So, there have been a lot of reviews and opinions being posted out there on the webs regarding the movie Cloverfield. Since I saw it last weekend, and added my voice to a podcast review posted on the ADDcast, I shall also include a review here. I will warn you that the ADDcast review is full of spoilers. My comments here attempt to be spoiler-free.
I liked the movie.
That said, there are some disclaimers. The movie did make me nauseous with the perpetual shaky-cam. At one point I was afraid the movie was going to give me a migraine. Because of this, there were many points when I had to close my eyes or look away from the movie screen. Thus, my recommendation is to either sit in the back of the theater, or wait for the DVD to watch it on the small screen.
The small screen provides additional benefit, there are lots of small details that are easy to miss because there is so much going on and in many parts, the action moves too fast. If you wait for the DVD, you can pause and re-wind.
Beyond that, this is a different breed of monster movie. There is a monster in the movie, but that is not what the movie is about. It is about how humans, relationships, and how people react in the face of disaster. Some of the characters are a bit annoying at times, but that is the way of the world. The movie, in my un-informed opinion, does a decent job of showing how different people’s coping with a situation beyond comprehension.
This movie is not designed to be grand cinema. (But the way the flashbacks are worked in is brilliant!) That is not the point. Not everything they do makes complete sense, but humans do illogical things that seem to make sense at the time. The audience doesn’t get all the answers, and some of the answers can only be found if you pay very close attention. (I missed them.)
To summarize, I look forward to watching the movie again, probably more than once... but only on the small screen. Of my friends, the reaction is mixed - some love it, some hate it. My humble opinion is positive, but with a sea-sickness warning.