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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Sci-Fi Action Suspense Thriller
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
January 18, 2008 (wide—3,100 theaters)
DVD release: April 22, 2008
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Extraterrestrial life

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer


Fear, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

Sex before marriage

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Featuring: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman
Director: Matt Reeves—“Felicity”
Producer: J.J. Abrams—“Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “Lost”, “Alias”
Bryan Burk
Sherryl Clark
Guy Riedel
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“Some thing has found us”

Sequel: “10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

While standing in line to buy my ticket, there were numerous warnings about the movie “Cloverfield” taped to the ticket windows:

“Due to the filming method used for ‘Cloverfield,’ guests viewing this film may experience side effects associated within motion sickness similar to riding a roller coaster.”

A roller coaster is an understatement. The movie’s jagged movements required me to close my eyes on several occasions. There was much hype about this film due to its shrouded secrecy. By the time I found out the secret, I couldn’t have cared less; I felt nauseous and annoyed.

“Cloverfield” is a movie that involves video segments shot with a handheld camera. The entire movie is shown from this perspective and follows four characters trying to survive when New York City gets attacked by a mysterious monster. The movie begins with some text stating that the videotape being played is now classified material and contains footage from the location that was once known as Central Park. The disaster’s codename is “Cloverfield.”

The film begins with Rob (a promising Michael Stahl-David) happily recording Beth (a beautiful Odette Yustman) as they plan on spending the day together. The film suddenly cuts to a month later where Rob’s brother Jason (Mike Vogel) and his girlfriend Lily (Jessica Lucas), are planning on throwing Rob a surprise going-away party. It turns out Rob received a job as a vice president in Japan. During the party, Rob’s best friend Hudson “Hud” (TJ Miller) takes over camera duty. He goes around the party having people wish Rob luck. Hud soon focuses his attentions on Marlena (Lizzy Caplan) and tries to initiate conversation with her. When Beth finally arrives at the party with a date, there is instant tension between her and Rob. After having a heated discussion, Beth soon leaves, while Rob confides in his friend that he loves Beth. Not much is spoken before New York City is suddenly attacked by a mysterious creature. The four characters run for their lives in this highly suspenseful movie.

The movie is not original in its making. The writers combined the concept of an animal attacking a large city (“Godzilla,” “King Kong”) and a shaky handheld camera (“The Blair Witch Project”) to create “Cloverfield.” Unlike “The Blair Witch Project,” the monster is shown. I’ll not give away any details of the monster, allowing that secret to remain. However, I will say that director Matt Reeves gives the viewer only glimpses of the beast before his full emergence. It heightens curiosity, and the movie’s special effects are very convincing and effective.

The camera movements were quite annoying at times. Even at the beginning, when there was no monster, Jason did not seem to know how to tell if a camera is on or off. We fall victim to his constant movements. When Hud becomes the new camera guy, we’re shown lots of feet, shaking, and chaos. The camera movements were mostly realistic in this film. The cinematography was excellent in making sure there were no lapses. Despite the staggering movements, the movie does nicely flow in nonstop action.

From beginning to end, “Cloverfield” has a lot of moral filth. The movie begins with Rob waking Beth up in his bed. It is obvious she is nude (only her back is shown). Within the same scene, Rob is shown in his boxers, implying pre-marital sex. This is confirmed at Rob’s going-away party when Hud overhears Beth and Rob discussing it. Upon hearing it, Hud immediately begins to gossip and tell numerous people about their having sexual relations. One girl comments that maybe its Rob’s “going-away present” from Beth. Rob later justifies his having sex with Beth as a “spur of the moment” decision. Sex in this movie is shown as a casual event between unmarried persons and a fun topic of gossip. I did like how their sexual encounter only created negative results. In the beginning of the movie, they found temporary pleasure in their sin. A month later, Beth and Rob were still dealing with the consequences.

