A Geeky Guy’s Movie Guide to The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

in #movies4 years ago

I am a huge fan of the Cloverfield experience.

You read that right: Experience.

To me, the Cloverfield movies are more than just films. They are pieces to a much larger and ever evolving puzzle. I will explain more about this puzzle in a later post.

The cast is one of this movie's strong points.

*Warning, although this review contains no spoilers at all, it is a bit disjointed and out of order… just like everything in the Cloverfield Universe.

Ever since seeing the very last frame of Cloverfield over a decade ago, I have been dying for more of that story. Although, I was willing to accept the shaky camera and first person point of view, I didn't love it. What I did love was the story... and the puzzle. I wanted more of it. I wanted to know more about the events leading up to that night, the details of the night, and the aftermath.

For years I had heard rumors that J.J. Abrams might release movies detailing other people's points of view from that night. After all, it wasn't only Hud who was filming the events of the "incident". There are many scenes that show others filming on their cameras or phones.

I had also heard rumors that a more linear Godzilla-like movie was in the works.

I would happily welcome either of those.

When 10 Cloverfield Lane was released, I had hoped it would be directly connected to "the incident". Although I was disappointed that it was not connected, I loved that movie.

For the past two years, I have patiently waited for the puzzle to continue. Then it happened. During the Super Bowl, a surprise ad for The Cloverfield Paradox appeared out of nowhere. I immediately took out my phone and searched what the heck it could be. To my elation, I discovered the movie would be immediately available on Netflix after the game. I watched it as soon as I could.

As always, I was hoping for a very direct connection to Cloverfield. And as always, this was not that movie. Yet, I was not disappointed. In fact, this just means that the puzzle will continue.

While most people online absolutely hate this movie, I enjoyed it. I would imagine that is because I have learned never to expect a Cloverfield movie to be a simple, mindless linear story. Watching a Cloverfield movie is difficult. It takes work… and I love it.

Approximately fifteen minutes into the movie, I got off my couch and pulled up a chair very close to the television. I simply had to consume every detail. I didn't want to miss a single image, line of dialogue or sound. In short, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss any pieces of the puzzle. I was not disappointed.

There were important pictures in the background, meaningful character names, significant text messages, and other "Easter eggs" from the series.

While doing a little research for this post, I came across an endless sea of negative reviews (currently 19% on Rotten Tomatoes). For example, Brian Lowrey of CNN.com wrote, “Director Julius Onah’s film strands its solid cast in the vacuum of space with that most terrifying of monsters — an utterly convoluted script — producing a few tense moments but a general takeaway that’s much closer to puzzling than profound."

He is 100% right. Surprisingly, that is why I truly enjoyed this experience. The script was indeed complex and difficult to follow. The takeaway was puzzling. Because of these factors, like the previous movies, when this one ended, the experience did not. I immediately started searching online for those answers. To my delight, I found even more questions. I am going to be quite busy hunting for puzzle pieces over the next several months.

If you are looking for a movie that tells an easy to follow linear story that ends with everything tied up in a nice little bow, this is not the movie for you.

This film is both a prequel and a sequel to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. If that idea seems intriguing, you will most likely enjoy this piece of the puzzle. On the other hand, if you think that is preposterous, you should probably give this one a pass.

How can one movie be both a prequel and a sequel? You have to watch it to find out.

On the surface, The Cloverfield Paradox is a fairly cliche sci-fi/horror movie set aboard a space station nearly 20 years after the events of Cloverfield. Although the parallels to Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Thing are incredibly obvious, there are enough original ideas to avoid calling it a complete ripoff. Without the puzzle, that is all this movie is: a run of the mill and very forgettable science fiction movie.

That is not to say it is a complete waste of time if you are not a huge fan of the franchise and its intricate puzzle. For a relatively low-budget movie, the cast is surprisingly excellent. David Oyelowo, who earned accolades for his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, did a fantastic job as Kiel, the Captain of the station. Gugu Mbatha-Rawas Hamilton is quite impressive. At one point, her performance almost moved me to tears. I could not find a single flaw in the rest of the cast. Even if one does not like this film, I doubt they would point to the cast as the reason.

I was also impressed by the music. Because the movie is very slow moving, the music played a pivotal role in creating drama and a feeling of anticipation.

As I have mentioned before, I think we have become spoiled by the quality of special effects. We have arrived at a place where the effects are only mentioned if they are terrible (Justice League). Although the effects are not spectacular, they are also not a distraction. Considering this was a relatively low budget movie, I would count that as a positive as well.

Even without the supplemental puzzle, the story is interesting… if you are willing to think while viewing it. If you just want something to toss on in the background while surfing steemit, choose something else.

The sets and effects were very good for a relatively low budget film.

