ABOUT: "Cloverfield" follows five New Yorkers from the perspective of hand held video camera. The movie is exactly the length of a DV Tape and a sub-plot is established by showing bits and pieces of video previously recorded on the tape that is being recorded over. The movie starts as a monster of unknown origin destroys a building. As they go to investigate, parts of the building and the head of the Statue of Liberty come raining down. The movie follows their adventure trying to escape and save a friend, a love interest of the main character.
REVIEW: "Cloverfield" is fun. It starts of interesting and keeps it that way all the way till the end. The hand held shaky cam stuff doesn't hurt the movie but makes it better and does not get in the way of the viewing experience at all. The only time the movie slows down however is the scene where the main character goes to rescue his sort of girlfriend. The scene just doesn't fit with the rest of the movie and we don't care about these characters enough for the scene to work. It is not a bad thing that we don't care though because the movie isn't about them. It's about the monster.
As far as the monster goes, it's effective, but not that effective. In far away shots it works but not in close-ups. The CGI isn't all that great, so when we do see the monster close-up it doesn't work. What works is the scenes where we don't see the monster, but hear it and see it off in the distance. "Blair Witch Project" worked because we never saw the Blair Witch and "Cloverfield" would have worked better if we saw less of the monster in bad shots.
BASICALLY: "Cloverfield" is fun and you should see it.