At the going-away party, the scenes were teeming with alcoholic consumption. It leaves no room for imagination. Almost all of the characters, in every scene, are holding beers in their hands. In several scenes, the vast array of liquors and beers are shown at the bar area and on tables. There are also many people taking liquor shots in the background. Hud, the camera man, zooms in on a girl presumably passed out on the couch. Not surprisingly, she’s holding a beer in her hand.

Among the most offensive content in this film is its profanity and using the Lord’s name in vain. They are uttered in almost every scene, and I had trouble keeping count. The film seemed to love using sh*t. I counted at least 27 uses. I also heard at least one GD. I cringed when I heard the misuse of the Lord’s name. “Oh, my God” was used without reservation throughout the film. It seems Hollywood cannot think of a better saying to show surprise or fear. In that regard, this movie lacked originality and had its characters bell it out in almost unbroken repetition. I counted at least 29 times of this misuse. The name of Jesus was also misused at least 7 times. I, however, do not doubt that there were many more. It was hard to count because many scenes involved loud commotion and chaos. It would have been nice if they actually were crying out to God. This movie, however, never made any references to God or his sovereignty.

The blood and gore in this movie is intense. I usually have a some tolerance against gore, and I found myself getting a bit squeamish while watching “Cloverfield.” The movie shrewdly avoided an R-rating, for never remaining on a scene too long. However, it lingered long enough to get a reaction from the crowd of teenagers in the movie theatre. When one of the characters got bitten by a spider-like creature, Hud apparently took pleasure in zooming in on the deep gash. A man who had his gut ripped open was shown and zoomed in on. One of the most disturbing scenes was when one of the characters said she wasn’t feeling well. When the camera turned to her, she was horridly pale and bleeding from her eyes. The nurses quickly shouted something and pushed her into a tent, as she screamed. Upon entering the tent, she promptly exploded, an alien coming out of her. Her blood massively splattered on the tent. Although the actual explosion was not visually shown, the lighting allowed for the shadow to show everything on the wall of the tent. I found this very disturbing and gruesome. When one of the characters was impaled by a metal rod, the others lifted her up. The actual removal is not shown, the camera only showed her legs as she was lifted off of the rod. However, it was still mentally disturbing when she screamed in pain.

With a monster attacking a city, one would expect much violence. The movie attendant warned that the movie was extremely loud. Her warning was not unfounded. This movie had more than its share of violence. There was a lot of gunfire and bombing, as the military tried to subdue the animal. In return, the monster viciously attacked the city, helicopters, and humans. Murders took place on screen. Spider-like creatures viciously attacked the main characters in an intense and scary scene.

Looting was also shown. Instead of robbing for survival, these thieves had entirely selfish reasons. They were robbing an electronics store. Some could be seen carrying out TVs on their shoulders. Rob did steal a battery in desperation in order to re-establish contact with Beth. I did not find this offensive since he was genuinely concerned about Beth’s safety.

Amidst all of the chaos, blood, cursing and gore, the movie did have a couple of surprisingly good themes: self-sacrifice and love. After the monster first attacked the city, Rob immediately tried calling Beth. When she finally answered, Rob knew she was in trouble. She sounded in pain and said she couldn’t move. Without a second thought, Rob decided to go and save her. His friends ran after him. A powerful scene was when Rob was running the opposite direction of all of the terrified people. He never seemed deterred that he was the only one running back into the city. Against all possible odds, Rob was determined to save the woman he loved. Rob could have left the city and saved himself. This reminded me how Jesus went through excruciating pain at the cross bearing the sins all of mankind. He could have called angels to help him, but he never did. He loves us that much.

When his friends finally caught up with Rob, they agreed to help him find Beth. They were putting their lives on the line for Rob and for Beth. It reminded me of the verse in the book of John when Jesus says in 15:13:

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay one’s life for his friends” (NKJV).

They were never selfish, despite being in a panic and in a literal life or death situation.

