Netflix gambled big by announcing the third movie in the “Cloverfield” franchise during Super Bowl LII, and then immediately making it available on the streaming service.
Despite all the Super Bowl hype, though, critics aren’t big fans of “The Cloverfield Paradox.” Sitting at 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is getting pretty roundly panned.
The J.J. Abrams-produced film has just six “Fresh,” or positive, reviews on the review aggregation service — compared to 35 “Rotten,” or negative ones. Critics aren’t fans of the movie’s convoluted plot or the fact that it can’t seem to stick with a single genre or tone. They praise the cast, which features the likes of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Brühl, but didn’t think a lot of the movie made a whole lot of sense.
Viewers have been a little more forgiving. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score for “The Clovefield Paradox” has 61 percent of people saying they liked the movie. It has 5,017 user ratings as of this writing, averaging 3.5 stars out of five.
“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,” wrote Brian Lowrey of CNN.com.
Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times writes, “What excitement this movie is able to muster soon gives way to the startling realization that virtually none of its twists, for all their dimension-hopping audacity, have been coherently or intelligently thought through.”
“Sounds intriguing, but the actual movie is strangely plain, eyesore-overlit and uselessly frantic,” said Glenn Kenny of the New York Times.
“For the most part, this is a bust of a movie, the kind that would probably have otherwise gotten dumped to theaters in January by a studio looking to cut its losses,” Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com wrote.
“It’s a bit of a mess,” Chelsea Tatham wrote in the Tampa Bay Times. “A tense, sometimes fun mashup of classic sci-fi, but often overwhelmed by absurdity and chaos.”
“Precisely which bits [from the source material] were warped out of shape as the film journeyed to become a Cloverfield pseudo-sequel is difficult to discern, but the end result is a failed experiment,” added Russ Fischer of Birth.Movies.Death.