Cloverfield

Film

Fantasy films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jan 29 2008

Six years after 9/11, the spectacular destruction of Manhattan is once again the premise of a Hollywood fantasy, though ‘Cloverfield’ is not your father’s disaster movie. Unaccountable trauma takes the place of scientific rationalisation; partial experience replaces the view from the war room; and the signifiers of the World Trade Center – fireballs, collapsing towers, dust clouds and drifting paper – are everywhere. Whether you find it all cathartic or exploitative is probably a matter of taste.

Following Steven Spielberg’s ‘War of the Worlds’ in presenting an ignorant, panicked, individuated response to armageddon, ‘Cloverfield’ takes that film’s single shot of fantastic carnage captured on a home video camera as its whole aesthetic.

The film is an ersatz relic à la ‘Blair Witch’, the purported contents of a camcorder discovered in the aftermath of a mysterious behemoth’s catastrophic rampage through New York. The camera belongs to Rob (Michael Stahl-David), a twentysomething about to move to Japan; his leaving party takes place on the night of the attack, and we follow his and a few friends’ experiences from dusk to dawn. Footage of an earlier, happier day out punctuatesthe main action.

The film is produced by JJ Abrams and, like ‘Lost’, it leaves the big picture vague while furnishing enough local information to keep the ride compelling. Though not without humour – our cameraman Hud (TJ Miller) provides goofy comic relief – this is at the gruelling end of the disaster movie spectrum, unabashedly mining its 9/11 resonances and neo-vérité grammar to considerable effect. The humans are ultimately pretty disposable, but the monster and the camera are worth attention.

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Release details

Cast and crew

Cinematography:

Michael Bonvillain

Cast:

Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman, Michael Stahl-David, T.J. Miller, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

Screenwriter:

Drew Goddard

Producer:

JJ Abrams

Director:

Matt Reeves

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:38
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:7
  • 2 star:6
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|108
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brighteyes

Watched on DVD on a sunny afternoon at home. I wanted it over. It was exhausting to watch but fascinating. I love films and am so much better and comprehending them when I settle down without a guilt trip. What idiot watches films on sunny afternoons?

Trent

Just watched this on TV — expected something rubbish as I'm not a fan of US horror/disaster movies. But it was actually quite an exciting and spectacular ride, without all the annoying moralizing and cheesy family values I'd anticipated. No particular plot, but that's hardly the point. Definitely one that guys will enjoy, while girls will... not see any point in it whatsoever.

DUDE

Everythink you want a film Its got Action,Horror,Sad moments and a couple of jokes!The best film i have ever seen!Cant stop watching it!

DUDE

Everythink you want a film Its got Action,Horror,Sad moments and a couple of jokes!The best film i have ever seen!Cant stop watching it!

herbie

Saw this with no preconceptions. Err. no real plot, very long "character intro" which didn't endear you to any of them really. Some good action scenes, but spoiled by the extreme camera swings which gave us a headache. No real conclusion or tying up, but that's in the vein of "B.W.P" style movies. Personally would have begrudged going to the Cinema to see it. Even Godzilla was better.

Panzram Industrial

WOW!!!! one of the most terrifying film's Ive ever seen, the reason is that I put my self in the situation of the people there, Im passionate about Japanese shock & hate 99% of the crap that the the US dishes out but this was different, hated the end though! I wanted to know more, what happens to the monster, do they kill it etc, apart from that amazing

Panzram Industrial

WOW!!!! one of the most terrifying film's Ive ever seen, the reason is that I put my self in the situation of the people there, Im passionate about Japanese shock & hate 99% of the crap that the the US dishes out but this was different, hated the end though! I wanted to know more, what happens to the monster, do they kill it etc, apart from that amazing

Tom

Haha I feel SO sorry 4 anyone who judges the film based on these reviews...it goes 5 star, 1 star, 5 star, no stars, 5 star... I say, f*ck the reviews, go in there with an open mind and see what u think. If u go in expecting to hate it, you probly will. Clear your head, try to enjoy it. Personally I loved it =] but thats just me.

Tom

Haha I feel SO sorry 4 anyone who judges the film based on these reviews...it goes 5 star, 1 star, 5 star, no stars, 5 star... I say, f*ck the reviews, go in there with an open mind and see what u think. If u go in expecting to hate it, you probly will. Clear your head, try to enjoy it. Personally I loved it =] but thats just me.

Ray

that movie was awesome and that camera thing shaky camera WAS FREAKIN AMAZING

Ray

that movie was awesome and that camera thing shaky camera WAS FREAKIN AMAZING

Baked Adz

Took the missus to see it, she hated it... I f**kin loved it!! Best film I've seen 4 ages, people need to stop moaning about the plot!! It's a blokes film, loads of carnage and a savage ending. Nuff said!!!