Although the movie’s special effects and self-sacrificial themes were strong, I cannot recommend the film. The bloody, gory path the viewer is required to take isn’t worth it. It left me feeling queasy and unfulfilled. However, if you have a high tolerance for the hearing our Lord’s name in vain and a strong stomach against motion sickness, you might want to go see it. However, I strongly feel this movie is definitely not suited for children of any age. The theater I sat in embodied mostly teens. They reacted with disgust in almost every climatic scene. Children are a gift from God and should be raised holy. There is nothing holy or uplifting about this movie. My advice? Hop on that roller coaster and avoid this movie.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—This film was even better than anticipated! The movie really takes you into the heart of the battle—and you have to witness it on the BIG screen in order to get the full impact (although it seems odd that a little handheld camera could have caught this much raw power.) It is violent, it is disturbing at times, but I guarantee you, it is the best monster film you have seen in many years (especially after a very unexciting “King Kong” a couple three years back). Anyone 14 or older that enjoys this genre will love this movie. The language was a bit offensive at times, although not as explicit as many films you’ve probably seen this year.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mike, age 47
Positive—My husband and I enjoyed an afternoon showing of “Cloverfield” today, and I admit, I was impressed with the film and enjoyed the intense and entertaining journey. What I enjoyed above all about “Cloverfield” was the creative side of it. It was filmed with a camcorder by one of the central characters, which made the film seem more realistic—more believable than many sci-fi/thriller movies which are shot with a perfect, omnipresent point of view. The fact that the film is shown from one person’s point of view builds the suspense. It’s the thrill of not knowing.

“Cloverfield” plays with the imagination, which I also found to be enjoyable. The movie teases the viewers with glimpses of what this “thing” is that is invading NYC. I sat in the theater trying to piece together in my mind what this thing really looked like… but don’t worry, you’ll get to see eventually!

Now, as a Christian moviegoer, I have to say there is profanity in the movie, violence and gore, with references and some evidence of pre-marital affairs which may greatly offend some people. I feel that as Christians, we have to be wise and also realize that we live in a “worldly” world. A perfect movie will never be made in mainstream entertainment. “Cloverfield” has its cons, but compared to some of the films out there that people plink down money to see; it’s the lesser of evils. So if you want a relatively clean film (clean by secular standards, of course) and one that keeps you highly entertained, I would suggest this one. I enjoyed it enough to recommend to my friends and parents and hope that more thrillers like this one are made for the viewing public.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Amber, age 27
Positive—…I am a HUGE fan of monster movies such as “Jurassic Park,” the Godzilla movies, and old-school monster movies such as “Them”—so I had incredibly high expectations for this film. I had been anticipating this movie since I heard of it last year on the opening day of “Transformers,” thus that has also given me high expectations.

“Cloverfield” is a fast-paced, action-packed monster movie that fulfilled all my expectations and blew them away! I was on the edge of my seat from the opening scene, and didn’t stop holding my breath until after the film had stopped rolling! Any fan of monster movies who has the patience to stick with a plot that isn’t immediately explained will LOVE this movie. The monster isn’t shown too early, so it keeps you guessing throughout the entire film.

One thing that surprised me about the movie was that at the end of the film I had the impression that it wasn’t exactly a monster movie per se, but actually a love-movie that happened to have a monster in it. The love sub-plot was hidden, but did show the dedication that the main character Rob had for his friend Lizzy.

This movie is done in the style of “The Blair Witch Project”—that is, it is told first-person, from the view of a hand-held video camera. Therefore, the camera is rather jerky, and can be out of focus at times. However, I felt that this helped portray the mood of many scenes, and helped me stay “in character” with the rest of the cast. But, if you are prone to motion sickness, this filming style may not be for you.

As far as gore—it IS a monster movie. The entire genre of monster-films is known and notorious for its gore-based action, however, the gore was not nearly as bad as it could have been. In fact, I was more offended by the gore and the blood in “The Passion of the Christ” than I was in “Cloverfield.” The two scenes that could have been the most gory and emotional (in my opinion) were even hidden from the camera, so you could hear them, but not see the whole effect.

The morality of this movie was questionable: there was a fair amount of cussing (mostly the S-word), and I did hear the Lord’s name taken in vain once. The two main characters—Rob and Lizzy—are rumored to have had pre-marital sex, but nothing is ever shown, only alluded to. God was never mentioned in the movie—no one ever made a comment that they were being “cursed” or “punished,” which I appreciated. (When I watch a fictional film, I do not appreciate when film-makers try to throw in patchy theology.)

