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985 out of 1634 people found the following review useful:

Tremendous thrills!

Author: kanerazor from Yorba Linda, CA
15 January 2008

Some people have derisively compared this film to The Blair Witch Project because it was all told from the point of view of someone's shaking camera. Unless you have motion sickness, I don't think that's a bad thing. What matters is who's in front of the camera. While The Blair Witch Project featured annoying people screaming at each other, this movie actually made me care about the characters. In fact if it had continued with the romantic drama tone established during the first half hour, I STILL think it would have been worth watching and that's the biggest compliment I can give it.

Of course people will be watching this movie for the visceral pleasure and Colverfield delivers. Many thrilling visual and sound effects wowed me (there were a few times I yelled out in shock at a sudden scare). Any horror film will also benefit from a sense of entrapment and this movie pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of making New York City seem claustrophobic because there was seemingly nowhere to hide from the monster.

What is the monster? Whatever it is clearly is meant to be an allegory for the carnage 9/11 inflicted on New York, much the same way Godzilla was meant to be an allegory for the damage inflicted on Japan by the atom bomb. There are moments seemingly recreating the documentary footage from 9/11, and they give the film verisimilitude. Touching upon real life horror, plus creating characters that we can relate to and care about, and assaulting our senses with incredible sights and sounds leads to entertainment worth watching many times over. Perhaps the 80 minute run time will bother some people, but on the other hand I think that's better than a film wearing out its welcome. Great job J.J. Abrams and company!

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733 out of 1229 people found the following review useful:

Breath of fresh air

Author: NormalViewCasting from Massachusetts, United States
17 January 2008

It was nice to finally watch movie that didn't seem like anything I'd ever seen before. This, much like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and "Children of Men", completely immerses you in this incredible situation with absolutely no knowledge to comfort you. It's very disorienting, which adds to the experience; you never figure out what the hell is going on but you're so into survival that you put it past you. You're placed with a bunch of characters whom you get to know and eventually must join in their frenzied search for a friend while being subjected to some horrifying imagery and new threats.

The effects look great and realistic thanks to the hand-held camera, which isn't too bad-looking if you manage to get a seat further from the screen. The filmmakers came up with some really great creature designs that were menacing yet very much original. If you're bound to be upset over seeing a movie with a lack of music, then stay for the credits, during which a fantastic suite of music composed by Michael Giacchino titled "Roar! (Cloverfield Theme)" plays.

All in all, a fantastic time at the movies. A little more background on the monster would be nice, though the absence of this information is intentional. Everyone in the theater was rooting for a sequel; maybe a second set of footage is found elsewhere? Or perhaps there is more the the viral marketing -- what exactly were Slusho and Tagruato? Also be prepared to suspend some disbelief, but considering the movie is about a monster destroying New York City, that shouldn't be too difficult.

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524 out of 858 people found the following review useful:


Author: Rumsfield from Columbus, Ohio
19 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will admit, the marketing scheme behind this awfulness was clever. I mean, I like a good thrill ride monster movie. The Creature From the Black Lagoon piqued my curiosity as a youngster as I marveled at the brilliance of trying to understand something that has no explanation. However, it's hard to have this curiosity, no matter how intriguing the monster is, when the script is so tired its in a coma.

Yes, the monster is cool. No, the stupid hand-held camera gimmick didn't bother me. Yes, the special effects are great and at times I did find myself in awe of the spectacle on the screen as it does seem real, but the movie itself is so, so, so dumb. At any moment I felt comfortable to leave to use the restroom as I knew exactly what I was going to miss. The plot was a paint by numbers and I would have loved even a touch of Bob Ross to fill the blanks, but no originality whatsoever.

First they steal the overdone Hollywood bit about love. "Dude, if you love her, tell her." Response: "I can't tell her, unless a mutant alien/ocean creature tries to expunge the city, only then will I try and make my move." Why have this? Why not make the story the monster? Really, who cares about these characters? Who cares about Rob's job in Japan? It's flimsy? Why have it? The beginning clearly leads on that the camera is found, which means they all die. Standard operation of introducing characters that we shouldn't care about.

