and climbing down again while video is swaying to and fro? STUPID. Good effects if you can follow them and not a bad monster. Put me off the director for good I think. And I am a sci-fi nut. And what is "Cloverfield"?
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1/10
the best to annoy and greatest to disappoint!
hishamabri8 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I've just seen this movie on a DVD and I'm so bothered for wasting 90 Min's of my time on something like this, even if i have nothing to do in my life.

This movie is the worst movie me and my friends have ever and will ever see. there's literally nothing to see because this movie is based on nothing It, very slowly/after 20 Min's, takes off trying to make you thrilled about i don't know what then makes you start thinking when does the action start in just about it you see the credits you've got to be kiddin' me there has to be more

the camera style is very very annoying the whole movie i was thanking god every time it fell down then wtf he takes it again

actors just have nothing to act run, scream, not-think, act stupid and so on for god sake, who gives a f*** about a bunch of losers having a party for 20 Min's if there's nothing funny, nothing thrilling, nothing to watch. and then who gives a f*** about some deleted scenes from Godzilla or dontknowwhat!!!

If you have watched every movie humans ever created and yet have lots of free time DO NOT WATCH Cloverfield It can be rented for free??? say no thanks
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1/10
Is this a joke?
Ilan Havinga21 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What on earth is this movie doing with a 8.1/10 rating?

I think I'm being kind with a 3/10. It is just as a big a disaster for me as its trying to portray(but fails completely)

Now what puzzles me is why on earth would you go completely calm and focused towards an alien monster trashing the city with bombs being dropped on it? O please..to save a women who should have been dead but miraculously survives. She has a metal rod through her chest (or i think it was, with all that nauseating camera work) and should have died of loose of blood.... Now another thing i don't quite get is the camera...hmmm 10 hours of battery..yea, Captures all the good bits of an exiting adventure,HD quality and doesn't run out of battery or stop working from all the times its dropped and thrown in the movie! God i have to find a place where they sell these!

And now onto the acting...acting? Its not hard to scream and look really scared which is all they do..they don't even need to look convincing because half the time the camera is trying to look really really realistic and is filming the ground. Now this guys best friend that is filming...i don't think i have come across a narrator that annoying. What does he do in the movie apart from saying..omg what just happened dude?..what was that?Dude this is scary. I mean what the ****?When he finally dies after miraculously surviving a helicopter crash with his friends i rejoiced! Sorry for not knowing his name but even now i don't even know who's who?

Just don't bother with this movie, please I'm glad i only downloaded it first before going out to watch in the cinemas. You'll be wishing the movie to end so you can get on with your life.
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