Altogether, I say that “Cloverfield” is a movie for adults, or for a family with teenagers about 14 years old or older (depending on the teenagers’ attention span, and fear level) to go see with their parents. A family can take the time afterward to talk about Rob’s dedication to rescuing Lizzy, and how that pertains to Jesus Christ risking (and losing) His Life to save us. I would not recommend this movie to individuals with weak constitutions (the gore and tense feelings in the movie might make them nervous and sick), individuals that are prone to motion sickness (the camera might make them sick), those who do not have the patience and attention span to watch a movie that doesn’t explain its own plot, and individuals that do not wish to hear profanity. I still thought it was a good movie, non-the-less!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rachael, age 20
Positive—Being a resident of NYC, I was really quite awed by “Cloverfield.” At first it seemed like a really mindless fun monster flick, but when I began to see the images of people in the streets running away from clouds of smoke and walking around disoriented I found a deeper respect for the film. In a way, “Cloverfield” was a satirical film of the fateful day when the real monster struck my city and our country. That monster’s name was called “Terrorism.”

Director Matt Reeves and producer JJ Abrams decided to pretty much tell the story of 9/11 from an average person’s point of view. “What’s going on? Where are we? Why is this happening? Where is God in the middle of all of this?,” these are questions that millions of Americans asked themselves when that fateful day happened and I admire the filmmakers for making such wise, and yet, bold storytelling decisions by telling the story of the average joe stuck in a situation beyond them, this is what I believe made a monster film like “Cloverfield” believable.

The film has a lot of really top notch filmmaking qualities, the acting was believable, the visual effects were hands down some of the best that I will see this year, but the camera work is debatable. At times in some of the chaotic scenes the camera would get more shaky than a YouTube video but I was surprisingly able to stomach it. Morally, the film had a lot of cursing and slandering but at the same time it had a really great moral about self sacrifice that really haunted me for days due to the film’s ending.

All in all, “Cloverfield” is a film that many people can enjoy, be it a “thinking man or a thrill seeker,” as one critic said in a review. The film can get pretty disturbing at times, but again, it’s what makes it believable.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Nestor A., age 18
Positive—…good, not excellent, because it kinda left you hanging. The camera work was really, really bad. I know they shot it that way on purpose, but O just think it should have been a little bit more steady. It left me feeling really nauseous. The acting was believable, and the plot was really good. A couple uses of the (s-word), no f-bombs, so that was good. All the talk about sex was not necessary.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Gene, age 32
Positive—I give this film an “A” for originality. However, the shaky camera stuff almost gave me a migraine, and I had to look away several times to keep from getting sick. If you like science fiction, you will love this movie. If you like monster movies, you will love this one. No sex, no nudity, no f-bombs, but our Lord’s name is profaned. The movie gets tense, people swear. Friends care about each other. Don’t expect “The Passion…” here, or “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” People die, it’s a monster movie—remember that.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Maggie, age 60
Positive—…I saw this movie twice. I believe it to be one of the best films in the past couple years. I loved how real it was in the filmmaking and storytelling. As I myself am the one who video tapes all of the party’s (birthday, going away, special events), I completely loved and enjoyed the realism of how aggravating it is to video tape over something and have to check it and then watch it back and have glimpses of the other video… that made me laugh. the other thing that I need to comment on after reading the review is that drinking is not a sin and all of the people at the party looked of age… not to say that getting drunk isn’t a sin because I do believe that is subjective, in this context it would be. Also when you are of that age 22-26 every party have some alcohol so I don’t believe that was an issue in this movie as the movie is geared to older teens and young adults. The hint on the “pre-martial” sex is a little on the offensive side if that offends you… but keep in mind in a normal movie there would’ve no doubt have been a quick shot of nudity or hardcore make-out scene, which we were thank God spared of.

