Cloverfield parents guide

Cloverfield Parent Guide

Overall C-

New York City falls prey (once again) to an attack by an enormous monster. This time, the tale of destruction is documented by a group of partygoers who happen to capture the earth-shaking events with their video camera.

Release date January 17, 2008

Violence B-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C-
Substance Use C+

Why is Cloverfield rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Cloverfield PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images

Run Time: 85 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Manhattan is under attack again—making it possibly the most assaulted borough in the country.

But before the terror unfolds, a group of friends gather in a New York City loft apartment to have drinks and wish Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) farewell. The up-and-coming executive has just accepted a vice-presidency position in Japan and is about to leave the country. With a video camera in hand, Hud Platt (T.J. Miller) hesitantly agrees to film the evening’s events. Making his way around the room, he records good-byes and best wishes from Rob’s brother Jason (Mike Vogel), Lily Ford (Jessica Lucas) and a host of other partygoers.

A temporary blackout followed by flying, fiery debris is the first indication the celebration is about to end. Rushing out of the building, the guests are nearly hit by the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty that lands unceremoniously on their avenue. Thick, white clouds of smoke and rubble (reminiscent of scenes from September 11) billow down the streets as skyscrapers crumble to the ground. Somewhere in the distance, a moaning, slithering force rips through the town.

Within moments first responders are on the scene, overstepping dead bodies to gather up the severely injured. Descending upon the neighborhood with tanks and armored vehicles, the military dispatches fatigue-wearing soldiers to evacuate the area. But when Rob receives a call for help from his friend Beth (Odette Yustman), he’s quick to turn back. Accompanied by Lily, Hud and another partygoer Marlena (Lizzy Caplin), Rob stumbles through subway tunnels filled with rats and past burning wreckage to the devastated district of town where Beth is pinned to the floor of her apartment.

Blood-splattered walls, gory wounds, spider-like beasts that gorge themselves on human beings and constant profanities may make parents queasy about taking their kids to this film that is told from an up-close-and-personal angle. Shooting the entire film through a handheld camera, audiences are privy to the city’s destruction from primarily Hud’s perspective. Yet it’s those wildly swinging, stomach-churning shots that also become the film’s greatest drawback, leaving many audience members yearning for a strong dose of motion sickness medicine.

While Cloverfield doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a popcorn flick, the film’s execution saps all the fun out of this monster script. And although the movie is thankfully short, no one should have to pay good money to feel this nauseous.

Starring Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman, Lizzy Caplan. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release January 17, 2008. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Cloverfield rated PG-13? Cloverfield is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, terror and disturbing images

Once again New York City is under attack by an alien monster that knocks down buildings, crushes cars and spawns spider-like creatures that eat the local citizens. The gore, including bleeding wounds, gruesome attacks and blood-splattered walls in a triage unit, is made worse by the handheld camera shots that produce their own kind of nausea. Collapsing buildings and bridges result in numerous implied deaths. Fighter jets repeatedly bomb the city. Personal injuries involve a woman impaled by a metal bar, a helicopter crash and characters bitten by aliens. Frequent profanities, brief discussions of sexual activity, a scene that implies an unmarried couple are sleeping together and comments about burning homeless people are also contained in the script.

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Cloverfield Parents' Guide

Despite the threat of impending death, looters break into an electronics store to steal equipment. Why is looting often a problem in a disaster zone? Why do people seem less inhibited about stealing in these situations?

Although Rob uses his cell phone several times during the film, the reality is that this service often goes down during disasters as the system is overloaded. You can read about real life scenarios of this problem at this ABC news site:

This movie suggests that the government has confidential films and records. What type of items might be in these files? Is there some information that should be kept from the public? Who should have access to them?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Cloverfield movie is February 6, 2018. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Cloverfield/10 Cloverfield Lane: 2- Movie Package
Release Date: 6 February 2018
Paramount is releasing Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) on to home video (Blu-ray), in a 2-movie package. Expect the next Cloverfield movie in 2018.

DVD Release Date: 22 April 2008

Hold onto your video cameras because the monsters of Cloverfield are unleashing on the home video market! The DVD release comes with director Matt Reeves' audio commentary, additional scenes and featurettes (The Making of Cloverfield, Visual Effects, Clover Fun and I Saw It! It's Alive! It's Huge!). As well, there are interactive menus and 11 Easter Eggs. Audio tracks are available in 5.1 Surround Dolby Digital (English, French and Spanish), with subtitled in English, French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

A climatologist must rescue his son after New York is suddenly swallowed by an advancing ice age in The Day After Tomorrow. Other monsters to leave their footprints on New York City include King Kong and Godzilla. Michael Stahl-David also has a role in the film Uncle Nino, the story of a dysfunctional family who is helped by the arrival of their estranged Italian uncle.