Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Cloverfield Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

… mind-blowingly great … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    64

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Think "Godzilla Unplugged" -- with chillingly effective results.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The genre may be old news, but the skillfully made Cloverfield offers a heart-racing experience with plenty of chills, thrills and exhilaration.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It’s dumb but quick and dirty and effectively brusque, dispensing with niceties such as character.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Cloverfield reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Tense monster movie is loud, hectic -- and scary.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this monster movie from the creator of Lost rightly comes with a warning for viewers who are sensitive to unsteady camerawork -- the entire movie is filmed from a handheld perspective, and the images are frequently hectic and loud. Violence includes monster attacks, people running and screaming, people bitten by creatures in dark spaces, explosions, ruined buildings and landmarks, fire, bloody bodies, and military strikes. Some of the imagery initially recalls scenes from 9/11. An early scene shows a young woman in bed (presumably after sex), her naked back and side visible (nothing explicit). A party scene shows cleavage and drinking. Language includes repeated uses of "s--t" and some "damns" and "hells."

  • Families can talk about whether the movie's images remind them of 9/11. Do you think that was intentional? How has that event -- so much of which was captured in the media and shown on television -- affected subsequent horror/action movies?
  • Why is New York such an attractive target city in these movies?
  • Does the handheld camerawork make the action scarier? Why or why not? What other movies/media have used this approach?
  • Is the movie accurate in its depiction of how public events are documented (immediately filmed, commented on, blogged about, etc.) in today's world?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages:  The monster's motivations are never revealed -- it's just a force for the horrific.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The hero resolves to find his lover who's trapped many blocks away; he and his friends make a noble trek to find her.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: First apparent explosion jars the camera, shuts down power, and leads characters to worry about an earthquake or terrorist attack. Later images recall 9/11 in NYC (building crumbles; dust cloud sweeps through the street; people run, scream, and stumble). TV reports show fires and buildings and a bridge collapsing. Large reptilian monster is occasionally visible (roaring, smashing buildings); smaller/sharp-toothed monsters attack protagonists in a very dark subway tunnel. Most of the action focuses on victims panicking, with loud smashing and booming on the soundtrack. Military assaults (explosions, missiles, gunfire, bombs).

  • sex false2

    Sex: Early scene shows a naked woman in bed, her back visible. Party scene shows woman's cleavage, especially as the cameraman is drawn to women's bodies (his shifting focus serves as light comedy).

  • language false2

    Language: Repeated uses of "s--t," as well as "hell," "goddamn," and some slang ("douchebag").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Some brief background shots: Aquafina, Mountain Dew.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Party scene shows drinking (beer, liquor) and a bar stocked with bottles.

Advertisement