The Cloverfield Paradox


The Cloverfield Paradox

Critics Consensus

Brilliant casting is overshadowed by a muddled mix of genres and storylines that scratch more heads than sci-fi itches in The Cloverfield Paradox.



Total Count: 141


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,352
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Movie Info

A group of scientific researchers on a space station attempt to harness a new energy source called the "God Particle," only to unleash something terrifying. Julius Onah (The Girl Is in Trouble) directed this sci-fi thriller, which stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris O'Dowd, and Zhang Ziyi.


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Critic Reviews for The Cloverfield Paradox

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (115)

  • One of the big problems with Paradox is that 85 percent of the film is explanation, leaving very little time for character development.

    Mar 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • There are humanist bits and chunks of "Interstellar" and "Arrival," though in order to set up another chapter of this loosely assembled saga of woe, "The Cloverfield Paradox" eventually, dutifully gets around to a nonhuman adversary in close-up.

    Feb 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Its twists feel routine, its narrative spine limp and its conclusion especially rushed.

    Feb 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The fastest turnaround from must-see event to disappointing dud in history.

    Feb 9, 2018 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • A kluge of bad science and worse science fiction clichés, it tries to be atmospheric and scary but succeeds only at being frustrating and tedious.

    Feb 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • I'm still not sure what the paradox of the title is. Perhaps it refers to the impossibility of offloading a film to Netflix at the 11th hour, as Paramount has done, and still expecting it to be a hit.