I also loved how real everything looked. Compared to another “monster”-like movie out now “I Am Legend” where the monsters looked like a video game; “Cloverfield” looked like at was an actual life thing. I, also, think the profanity is wrong, but we are humans and 90% of people, Christians included, will yell out a profanity in the happenings of life and death. Also, one thing the review stated was there was no positive note on God and His sovereignty, that is a lie. The last thing, Hud, the camera man, yelled out as he was near death was, “oh God, I’m sorry” over and over again thus showing his knowledge and acceptance that God real.

I believe that as Christians we focus on the amount of negative when really I believe Jesus would’ve sat right in that theater and had a blast with me… popcorn and all. Also, if you have read any of Wild At Heart boys have this warrior inside of us, …and to take that away strips our society of its manhood and only weakens us. So, I don’t believe the violence and blood should’ve been taken out of the movie. All in all I believe this movie was phenomenal.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Scott Tiernan, age 19
Positive— This movie was amazing! I absolutely enjoyed it. I have seen it twice already it and will probably go see it again and definitely buy it on DVD. I thought it was one of the best monster movies I have seen in a very long time. I was expecting a lot from this movie considering all of the hype it has producing and I think it has delivered extremely well. The camera movement was not at all as bad as some people claim it was. There were times that I forgot all about the camera movement. It was very loud, but then again it is a monster movie, what are you expecting, Beethoven? I liked how suspenseful and thrilling it was without being so much that it had hints of horror in it. I thought that the movie showed just the right amount of the monster at just the right times. It was very well put together. For those of you who haven’t seen it and even for those of you who have yet did not notice it, if you pay attention in the last scene just to the left of the cruise ship you can see something fall from space into the ocean. Also, stay till the end of the credits. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Charles Crawford, age 20
Positive—As soon as I saw the words “in what what used to be Central Park,” flash across the screen I knew that everyone was going to die. Unlike the monster movies of old, this movie asks the question, 'What would happen if one day, with no explanation, an indestructible monster started terrorizing New York City'? No explanation whatsoever. Don’t go into this film expecting a happy ending. I will say it is seen through the eyes of a recovered video camera so the film is a bit shaky but not near as bad as some others I’ve seen (“Blair Witch Project,” anyone?) I will say to watch for the hidden messages throughout the film, what is on the TV in the background? And here’s a biggy, in the last scene, (a flashback) WATCH THE SKY!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Amanda, age 21
Positive—Be prepared for a short, intense film unlike any other you may have ever seen. Yes, the movie runs as though someone shot it personally with their handheld camera. Yes, it is often jerky. Yes, the film often jumps from scene to scene rather disjointedly. Keep in mind, this movie is to be treated as 70 min. worth of someone’s home video footage, so overlapping footage from multiple dates are to be expected. Having said all this, plot aside, this is an interesting film cinematically speaking just because the makers cast their dice on these non-traditional techniques… and pulled it off.

The film starts off as what seems the usual teen-targeted soap opera that crosses state lines into grindhouse celluloid. The dialogue is a tad sluggish and all too personal, a steady stream of rhetoric akin to most drama-themed reality tv shows of today. Now that’s just my take. To the regular, social out-going partygoer, this sort of vernacular may be all too second nature. So… in the midst of this seemingly interminable gossip-oriented night life, whammy! The movie starts.

Intense? I felt like I was there. Pending your suspension of disbelief, you’ll feel like you’re there too, caught up in the midst of the destruction and chaos, and it is terrifying. Halfway through, I found myself squarely positioned in my seat, eyes bugged out, head pooched forward.

Praise: the creators opted to follow the smart strategy of revealing the monster slowly, bit by bit. Nice touch guys. And… I love this… they went with the anti-film climax. What’s that you say? I’ll explain, since I love this sort of film, and I use the term frequently these days. An “anti-film” is a film in which the climax ends without your generic ending. It may be sudden, offbeat, and grossly lacking in closure. That, ladies and gentleman, is what makes a good movies these days. Why? Because so MANY movies follow some formulaic… well… formula. Variety is the spice of life, yah?

