Despite how anti-climactic obliterating US landmarks onscreen has become since 9/11, Cloverfield - a monster movie on par with Godzilla or Them! that lays waste to Manhattan - delivers plenty of suspenseful scares by putting you in the seat of the action. Shot entirely with Blair Witch-style home-video cameras carried by twenty-something protagonists, the special-effects-laden flick undermines itself with this conceit: after the initial attack, the gimmick becomes unbelievable, nauseating, and eventually tedious. Worse, even though Cloverfield obviously drew inspiration from story devices used by George A. Romero in Night of the Living Dead, as well as from a long history of monster movies that served as social commentary, it never aspires to make a point besides Boo! (90 min.).
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