Second, they decide to steal a scene from a much better monster movie The Descent. "Let's try night vision on the camera." And this is in no way as scary as the movie that did it better. The Descent works better in every faction of story telling. It forces claustrophobia as it whispers the insanity and the entire film works as a metaphor for diving deep into the darkness of one's existence and summoning demons, ones we can't see coming (which is why I think those monsters were blind). Cloverfield does none of this. It's a, where can we run to next? saga. A 'B' movie. A well shot 'B' movie.

Third we have the comic relief one liner guy holding the camera. But in true fashion of a bad movie, he's not funny, just annoying. A few people in my viewing clapped when he was eaten. I love LOST. I think it's the best show on TV, but the writer here has proved that being a great psychological writer for the little screen does not translate to comedy. Bad Robot productions should hire one guy with a sense of humor. They may need him at some point. Hud's pinnacle of wit was "That's terrible" when he gets a good shot of the monster. Followed closely by, "That's terrible too" when we see when of its young-lings a few seconds later. Brilliant... improv? I can only guess the script consisted of locations and not so much dialogue since this boner had most of the words in the movie, words that seemed spontaneously driven from someone wait listed at community college. Horrible. I'm surprised he didn't utter, "That's terrible cubed" before he was engorged upon. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Fourth, we have the killer/villain/monster has one last leap. Yes, we knew the helicopter was going down since they find the camera in Central Park. "We killed him" Hud proclaims, just before the monster elevates and slaps the helicopter to the ground. This is scary, why? Oh, it's not scary, and I find the idea of a thing like this really existing more logical than any of those bozos surviving the crash in the park.

Fifth, they've stolen from every Stephen King novel ever, because King should always have chapters taken out, and this movie should have been an hour long. Do we really need to see them walk up 57 flights of stairs and then back down and then bank up and then and then and then and then.... yes we do. Otherwise they don't have enough for a feature length movie. So trite and boring and not fascinating. Which is why the gimmick of a hand held camera was needed. Otherwise, they may actually need to give the characters some arc, have some purposeful shots of the monster, maybe create a reason for what it is and why it's there and, uh-oh, give it some originality. For anyone who thinks this movie is original it is probably because you are under 24 and either naive to creativity or just haven't seen any worthwhile movies. I wanted to like this I did, I really did. It just wasn't good. I can respect it, as I respect all movies that are made. It was well crafted and edited and the effects were amazing, but so what? All movies now have great effects. The Fantastic Four movies are not good, but their effects rock. War of the Worlds was awful, but I thought those things really came out of the ground. Effects and production don't make a movie. Not anymore. T-2, Jurassic Park, Men in Black, those movies were pioneers to FX being a character along with brilliant film-making. Now it is expected. Since it is expected there, I expect more from the story. This isn't it. If I were trapped in hell and I had a choice to watch either Cloverfiled or One Miss Call over and over, I'd pick One Miss Call. At least its badness is funny, which gives it some merit. Cloverfield is just bad. Textook, trite, clichéd, not smart, overdone, not scary, bad. Not as bad as Mission Impossible 2, but pretty darn close.

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479 out of 780 people found the following review useful:

sneak peek early screen

Author: nightswatch from United States
10 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I attended an early screening 1/10/08 at Michigan State University. I've spoilerized in case anyone doesn't want to know anything about the film, but I will try to stay away from anything that'll be too overt.

Simply put, the film is an amazingly visceral experience. It's studio logo, production logo, film. No credits whatsoever, which just adds to the overall immediacy of it. If you've been following it to any degree whatsoever, you know that it's shot entirely with hand-held cameras. The characters also run. A lot. So immediately, I think this will be a love hate experience. My own reaction to it was that it again, added to the immersion, and I didn't find it to be really distracting at all. Many people I saw it with said they couldn't even watch the screen at times, so buyer beware. It also will anger those who need all the details, and need to have every loose end tied up (or even a majority of them). The entire film is the tape found after the events of the film are over. That's it. There is no set up, and no hold-your-hand-for-you resolution (or really, much of one at all). It's unconventional, and I enjoyed the ending TREMENDOUSLY. I definitely have to applaud the decision to not simply make a cookie cutter action film that is easy to watch. I think it will be interesting to watch how it does at the box office though.