As far as content goes, it’s the usual adult-themed stuff you’d find in a PG-13 film. The language is hardly noticeable, but that’s just me. After nearly 7 weeks at Lackland, you’d understand why. …It’s the violence and terror that (in my humble opinion) should’ve made this flick an R-featurette. It was appalling to see young children in the theater last night. I don’t know what parents think these days. …Alas, the MPAA shares in their blame. There are many PG-13 movies that should be rated R and the same can be said of the converse. 4 ratings is much too restrictive in today’s broad spectrum of objectionable content, and until the MPAA reforms their system, movies like Cloverfield will continue to fall in between the cracks.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jacob Keenum, age 21
Positive—I thought I’d point out that despite what some contributors to the site have commented, there is at least one quite notable non-profane reference to God. One of the last dispatches heard over the radio from the authorities (in fact, I think it may be the very last) goes: “This is Delta Charlie returning to base—God help us.” It’s not a throwaway comment; from the intonation of “God help us,” it’s fairly clear that the speaker intends the meaning to be “everything we as men can try has failed, we can only trust that God will help us now;” he speaks as if he knows there is great significance in his words.

It’s an important moment, which underlines the almost-apocalyptic situation in which the characters find themselves; one of the most unsettling aspects of the film, intentionally I believe, is the utter rapidity with which human civilization can crumble, both literally and figuratively, before an unknown and unimagined force.

Incidentally, I can appreciate why many may have missed this line—a great deal of the dialogue is inaudible. Watch it on DVD and turn on the subtitles to get everything!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Barnaby, age 42 (United Kingdom)
Positive—I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I didn’t see it in the theater due to reviews that the movie had the cameras shaking too much and caused some viewers to become sick. I was VERY pleasantly surprised when I rented the DVD the other night. This movie was very entertaining! If you like “monster” movies it was in my opinion, just right. If you don’t like monster movies, I say to rent it, because it has a deeper commentary going on. 20 somethings may especially like the movie since it depicts young, upcoming, successful people with the backdrop being NYC. The monster, while terrifying, is secondary to the movie’s message: We only have today to love one another, be there for one another, and take value in the people you might otherwise overlook.

I am familiar with the Big Apple myself, so I appreciated the attempt to replicate or use Manhattan locations. BTW, the hand held camera action used in the film only enhanced the thrill of viewing it. The actors did an exceptional job and in no way did the movement of it take away from a very good viewing experience. It made you feel you were RIGHT THERE in the thick of it. There is a scene in the beginning of the movie where the two characters who are obviously lovers have woken up in the morning and you get a glimpse of her in a rumpled bed though she is covered by a sheet. It does not take away from the movie and is the context for a relationship that you realize is later the reason these two people get separated in the first place. The message might be that people who cross a certain line in their relationship, such as friends, may do so and later regret it. Despite their initial confusion and naivety of their acts, the tragedy that instantly and spontaneously befalls their lives brings them closer together along with their courageous friends who won’t abandon one another either. I would watch it again however I would not suggest this movie for anyone under 15.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Gianesha, age 43
Positive—My opinion of the filmmaking is simple. Either you like it or you do’t, my wife and I happen to like it very much. However, after reading the reviews of this movie it is the moral content that my wife and I would like to address. Yes, the movie opens with the suggested reference to the two having had sex. I would like to comment that as for “Skin content,” you’ll see more skin at the beach or on the red carpet, but I understand that being as no showing or skin was necessary, this is objectionable to some, however, my wife did not find my having seen it offensive, but that’s just her.

Now onto the issue of language. The movie does have a few “S” words, and I believe two “GD,” however, is the references to the “frequent taking of the Lord’s name in vain” that I take issue with. My wife (a paramedic) and I (a fire fighter) were unfortunate (and fortunate) enough to be at ground zero on Sept. 11th. Let me tell you, those poor people faced with the possibility or in many cases reality of losing their lives were using the name of our God and his son VERY frequently, I know my wife and I were.