Perhaps the greatest attribute for the non-Cloverfield fanatic is the length. At just over 90 minutes, The Cloverfield Paradox bucks the recent trend of overly bloated films (The Shape of Water). At that length, I feel comfortable recommending this movie based on the acting, music and special effects alone. If it turns out one of my friends hates it, all they lost is 90 minutes of their lives. Even though critics seem to despise this film, I would imagine at the worst, my circle of geeky friends would be indifferent to it.

As a semi-fanatic (I don’t go out and search for physical clues in the real world like the true fanatics) the best part of the movie is that it opens up an endless amount of possibilities for new Cloverfield projects. For example, the next installment will be set during WWII and center on a group of American paratroopers sent to take control of a Nazi occupied village during the D-Day invasion. Thanks to the events of The Cloverfield Paradox that story will actually be connected to those of Cloverfield set in 2008, 10 Cloverfield Lane set in 2016 and this film set in 2028.

I can’t wait to see the next piece of the puzzle... and the next piece... and the next piece.

Alternate Reality of The Geeky Guy's Guide (who should see this movie?):

Cloverfield Fanatic: You already watched it and started writing your fan theories and looking into the ARG (Alternate Reality Game).

Cloverfield Fan (like me): See it immediately and then go and check out what the true fanatics have written.

Person who enjoyed one of the previous movies: You should watch it at some point when you have 90 minutes to kill. (Perhaps on a flight?)

Sci-Fi Fan who doesn't need a lot of action and doesn't mind using thinking as a form of entertainment: Flip a coin.

Casual Fan of big Hollywood Sci-Fi blockbusters: Skip it.

Popcorn movie fan: Skip it.

Didn't find a description of you here: Thank you so much for reading this even though you have no interest in Cloverfield. You should definitely not watch it.

Images 1, 2, 3, 4

The Cloverfield Paradox is currently available to stream on Netflix.


I watched this on Sunday night, following the Super Bowl and it was one of the worst films I have ever seen. Terrible.

LOL. Yeah I know I am out on a limb on this one. But I love the entire puzzle so much that I am just too biased.


As a Cloverfield fan I agree with your review. I liked the ninja drop from nowhere on Netflix, it is almost like the movie itself is creating a paradox :)

Thanks! I thought I was going to be all alone on this one. Most people hate it.

I thought it was ok and it did pass the time when I was bored and couldn't find anything else to watch.

Really glad I stumbled on this post. I really enjoyed 10 Cloverfield so I'm excited to hear that another movie is coming out. In the movie, it was interesting how it subtly related back to the original film (the satalite company the antagonist worked for...etc. It also had a lot of hidden messages. For instance, one of the big themes in the movie was domestic violence and the aliens at the end of the film represented the struggle that many victims face when they get out of an abusive relationship. Their troubles aren't over, they just begun.

The main character also talked about being haunted by the fact that in her past she remained silent when she witnessed an injustice (I can't remember the exact details) but then at the end of a movie she reaches a turning point and chooses not to remain silent going forward - she drives in the danger zone to help others rather than retreating to safety. This speaks a lot about how people remain silent in situations and retreat to safety rather than speaking up for those in need.

To answer the question:

how can a movie be a prequel to a sequel

I think the answer is that in the Cloverfield universe 10 Cloverfield ran parallel to the other movie in that both events were taking place at roughly the same time. So the new movie is a prequel to both movies actually.

I've got to be honest, I absolutely hated Cloverfield. What could have been a fantastic movie with amazing set design and special effects was absolutely ruined by the shaky hand-held camera nonsense.

It was only the story that kept me hanging on to the end but ultimately that wasn't enough - the poor quality visuals made me feel I'd watched a poor-quality pirated copy.

Fun fact. We couldn't even sell the DVD on eBay. Nobody wanted that steamer.

Having said that, I've added the Paradox film to my list on Netflix on the simple promise of no nausea-inducing amateur camera work.

Thanks for the review - I might have ignored the film on Netflix without your recommendation... but will I like it? That remains to be seen. :)

The shaky camera almost ruined it for me as well. I fought through because of the story. I hope at some point there is a regularly shot movie based on the events of that night. I want more but can't handle any more shaky camera.

I'm glad it's not just me then.
I remember thinking, during that amazing scene where they were traversing the luxury apartment block that was tilting at a 45-degree angle how cool that would have been if you could see it all clearly.

I did not think it a bad movie. It just had some moments of 'wtf that made no sense' but of course so does the nonlinear trilogy. How many will it take to'complete' the story?

I think it is infinite now. Anything is possible after the Shepard ripped time/space/dimensions.

I hope it will be good, I still don't know how much I liked the Movie. I want a sequel of the original Godzilla.