    Feb 8, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Ed Potton

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Cloverfield Paradox

  • Feb 26, 2018
    The next Cloverfield movie will be available Songs of Innocence style.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2018
    I'm starting to write this review a couple of hours after finishing this movie (it is now 2:55 am, Wednesday), which is something I rarely do. It's even rarer when I begin writing a review immediately afterwards. In the latter case, that means one of two things, either the film is one of the best I've ever seen or it's awful. What does that mean for this flick, even though it's a few hours later and not immediately afterward, we'll get into. But let's get into the whole Cloverfield franchise. I honestly legitimately love the idea of using one franchise name (with all the films set in the same universe) to tell a host of different stories. It's essentially the film version of American Horror Story, where they share the same name, but each season/installment tells a different story with different characters. This is essentially what the Halloween franchise was intended as, if you'll remember the third Halloween movie had nothing to do with Michael Myers and any characters that may have come before. The failure of the third movie forced their hand on the fourth one to bring back Myers. Anyway, this is an idea that I hope the Cloverfield franchise, if it's gonna continue, sticks with. I just think it's a cool idea to tell different types of sci-fi/horror related stories under the same franchise name. Having said that, 10 Cloverfield Lane didn't actually start out as a spiritual sequel. It was completely unconnected to the first movie before changes were made to make sure it fit. The same thing could be said for this movie. It was unconnected, but changes were made in order to make sure it fit. Having said all of that, I don't know where to begin with this review. The best way for me to describe this is if Europa Report and Sunsine made sweet, sweet love and the result of that sweet, sweet love was this ugly, little mess of a baby. I really liked Europa Report, but I found Sunshine, while still good, to be a massive disappointment considering that it just devolved into a PG-13 slasher. This movie also borrows plot elements from Sunshine and the ending from Europa Report. Essentially, earth is in an energy crisis. At the start of the movie, we're five years away from this crisis reaching critical levels and all hell breaks loose. Wars start breaking out over oil, nuclear weapons are dropped, the whole shebang, as it were. Anyway, our fearless crew, at this space station, is testing out this particle accelerator that, if successful, would provide earth with infinite energy. So, basically, our lives depend on this fucking thing working. Which is all fine and dandy. Conspiracy theorists are against the use of this particle, suggesting that its usage could cause a rip in space-time and open portals that will allow monsters to come through them to attack earth or whatever. During one of the tests the accelerator overloads and causes a power surge in the station. When the crew comes back to, they find that earth has just...disappeared. Right at this point I was like 'alright, I'm feeling this, I can get into this story, the professional critics were totally wrong about this movie'. I legitimately felt that, well maybe not the last part about the reviews, since it was still early on in the movie and there was plenty of time for all that goodwill to be destroyed. But I was intrigued by what I was seeing. I was even into Volkov being infested with parasites/worm that he then ***SPOILERS*** vomits out, which leads to his death in a scene reminiscent of the facehugger scene from the original Alien. I was also with them all the way up to finding Jensen literally inside the wall with power cables running through her body. But, and I don't know what it was, the movie just completely lost me after this. Perhaps not shortly after this, but there comes a point in the movie, where you just give up all hope of this film ever being coherent enough to piece together all the story threads that are here. The biggest problem, to me, is the fact that the movie wants juggle so many different genres at the same time, not knowing how to handle any of them adeptly. You don't know if it wants to be a sci-fi, a horror or a thriller. In many ways, it really shouldn't be that difficult, since those three genres are closer to each other than, say, comedy and sci-fi. Not saying you can't make a sci-fi comedy, because plenty have, it's just that they don't share as much in common as the others I've mentioned. Another issue is the fact that the characters are so poorly written. Other than Ava and, maybe, Jensen, there's no character development to speak of. Once we get into discussing the idea of alternate realities/dimensions, that's when all hope is lost. It's not that, inherently, exploration of these ideas is a bad thing, it's just that you have to know how to handle them. The Incident, a film that looked at endless time loops, is a movie that, while seemingly confusing on the surface, actually gave you all of the pieces for you to put together. This, on the other, gets bogged down in all the sci-fi technobabble. And perhaps that's not even fair to say, because it's not that I found it incomprehensible. I just mean that it almost feels like they're hitting all of these ideas to check off some sci-fi list, just to prove that they're smarter than the average sci-fi/horror/thriller. There's no problem with being straightforward and there's no problem with a sci-fi movie not embracing ideas that it can't thematically handle. This movie is too proud and too boastful to not accept the fact that it''s utilizing concepts that it does not have the intelligence to truly grasp. And it just fails. There comes a point in the movie where, again, you just give up and you're waiting for the slog to end. Ava's husband, Michael, also has his own subplot, in the original timeline, where he's travelling through a destroyed London. Somehow, someway, his travels lead him to this leveled apartment building with a girl screaming for help in front of the rubble. He takes this girl and takes her to this shelter, which is justified by Michael sending a text to his friend. Yes, really. If you weren't paying attention you would be fucked. Couldn't they just have an actual phone call exchange? Would that have been so difficult. It's like there was a time jump and Michael and the girl were just at the shelter, but there was no actual set-up of it, so they shot an additional scene filling in the blanks. That's how lazy it is. These sections of the film honestly feel so fucking unnecessary. You think that they're gonna lead to a big twist that, in fact, the girl that Michael saved is, somehow, a younger Jensen. How that would have been explained is beyond me, but it's clearly what they were heavily hinting at. The fact that there was no real twist with Michael and the girl means that there's no real purpose for any of their scenes together. Legitimately, there's no real purpose in the long run. They don't move the actual narrative forward in any way, shape or form. It only serves to be there to, really, spoil the last shot of the film. Michael's segments are only used as foreshadowing. But all they do is really ruin the impact of the last shot of the film. And that last shot is, quite literally, the coolest thing about the entire movie, even though it's taken right from Europa Report. As mentioned, the writing of the film is quite below average. Solid casting aside, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is great in this film, there's nothing to the characters past the bare minimum. You don't really care about any of these people, therefore you don't feel any sense of loss once they start dying off. The special effects, particularly for a relatively low-budgeted sci-fi flick ($45 million), are strong. Perhaps not mindblowing, but solid enough all things considered. Summing my thoughts up, this was a movie with a lot of potential and it failed on almost every conceivable level at realizing that potential. It's not that I would call this a terrible movie, but it's clumsily written exercise in futility, given the fact that there's already much better movies like this out there that probably deserve your attention more than this one. This is more disappointing than it is a straight-up bad movie, but I can't really say that this is something you really need to go out of your way to watch. If Cloverfield is to continue as a viable franchise, they're gonna need to bring out the big guns, because movies like this are just not gonna cut it.
    Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2018
    The Cloverfield Paradox might be the first film in what could become a large flood of studio projects that get sold off to streaming services instead of hitting the theater but it isn't lighting the world on fire in any other way. Originally called "The God Particle" TCP was promised to be (at least in its Super Bowl trailer) to be a sort of prequel to the first Cloverfield film and in a VERY roundabout way it is but it's done in a "blink and you'll miss it" sort of way. The CP isn't a bad film by any means but it fails to deliver to the level of suspense of the original film or the great performances of 10 Cloverfield Lane. It's gets a little too nerdy in the plot to the point of confusion if you aren't into things like theoretically physics and multiverse theories and at times the film fails to lay things out in a more digestible way. Daniel Brühl and Chris O'Dowd are the stand out performers for me and they do a good job of bringing up a fairly well done if not generic scary suspense film in space.....
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2018
    The crew of the Enterprise accidentally splits the space/time continuum, are transported to the other side of the galaxy and must now struggle to return ... or at least that's what this plays like: an episode of Star Trek. And not one of the better episodes. Kind of one of those so-so ones. Meh.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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