Cloverfield Reviews

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David Fear
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Nathan Lee
Village Voice
January 22, 2008
The mechanism is the message in Cloverfield, a movie so aluminum-sleek, ultra-portable, and itsy-bitsy sexy, it's amazing Steve Jobs didn't pull it out of an envelope at Macworld.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
January 22, 2008
I had a lot of fun with this inside-out take on the monster movie.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
January 22, 2008
Under the modern flummery, behind the faux amateurism and the handheld shudder, Cloverfield is a vastly old-fashioned piece of work, creaking with hilarious contrivance.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 22, 2008
The fleeting, incomplete glimpses of the monster early on prove the old dictum of B-movie auteur Val Lewton that a momentary image can have greater impact than a prolonged one.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
January 18, 2008
Maybe we now live in a world where we record the moment first and feel it later. If that's the case, Cloverfield leaves us waiting to feel.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 18, 2008
Smartly reconjures the 1950s monster movie for the digital age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
January 18, 2008
It's a giant-monster movie from the point of view of some of those little people running and shrieking in the street -- and it works incredibly well.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 18, 2008
The running and climbing, the tidal waves of debris rushing down the avenues, the screams and carnage grow tiresome.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 18, 2008
A jolt to the genre. The camera tumbles, the smoke billows, gigantic footsteps thunk, women shriek and the car alarms blare. And we are there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
January 18, 2008
It puts human faces on the victims of mass destruction, faces that might easily have been yours or mine, staring down the maw of something we don't understand.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 18, 2008
We've sat through that kind of movie again and again, but we've never sat through anything with Cloverfield's subjective sting. You'd have to be tougher than I was not to be blown sideways by it.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 18, 2008
Cloverfield delivers exactly what its memorable coming attractions trailer promised, and it doesn't chicken out when it counts, either. Considering the state of horror movies today, that's something.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
January 18, 2008
An efficiently gripping sci-fi/horror romp.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 18, 2008
Cloverfield is visceral attack that it leaves the viewer reeling for details that flew by like so many bricks raining off broken buildings.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 18, 2008
Fully visceral, visually impressive.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 18, 2008
A remarkably economical, street-level view of widespread panic caused by an abomination that gets, and ultimately needs, no explanation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 18, 2008
Cloverfield captures the chronic self-absorption of the Facebook generation with breathless, cleverly recycled media savvy, and then it stomps that self-absorption to death. These days, that's entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 18, 2008
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 18, 2008
An effective film, deploying its special effects well and never breaking the illusion that it is all happening as we see it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 18, 2008
Reeves does a masterful job wedding the restricted perspective of Hud's lens with CGI glimpses of an already blasted cityscape. This is the gimmick's raw excitement phase -- we're hooked.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
January 18, 2008
It's fun in its morbidly campy way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 18, 2008
Works as a showcase for impressively realistic-looking special effects, a realism that fails to extend to the scurrying humans whose fates are meant to invoke pity and fear but instead inspire yawns and contempt.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
January 18, 2008
A surprisingly gripping thriller. Employing a pseudo-documentary handheld camera style, it offers a fresh spin on the monster movie genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 17, 2008
It's the end of the world as captured on an unsteady camcorder, a YouTube panic attack.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
January 17, 2008
Despite a first reel entirely devoted to establishing characters, Cloverfield is basically a line-'em-up, pick-'em-off horror movie that's effective without being either viscerally frightening or emotionally moving.
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John Anderson
Washington Post
January 17, 2008
A relentless, I-thought-my-eyeballs-were-bleeding exercise in visual disorientation.
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Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
January 17, 2008
While it [the "camcorder ploy"] injects the film with a run-and-gun urgency, the device grows tiresome and ultimately leaves the film shortchanged.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 17, 2008
There's nothing to Cloverfield, really, but stripped-down chaos shot in a faux-verite Blair Witch Project fashion...But I have to say, I was with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
January 17, 2008
The shaky video camera perspective is alternately involving and irritating, but director Matt Reeves keeps the carnival of wreckage spinning at a brisk clip.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 17, 2008
Cloverfield is the ultimate movie for people who don't feel a cataclysm has really happened until they can videotape it, upload it and stream it live to the rest of the world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
January 17, 2008
We know only what they know, see what the videocamera sees. I.e., not much.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
January 17, 2008
A twitchy thrill ride that's relentless in its escalation of tension, merciless in its intensity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
January 17, 2008
The plot effectively reduces down to one long slog from Spring Street to Central Park South.
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
January 16, 2008
A terrific movie, filled with spectacle and a surprising amount of humor, which makes up for its lack of terror or emotional impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
January 16, 2008
This monster mash-up is a lot of fun, creating some intense gross-out moments and maintaining suspense throughout its speedy running time.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 16, 2008
This film takes you into the heart of the maelstrom and leaves you there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 16, 2008
A surreptitiously subversive, stylistically clever little gem of an entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
January 16, 2008
Chillingly effective.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
January 16, 2008
An old-fashioned monster movie dressed up in trendy new threads.