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Cloverfield (2008) Review

Cloverfield is a found footage film that was released in 2008. The movie is about a group of friends who witness a monster attacking New York City. The film was directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J. Abrams. The movie was a commercial success, grossing over $170 million worldwide.

The found footage genre is one that is often criticized for being shaky and hard to watch. However, Cloverfield uses this to its advantage, as the shaky camera work makes the viewer feel as if they are right in the middle of the action. This is a fast-paced and suspenseful film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The acting is good, and the special effects are impressive.

Two words spring to mind. Dull. And Epilepsy. Despite all of the hype, and the rave reviews flying around, I found this a dull movie. And don’t watch if you’ve got motion sickness, that camera jiggles around like the dude holding it has pitched a serious epileptic fit.

Far from making it a more involving movie, the handycam approach really began to annoy me after a while. It got distracting, leaving the feel of watching a video of a movie set of actors acting. The cast did act well, perhaps too well, it often felt too adept and clinical to actually capture that real life feeling they were so obviously aiming at.

Admittedly, the action scenes are done very well, and there are many good moments when something will occur that’ll make you jump. Upon occasions where soldiers suddenly charge on screen firing at the beast, it does involve and pull you in – but it failed to sustain that, it’s not long before we get more clinical feeling scenes that ruin it. The story failed to ignite, leaving us with nothing more than an action movie with some great special effects that has been captured on a shaky camera. It’s not a bag of crap, don’t let me leave you with that impression, but it was a dull movie for me in that it failed to engage, it didn’t have that hook to drag me into its world.

Still, credit to them for trying something different with a monster movie and making a good attempt. Sadly, it’s attempt to be somewhat different in creating the film from a handycam perspective is likely it’s greatest weakness – the cast, despite being mostly unknowns, are often too good for it to feel natural. Worth a watch though, I’m sure many people will like it even though it didn’t push the right buttons for me – Sorry guys, but he best I can say for it is that it’s an average film that looks good, has some sound action, and has benefited from an excellent publicity campaign.

Overall, Cloverfield is a well-done found footage film that is thrilling and suspenseful. If you are a fan of the genre, then this is a movie that you will definitely enjoy.


The movie Cloverfield follows a group of New Yorkers who witness the attack of a giant monster on the city. The group of friends, including Rob, Beth, Hud, and Lily, document the destruction as the monster rampages through the city. They also witness the military’s futile attempt to stop the creature. As the group tries to escape the city, they face many challenges, including getting separated from each other and dealing with the chaotic conditions. In the end, the group is able to reunite and escape the city, but not before experiencing the horror of the monster firsthand.

Movie Details

Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Drew Goddard
Actors: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David
Release Year: 2008