I do not at all want to be mean-spirited, but I find calling people crying out the name of God in a crisis or traumatic situation “using the Lord’s name in vain” to be somewhat arrogant.

People in a crisis call out the name of God for reasons often known only to them. Are they calling out seeking comfort for their fear or sorrow without salvation in mind? That’s very likely, but is it vain or profane? Or could these people be in what they fear could be the last moments of their life and are crying out the only prayer they can think of at the moment, one word, Jesus? Who knows? Only God himself. In fact, in the movie, you hear one of the lead characters begging God for forgiveness, in what appears to be the closing seconds of his life.

I hope that my thoughts will cause people to consider the context and tone in which The Lord’s name is used and not just whether or not a person is in a “attitude of prayer” as a reference to determine what is and isn’t vanity or profanity. I fear that without such consideration we only serve to lend to the image of Christians as arrogant and narrow-minded.

My wife and I loved this movie and the values (yes, values) of love, loyalty, forgiveness, and a unrelenting will to survive in the face of doom.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mark And Amanda, age 32
Positive—Cloverfield was a new approach to looking at monster films. As seen in the trailers you are subjected to “shaky” camera work which is pretty much defined for realism. Overall, the film was great if you can take the shaking. It really put the audience flat in the situation and I really felt as if I was there. That’s good filming people.

There are a few violent attacks on the city and a female character explodes but it isn’t very graphic overall just like Jurassic Park or Godzilla. The language is not offensive at all, they say Oh My God but let me tell you people something. When there is a life threatening disaster in public BELIEVE me that statement will be the only thing you hear people screaming. No one will censor themselves that is called real life people. So to all the people who are complaining about that line and how it shouldn’t have been used WAKE UP. IF you saw buildings exploding and people dying would you stand there and say, “GOSH DARNIT!” NO. This is what makes it REALISTIC and it will be used anywhere by many people. It’s bizarre to see people so judgmental over this. Do you remember 911? I watched it on live TV and all I can recall were people screaming that line and using profanities much worse and who are you to judge them? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you scream them yourselves.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tc, age 23
Positive—I disagree with the reviewer on this movie. Cloverfield was a very unique, beautifully crafted movie. The actors were very believable and the ending was stunning.

The reviewer said that it would have been nice if the characters were calling out to God, instead of only using his name in vain. As I recall, when the characters were on the helicopter and something devastating happened, the guy holding the camera was continually apologizing to God and asking His forgiveness. I loved this. Even though it was only at a time of extreme devastation, the guys first instinct was to turn to God for help and to apologize for all of his wrongdoings. It just shows that no one can truly be an atheist.

I recommend this to anyone who loves movies that are not mainstream and predictable.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Belle, age 19
Neutral—Last night we went to see the movie “Cloverfield.” Let me begin from a Christian perspective. The film contains a lot of profanity, which is not something I like to hear being a Christian. It wasn’t way over the top though. There’s no sex in the movie but it is talked about. There was nothing that I noticed that related to God or Jesus. I don’t even recall anyone praying. Although, with the shaky camera work it was often hard to tell what was going on. More on this later. For a Christian I guess the film would rate as offensive. On a secular rating it would probably be average or below for being offensive.

Now to the secular review. Here’s the scoop. “Cloverfield” is a monster movie but it’s not like your father’s Godzilla flick. While the typical Godzilla movies are often humorous to look at Cloverfield is not. This is a real word look at what the masses would experience if a giant monster was actually trashing a city. I’m not going to spoil the surprise but there is an added element in this film that will creep you out even more. Combine “Starship Troopers” + “Godzilla” + “…Blair Witch…” and throw in a little bit of “Alien” and you will get “Cloverfield.” If you saw Blair Witch and left the theater saying “What the heck kind of ending was that?” then you already know what to expect if you go to see “Cloverfield.” Know this going in.

The movie is shot through a single hand held video camera which is used by a small group of party goers. Because of this the camera work is nearly always shaky. Think epileptic seizures, and you’ll get the idea. Because of this, I felt nauseated by the end of the film (it wasn’t over gore). In fact, although the film is very violent, there isn’t much gore in the film. The shaky camera really never has time to focus on anything beyond some wounds of a couple of the main players.

