When Cloverfield was released in 2008, it debuted under a cloud of secrecy masterminded by producer J.J. Abrams in a style that he’s often relied on, for projects like Lost, Fringe, Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness. For many, seeing Cloverfield was mainly about discovering what the heck the movie even was. But watching the movie again, years removed from its promotional campaign, proves that quality was a higher priority for the filmmakers than marketing. Director Matt Reeves and screenwriter Drew Goddard use the now-tired found-footage format in a clever, effective and consistent way, and they don’t skimp on the action or special effects. This is a monster movie with plenty of encounters with the monster, plus some indelible images (seeing the head of the Statue of Liberty hurtle down a Manhattan street is still chilling) and a capable cast, featuring future stars Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller. This week’s equally secretive spinoff 10 Cloverfield Lane has a lot to live up to.
10 Cloverfield Lane John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday citywide. Stay tuned to lasvegasweekly.com for our review.