They need to make a good Godzilla movie already. I can't believe that can't get one right with the special effects available.

Holy cow, there was another one of Cloverfield!?
I enjoyed both of the previous movies. I'm definitely giving a try to the Paradox. I'm already curious what piece of the puzzle is here.

I especially enjoyed Cloverfield when I saw it. 10 Cloverfield Lane for me was one of those movies that just kept getting better & better with an eerie feel of, "Hey that could happen to me".

I have not seen The Cloverfield Paradox but after reading this article I sure cannot wait to see it. You say it's on Netflix? Awesome!

I'm in a for a real treat I see...

Part of what i try to do when discussing movies with people is not shit on things that they like. People have different tatstes, and that’s that.

That being said, i didn’t like this. I thought it was a mess, way too derivative, and just like Cloverfield Lane—it was never supposed to be a Cloverfield movie. Abrams or whoever has basically started scouting scripts/projects that can’t get off the ground or need an additional angle, snag it up, and then co-opt it into a Cloverfield sequel. While i never loved the first movie, i had great fun with all of the viral stuff and Easter eggs. It was a whole social mythos that was cool. But these last two movies (i reaaaaaly likes Cloverfield Lane until the shoehorned ending) don’t really add to that in a meaningful way, imo. I want to see a sequel that was ACTUALLY supposed to be the sequel. I Actully think i would’ve been More okay with this if it wasn’t a Cloverfield movie, because like you said it has a great cast, some interesting bits, and a suspenseful moment or two.

In the end, i just feel like this is a cheap way to build that universe, and honestly it doesn’t even feel like it fits to me.

I don't get too sensitive about matters of opinion. I knew I was going to be in the minority with this one for sure. I had a ton of fun with the viral marketing 10 years ago and then again with Cloverfield Lane so that played a huge role in why I enjoyed this.

For me this movie was just a tiny piece of the overall puzzle. Not my favorite piece. Actually 20 years from now, I hope I consider this the worst part of the anthology... because that will mean there were a lot of cool movies after it

I have heard that Cloverfield is trying to be an anthology similar to The Twilight Zone but with some kind of common thread. Imagine if all of those Twilight Zone episodes had a detail that tied them all together. So I saw this one as a way to basically explain everything that will be under the Cloverfield umbrella. How do monsters end up in a Nazi occupied village during the D-Day invasion? The Shepard accelerator made anything and everything possible.

I guess that’s part of what i don’t like. It seems like a a bit of a cop out to really crafting the story of how it all went down. But alas, different strokes.

It’s interesting that you bring up the anthology stuff because apparently Black Mirror has some way to link every episode together. I just started the new season, so I’m not sure how (definitely noticed some similar tech 8n different episodes) but I’ll be interested to see.

I have tried to watch Cloverfield, but to tell the truth could not stand the shaky cam. I have motion sickness and very sensitive to any fast movements especially when it is a large screen. But the story of Cloverfield Paradox sounds very interesting. I love J.J. Abrams, his imagination, the way how he transmits it to the auditory, his movies has a lot that makes people to think later about what happen, the sense of life really. So there are two reason for me to watch it I love J.J. Abrams stories and I am a fan of sci-fi. Great review!

I normally can't stand shaky camera movies. I made an exception for Cloverfield because I was so interested in it. Luckily is is only around 80 minutes long. I really want them to just make a standard movie based on that night.

This one is probably not for everyone. But if you like Abrams, you might.

We definitely will give a chance my husband is like me luckily we both have the same taste in regards to genre of movies, another reason is one of the popular German actor Daniel Brühl, he is very good actor.

Have just finished watching it. Started the other night but still had 20 mins left to watch.

That was fab! Wow the ending (I think I know which bit almost moved you to tears too, now)! Loved the other two parts too, think all 3 may need a back to back rewatch.

I have absolutely no idea what it all means! Which is excellent. I may have to go and search for some fan theories now too. ;-)

Thanks for the review! I just watched this yesterday and actually thought it was pretty decent. There where some parts that seemed a little bit too much, like when one of the characters lost his arm...but all in all I found it entertaining. Acting could have been better, but the plot was interesting. Mind you i'm a big fan of ME (mandalla effect) so this was right up my alley. Also a sucker for J. J. Abrams...

yea it was interesting but i wouldn't watch again i have movies that ive seen 10 times this nah lolol

Yeah I will only watch again for more clues to the puzzle.

I want to watch the first 2 movies, but I am looking forward to Cloverfield Paradox.

You have to see the first two first. And if you have time check out the cloverfield arg (alternate reality game) from 10 years ago. They just added some last week.

This movie will suck if you aren't into the whole universe.

I really enjoyed the others.