After that...I feel like there isn't much that can be said about the acting, and that should be a credit to it. It absolutely feels like you are experiencing this with the characters, who feel more or less exactly like real people. After leaving the theater I was on edge for a good deal of time, as I tried to shake that level of immersion. The film is also surprisingly humorous, and I would say that our crowd laughed more than they screamed (although the screams were definitely there).

Cloverfield definitely will not be everybody's cup of tea, but if you're already excited about it, I have no doubt that you'll be satisfied. It was a relatively unique experience, and again I want to applaud the decision to make it in that manner.

Definitely recommended: 8/10

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324 out of 472 people found the following review useful:

Sturdiest Hand-held Camera Ever!

Author: CSBurningDestiny from United States
30 January 2008

*** This review may contain 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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564 out of 958 people found the following review useful:

After all someone might say it's a love story....

Author: Z. Unger from Atlanta, GA
17 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to say that I haven't had so much fun in a movie theater in such a long time. Cloverfield brought back a sense of excitement and delight for me.

The movie draws you in, makes you a part of the experience. It succeeds primarily because of two things; what you see and what you hear.

The movie does not have a major actor stealing the screen. Everyone is treaded just about equal. As the viewer you feel you are with the group as you are seeing the movie from the first person view. You feel connected to the characters as you understand that because of their loss, they have to set something right and not escape from the city. The movie draws you in and you feel like you are a part of the action.

There is no music. Ambient sounds such as creeks and thumps don't distract you from looking at all the finer details. You stay focused on what's important and constantly entertained.

One thing you must remember going into this movie. Remember the first 10 seconds of the movie (the stuff that comes right after the Star Trek teaser). If you keep that in mind everything will make sense and make the movie more pleasurable.

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649 out of 1143 people found the following review useful:

The First Great Monster Film of the Century

Author: Midgarmerc from United States
18 January 2008

If you haven't heard by now Cloverfield is a film about a giant monster attacking Manhattan all seen through the perspective of a 20-something's hand-held camera. The film has been hyped for months via viral marketing, JJ Abrams fan boys, and media coverage/ monster speculation. Did it live up to the hype? The answer is OH GOD YES Cloverfield is by far the most intense monster film I have ever seen in my lifetime, after the initial 15 minutes of character introduction and whatnot the film does not go 5 minutes without a HOLY CRAP moment. Constantly driving you to the edge of your seat at every turn and it really pulls no punches, I was surprised to learn it was rated PG13. Now the film is entirely filmed in shaky cam since you cant really survive a monster attack pushing a trolley around and it just works, you may get motion sickness though so be warned. The camera itself becomes a character of the film as it IS the viewer making everything happening on-screen more and more realistic. Now the acting is amateur but thats for the best considering that the film would have made no sense if they had used big name actors/actresses, the characters are not that deep either and mostly serve as fodder, comic relief, moral guidance, panic, commentary, puzzlement, a little bit of annoyance, in other words they're people surviving a monster attack. The presentation is brilliant, the only music heard is in the party and at the ending credits and the special effects are some of the most seamless stuff you'll ever see in a film. The monster itself is actually not seen in its entirety only being viewed from different angles for the audience to piece it together as the survivors themselves are, you pretty much know as much as they do about everything going on making you actually feel like you're there. Critics compare the film to Blair Witch meets Godzilla but it is so much more than that, Cloverfield is the definitive American Monster Film, best if seen on the opening weekend just to hear the audience's reactions not to mention the presentation is far greater on the big screen, watch it again to see the things you missed or just to enjoy the ride again, admittedly the shock value will wane with multiple viewings but for what it's worth Cloverfield is an excellent piece of film and special effect engineering and is the first great monster film of the millennium. Its also downright scary at parts. 8/10

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464 out of 790 people found the following review useful:

I liked it... believe it or not, I did.

