Parents' Guide to


By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tense monster movie is loud, hectic -- and scary.

Movie PG-13 2008 84 minutes
Cloverfield Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 14+

Crazy, violent, apocalyptic style movie can frighten some

Cloverfield is a movie where a monster attacks New York City and a group of teens are trying to find a way out. The whole movie is not the perspective of a camera but very violent. People are shown getting smashed by giant aliens, crushed by rubble, etc. There is a particularly gruesome scene where a women is seen exploding behind a curtain. (You see her struggling and blood splatters in the curtain) Another scene where a man is eaten by the monster and spit out. You can see his legs dangling from the monster’s mouth as the man falls to the ground. At a hospital, a dead man can be seen on a stretcher with his chest ripped open for a split second. It can be a hard film to watch and may be disturbing to others. Language includes constant s words as well. Landmarks like the Statue of Liberty are seen being destroyed by the monster. All in all, a very violent gory movie.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 12+

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20):
Kids say (89):

Combining low-budget grit with spectacular effects, the film uses its tightly focused, handheld documentary premise (recalling The Blair Witch Project) to make the monster plot extra scary. The lack of context or explanation for the attack echoes feelings of panic on 9/11, when no one could anticipate what would happen next. While the romantic quest to rescue Beth provides a recognizable plot and some events will look familiar (looting, collapsing high-rises and bridges, people using cell phones to document disaster), unlike in many similar films, here you can never be sure what's around the next corner.

But for all its mystery, the monster is mostly an excuse for the film's more ambitious experiment: creating characters out of moment-by-moment action, rather than compelling emotion. As they're thrown almost immediately into chaos, none of them are particularly well-drawn or even sympathetic. Instead, they're emotional sketches of fear and uncertainty rather than individuals with backgrounds and futures. As you can see by the several other anonymous figures who pull out their cell phones to capture the turmoil, the movie's characters are of a generation completely at ease with the concept that they should document everything around them, as well as their own "testimonies." Defined by its time and place (post-9/11 America), the film is clever, harrowing, and a wild ride.

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