We did the same exact thing at SuperBowl... We saw the ad for the Netflix premiere and immediately vowed to watch it. Now, I'll admit that as I am stuck in the world of report card writing at the moment. As well as feeding my new addiction to Steemit, we have yet to watch the film but it is on the list of things to do this weekend. The previews looked great and I have been super impressed with the quality of product being put out by Netflix with regards to movies these days. We are Sci Fi junkies and have been enjoying the new X-Files as it has recently returned and I'm sure we will enjoy The Cloverfield Paradox as well. I'll give my feedback after we watch.
Great post!!!

I think you need to be pretty into Cloverfield to like this one. Most people hate it. But I love the whole universe so I would watch anything that gives me even 1 hint to the main puzzle.

It's been so long I think it might be a good idea to go back and watch the origional again? Go into the new one with the story fresh in my head? Just saw that Netflix spent $50 million on the new film and apparently there is a Cloverfield 4 coming out in theatres. It would appear that Paramount theatres didn't know about the Netflix movie drop? Seems there were brief thoughts that they might hold back number 4 (was supposed to be 3) but it turns out it should still be released in 2018.

Sorry to say I couldn't stand the film, watched it last night.

Yep I am definitely in the minority.

Experience is subjective!

I just know they completely wrecked the original movie. I’m afraid to watch either of the new ones.

It is a film that I find more successful than I expected.

--- spoiler ---

Despite the fact that there was so much going on in the movie, I got caught up in a relatively insignificant place. The final stages of the 2008 production of Cloverfield seemed to have fallen into a cistern too far when we were careful when our fiery couple took the ocean view. I think that object is a wreck of Shepherd's space ship which appears in the paradox for 53-54 minutes (or it may be the partition where the self-sacrificing team captain is in).

after all, it was the film we learned from where and why the godzilla garbage on the first film came.

Thanks @hanshotfirst . I saw the one with John Goodman and the underground silo basement. It was a bit captivating. I do not know if I would catgorize it as great but interesting enough for me to follow it all the way through.

I will have to catch some of the other ones in the series. Thanks

signature_1 (1).gif

hahh what to do pop corn lover here

Looks like this is a very fun movie, worth the wait, where the puzzle is very difficult to guess. It's a good movie.

cool article. plus the cast looks bad ass ama check em out

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I love movies with puzzles and mysteries, I see it as a way to challenge my mind. I have not watched this movie, will watch it asap.

I have yet to watch the movie Cloverfield, but after reading your post, I was so interested in watching her

The story is usually amazing.

Would love to see this movies

Love Science fiction movies, haven't seen it though but your insight and experience of the movie has given me a breakdown of where it's about, going to see it tomorrow. Thanks for sharing

Fote beck yes

Vote beck yes

Okay so I'm typically not a sci-fi fan but this movie does interest me. I haven't watched any of the Cloverfield films but I may have to check one out soon. I enjoy movies that really make you pay attention and think.

is this the sequel to cloverfield the movie from a while ago?

I really enjoyed this moving, however I didn't care for the ending except the huge monster reaching above the clouds. The Idea in general tho was exciting for me being a believer in the mandella effect being caused by hadron collider this thing was just like a mega hadron collider.

So captivating, heroic and also interesting film

I want to watch a new and great movie.
but in my province there is no cinema.
even if there is maybe baseball can watch as well
because the ticket is expensive.

This is the best review I have seen so far! It has life in it!

Keep up the good work.

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Didn't find a description of you here: Thank you so much for reading this even though you have no interest in Cloverfield. You should definitely not watch it.


Oh no, this is what will move me to watch this movie, I love sci-fi movies and will try and compare it to Prometheus, then, only then will I be able to give my feedback.

@hanshotfist, curiosity and puzzles in Cloverfield movie and 10 Cloverfield Lane make for those who are curious.
Cloverfield movie and 10 Cloverfield Lane with other similar films are
different tension when watching it
different genre
and many other differences


The movie is very good. To watch the movie you will see the movie. And we learn a lot from watching a good movie

Lol. I love how you breakdown the recommendation by fan level.

I didn't like the original Cloverfield. Like you, I was not a fan of the motion. In fact, I started experiencing vertigo (at the theater), which really hurt my enjoyment of that film. I thoroughly enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane. It was more of a suspense film than an alien movie to me. But it does have it's place in the broader universe. I do not have Netflix, so I guess I will have to wait for the latest installment. But you have definitely piqued by interest.

I guess that places me in categories three and four. Sci-fi fan and guy who has enjoyed one of the previous movies. Thanks for the heads up.

Hate just doesn't come close enough, worst film I have ever seen, drove me blood mad lol

For years I had heard rumors that J.J. Abrams might release movies detailing other people's points of view from that night.

This is a great idea....its not too late to tow this route

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