Baked Adz

Took the missus to see it, she hated it... I f**kin loved it!! Best film I've seen 4 ages, people need to stop moaning about the plot!! It's a blokes film, loads of carnage and a savage ending. Nuff said!!!

Lizzie C

gruesome! I didn't get the significance of the monkey guy until right near the end, but everyone around me seemed to think it was obvious so i guess i'm stoopid haha. The walking plantlife.. what was that? an homage to Day Of The Triffids or just a jarring parody? Hope it doesn't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but throwing that in there, and ONLY there, right when the chick dies was pretty lame. Loved the dynamic between the estranged transgender and his/her US marine brother, that worked really well.

Lizzie C

gruesome! I didn't get the significance of the monkey guy until right near the end, but everyone around me seemed to think it was obvious so i guess i'm stoopid haha. The walking plantlife.. what was that? an homage to Day Of The Triffids or just a jarring parody? Hope it doesn't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but throwing that in there, and ONLY there, right when the chick dies was pretty lame. Loved the dynamic between the estranged transgender and his/her US marine brother, that worked really well.

ayesha

this film was the biggest disappointment ever. from start to finish and the ending was disgraceful!

lou

Absolutely fantastic. one of the best films i have seen in a long time.... Hope there's a second one in the making!

lou

Absolutely fantastic. one of the best films i have seen in a long time.... Hope there's a second one in the making!

bigme up

(minor spoiler warning!) camera work was unnecessarily jumpy; yes, its meant to be hand-held, but just the same who wants to pay £6.70 to have his/her eyeballs bugging around the eye sockets like a ping pong ball on a pogo stick - for 85 minutes? apart from that (pretty serious) flaw, this is one heck of a cool film. taken as its meant to be, ie, a slice of life, it is exactly what is says on the box. the last five minutes were a bit unnecessary, i think the film would have been matchless if it had ended with the helicopter crash, but then we wouldn't have been masticated, would we? and compared to some of the cr*p that's being advertised, i think this is one of the few films worth watching in 2008. but don't go if you enjoyed any of the fantastic four films. this one's for grown-ups...

bigme up

(minor spoiler warning!) camera work was unnecessarily jumpy; yes, its meant to be hand-held, but just the same who wants to pay £6.70 to have his/her eyeballs bugging around the eye sockets like a ping pong ball on a pogo stick - for 85 minutes? apart from that (pretty serious) flaw, this is one heck of a cool film. taken as its meant to be, ie, a slice of life, it is exactly what is says on the box. the last five minutes were a bit unnecessary, i think the film would have been matchless if it had ended with the helicopter crash, but then we wouldn't have been masticated, would we? and compared to some of the cr*p that's being advertised, i think this is one of the few films worth watching in 2008. but don't go if you enjoyed any of the fantastic four films. this one's for grown-ups...

mike

this was by far one of the worst films ive ever seen. the acting was completely unbileveable, the character development was lacking. i honestly struggled to understand the directors intentions. was cloverfield ment to be a monster movie, a shocker, or what? the hand held camera and diary approach adds nothing to the experiance. it makes it incredably difficult to enjoy the wonderfull work done by the special effects crew. the monster design was fantastic, it was innovative and the destruction it wreaks on the city is incredibly beleiveable. but all that wonderfull work is completely destroyed by completely amature attitude to its presentation. so 6 out of 6 for the poor people making cgi but everyone else involved get nothing. seriously thought about asking for my money back due to feeling ill from motion sickness.

M Chaloner

I don't really know that I have the words to describe just how tense & gripping this film is. The start of the film lulls you into a false sense of security and then wham! The style of using a hand-held camera is not new but I've never seen it so effective since The Blair Witch Project and certianly never used on such a large scale. The special effects are truly special and the acting is really very good considering they're all relative unknowns. Would I recommend this film - definitely.

M Chaloner

I don't really know that I have the words to describe just how tense & gripping this film is. The start of the film lulls you into a false sense of security and then wham! The style of using a hand-held camera is not new but I've never seen it so effective since The Blair Witch Project and certianly never used on such a large scale. The special effects are truly special and the acting is really very good considering they're all relative unknowns. Would I recommend this film - definitely.

Ferrero Rachelle

Loved it! Not normally into sci fi movies and didn't think i could tolerate the home video style camera work but found it very believable and realistic. Would highly recommend watching it while its on at the cinema to appreciate the effects. Kept me gripped all the way through and could watch it again!