Author: IamtheRegalTreatment from United States
17 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There was so much hype for this movie that you didn't need to know what it was about to see it. I'm sure many viewers this weekend are going to not know anything about the movie, just know that it's called Cloverfield and it was produced by JJ Abrams. I would think the movie wouldn't be as enthralling for someone who doesn't know much about it compared to someone who has been following message board posts for months, but I don't think it should matter.

So, let's begin. Cloverfield. The general plot of the movie is a home-made movie about a mans going away party that turns into a first person action thriller about a "monster" terrorizing the city. Well, I'm intrigued. I have been waiting for this movie for awhile since nothing exciting has come out recently. Everyone talking about the movie only made it more anticipated, so going into it I had high expectations. To be completely honest, I am satisfied. Shocked? Cloverfield is a movie like nothing I've seen before. I am sure this movie is based upon a few other films, but I haven't seen them. First of all, no it is not Godzilla. Second, I didn't get a chance to see Blair Witch Project so the first person thing was new to me. I know, I know. This however is what Made this movie what it is. It made you feel like you were in the action, on the streets running in fear alongside the citizens. It was freakin' sweet.

The action was intense, I expected nothing less from JJ. Once the movie got into motion with the city "earthquake" everything from then on was thrilling. I sat in the seat shaking in anticipation like I was sitting outside in the 20 degree weather; butterflies in my stomach for more than half the film. Awesome. The other part that was great was the sound and sights. It really felt like you were standing next to the soldiers shooting at the monster. And last but not least, the comedy... no seriously. There were many funny parts thanks to the cameraman. "Oh My God, you know Superman too? Geez I'm feeling a connection... have you heard of Garfield?". Classic.

Overall a solid, solid 9. Maybe a little high, but I thought the movie was amazing whether or not the ending was satisfying. No, I'm not telling you how it ends! To me, it was good though because it ended the film on a good note... yet kept the suspense and questions flowing. Also, no monster tips from me... I want you to be awaiting "its" face. Very good work, except on the title... what does Cloverfield have to do with it?

90 minute flick, so why not. Action/Thriller fans will love it; so go see it!

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329 out of 530 people found the following review useful:

Feel Good Comedy of the Year!

Author: bumbletbw from Morgantown, WV
19 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hey, have ten bucks and two hours of your life to blow? Why not try Cloverfield! If you like motion-sickness inducing, hand-held, close-up, can't-focus-on-anything movies (a.k.a., anything by Michael Bay) then this is a movie for you and your six second attention span! Wait ... what was I saying? Oh yeah, there's this thing that runs rampant on Manhattan. No one knows what the hell it is, it's just there. In the meantime all of the monster crap interrupts a very special episode of Dawson's Creek, you know, the one where Dawson's going to leave for Japan and he finds out at the party that Joey's been sleeping around on him? Alright, now picture that, filmed with your dad's handycam in the middle of a Godzilla movie. It's a big sh!te sandwich coupled on either side by two slices of moldy bread. That's how fresh and satisfying of a movie this is.

But hey, on the bright side, everyone died and that made me smile.

It's a big-budget C-movie, and while that may sound like something entertaining to fans of shlock films, trust me when I tell you that it's not. Give me Godzilla vs. Mothra any day over this steaming pile. At least those movies have heart.

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430 out of 740 people found the following review useful:

Cloverfield delivers the thrills - but haters of the Blair Witch style should be wary!

Author: jctundis from RI
18 January 2008

So, I went to a 5PM showing of Cloverfield today. It was pretty good. I found the characters to be very human and developed quite nicely over the course of the story. The special effects were excellent, with quite a few "oh $#!@" moments.

Be warned: If Blair Witch Project made you nauseous, then I don't recommend Cloverfield. The *entire* movie is filmed in the "handy-cam" style of the trailer - but in my opinion, it works better here than in Blair Witch. It helped draw you into the movie and make you feel like you were in it, and it made the CGI more convincing.

Very intense film.

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