Ferrero Rachelle

Loved it! Not normally into sci fi movies and didn't think i could tolerate the home video style camera work but found it very believable and realistic. Would highly recommend watching it while its on at the cinema to appreciate the effects. Kept me gripped all the way through and could watch it again!

byron

I think this film could be great but some minor details are missing...overall I think the film was shit, because some events in the film just pop up and out of character with the rest of the film, its like two different people wrote it and they agreed to disagreed If there is a sequel I would probably go to watch it but the writers have to come up with a better story line

stephanie x

this film was ok. wasnt brillant wasnt the worst i have ever seen neither. all i wanna say is if you go and see it dont be the one driving :( because the film messes with your eyesight. and you think its fine sat down but when you stand up to walk out its really wierd...trust me! me and my fiance resorted to paper rock scissors HEHE! i won! but apart from that it is as i first said .. OK.. let me know what others think :) stephanie x

Chel

I enjoyed it myself, tis an interesting watch. Those who comment saying things such as 'whats the point' the ending was crap', have a rather closed minded view on movies -- this movie gets away to a decent degree, from the typical --disaster, hero saves the day, big fight with a bad guy and gets the girl at the end as they fly off into the sunset--. If you like such things, this isn't for you, but if you do like to get away from predictable, overly scripted, regurgitated, repetative typical hollywood shite, you might find it a good watch ;) if a movie is pointless because its not overtly hollywood, then theres no point in film at all.

Chel

I enjoyed it myself, tis an interesting watch. Those who comment saying things such as 'whats the point' the ending was crap', have a rather closed minded view on movies -- this movie gets away to a decent degree, from the typical --disaster, hero saves the day, big fight with a bad guy and gets the girl at the end as they fly off into the sunset--. If you like such things, this isn't for you, but if you do like to get away from predictable, overly scripted, regurgitated, repetative typical hollywood shite, you might find it a good watch ;) if a movie is pointless because its not overtly hollywood, then theres no point in film at all.

her..

this film was SHITE..!!! boring at the end..no story line.. and looked like someone at home decided to try and make a movie

henry

Gr8 films dont come much better than this although i think the end was rather poor the start was amazing, the concept portrayed very well. Advertising was very good, could easily be the best film of the year

henry

Gr8 films dont come much better than this although i think the end was rather poor the start was amazing, the concept portrayed very well. Advertising was very good, could easily be the best film of the year

Colin

Yes it is like Godzilla meets the Blair Witch, but with bells on. Just as you think it is probably going to be the most boring film yet, bang, you are on the edge of your seat for the rest of it. Brilliant.

Colin

Yes it is like Godzilla meets the Blair Witch, but with bells on. Just as you think it is probably going to be the most boring film yet, bang, you are on the edge of your seat for the rest of it. Brilliant.

Simon Caleb

Little surprise this has divided audiences. It's far too cutting edge for mainstream auds. The most refreshing angle this contemporary take on Godzilla has up its sleeve is making the audience pay attention for the details. Highly rewarding monster bash, for those looking for an Earth shaking spin on an age old tale. Bring on the sequel!

Simon Caleb

Little surprise this has divided audiences. It's far too cutting edge for mainstream auds. The most refreshing angle this contemporary take on Godzilla has up its sleeve is making the audience pay attention for the details. Highly rewarding monster bash, for those looking for an Earth shaking spin on an age old tale. Bring on the sequel!

robert

THIS FILM WAS OKAY IF YOU LIKE SEEING THINGS THROUGH A SHAKEY CAMERA NOT MUCH OF A STORY LINE BUT EFFECTS WERE OKAY BEGINING WAS A BIT BORING

Lisa

I thought this was fantastic. I really felt like i was watching someones home movie and i sat open mouthed in shock for most of it. Yes, ok, the way it's filmed with the shaky camera could get annoying at points but then if you know this movie was filmed in this was and it was going to irritate you then why would you go and see it? I highly reccomend this film, i'd certainly pay to go and see it a second time..... and i may just do that!

Lisa

I thought this was fantastic. I really felt like i was watching someones home movie and i sat open mouthed in shock for most of it. Yes, ok, the way it's filmed with the shaky camera could get annoying at points but then if you know this movie was filmed in this was and it was going to irritate you then why would you go and see it? I highly reccomend this film, i'd certainly pay to go and see it a second time..... and i may just do that!

Adrian Hart

Godzilla on camcorder is all i can call this. Yes it comes from a unique perspective and great effects but very dissapointing.as a film.

kiran

this movies is the crap est movie of the year ,what was the aim of the movie , the whole movie was on digital camera n was so irritating, i will never watch this movie ..

nicola

how can ne1 call this a gd film? its the worrst film i hav eva watched they could at least hav had proper cameras so we cud actually c wat was goin on i was very dissapointed

scottyp

ok. if you like alternative, different movies then read on. if you like poor remakes and teen angst style films then you may as well go and rent out the back catalogue of dawsons creek.boring. jj abrams has delivered a masterpiece. ok it aint gonna win oscars but your jaw will drop. it has to be seen to be believed. it has suspense love action and humour all in a handy little cam. ppl liken it to blair witch. definitely not. this is sooooo much better. i can see a spin off..namely godzilla. watch this space!

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