The special effects are well done, and the realism projects real terror. This is NOT a movie to take children to see. It’s rated PG-13, but I think movies with such terror should earn an R-rating. It’s very frightening. But, of course, there will be the parents who just don’t care. For them, expect to damage your child’s psyche forever. Oh, and welcome to the world of daily nightmares.

I went to see “Cloverfield” because I was hoping that this was indeed a new Godzilla film. Again, Godzilla, it is not. The creature does not look like Godzilla either. However, if you are interested in living the terror of a giant monster attacking a city, you won’t be disappointed.

As far as my rating goes, I’d say two out of four stars. Take away the documentary style and jumping camera work, add an ending, and it would be a pretty entertaining movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—David Evans, age 37
Neutral—I went to see this with my 17 year old son and his friends. WARNING: If you are prone to motion sickness, you might be careful. Most all of the film is done with a constantly moving, often jerky camera. All of the teenagers felt slightly nauseous afterwards.

>From a Christian perspective, this film had little redeeming value. There was mild profanity and the use of the Lord’s name throughout the movie as people reacted to catastrophic events. There were a few somewhat gory scenes but they were not extensive. The film begins with “the morning after” two main character have sex outside of marriage.

On a positive note, there are scenes of courage and self-sacrifice. The characters try to comfort each other and show concern for others around them. Two of the main characters are engaged and appear to be in a loving relationship.

I personally enjoyed the film as I love movies that are sci-fi / monster / blowing things up. I thought it was very original and well done. The teenagers didn’t care for it partly because of the format, the story line and ending. You will probably either love it or hate it.

This is for older teenagers and adults but the language should be considered. I talked with the teenagers after the movie about the profanity. The only time a character in the movie used the name of Jesus correctly was when he was about to die. It was not a salvation experience but it was nice to hear the Lord’s name used in the right context and forgiveness asked for.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sterling, age 39
Neutral—A lot of people were anticipating this movie for a long time. I went and saw it and thought it was pretty good overall until the ending. I won’t explain why in detail for those who have not seen it, but it leaves you with a feeling of “Oh….” The plot was great, and I think the actors did a good job. The special effects and the monster were awesome, however the movies was too short. For those who give a negative because of some “loose morals” and “drinking” (Oh no, not that); seriously, you can’t make a movie without portraying the real world. As far as some of the cursing, I find it hard to believe that many people would not use those choice words if the Statue of Liberty’s head came flying down the road, huge spider-like creatures were attacking people, and a monster the size of a skyscraper was attacking your neighborhood. This movie is a monster movie. What do people expect? The name of the movie was not “Attack of the Monster: The Story of Jesus Saving a City and Then Splitting Bread and Fish Again.” If it looks questionable, don’t go see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—GD, age 22
Negative—I was admittedly intrigued by the previews, and so I invested my afternoon in this adventure in filmmaking. I watched the movie with two teens; one had seen it the night before and said how scared he had been when it was over. He also mentioned how people had thrown up during the movie, due to motion sickness. I was all the more intrigued. Enough said. To me, the movie is one big gimmick. The plot is the same old monster-takes New York-good guy tries to save girl-incidental characters get decimated BUT the ending ends with a upbeat, if not ironic note. Yet, it is vague, and as an audience, there was a sense of “that’s it?”. I hope handheld video isn’t the new wave in filmmaking. My stomach got queasy with the unsteady camera waving, which dampened any concentration on the thin plot. Who can handle a roller coaster motion for over 90 minutes? I wasn’t impressed, especially with the over emphasis on the party scene and loose morals with the main characters. I will say there is noted admiration how the friends tried to stick together and genuinely helped one another. Thankfully, there wasn’t as much profanity as there could have been, yet there is plenty of gore and violence. Not for the squeamish, and definitely not a movie for young kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—PD Webb, age 50+
Negative—I went along with my husband to see this movie. He was really looking forward to it and I tried to get caught up in the anticipation. I wanted to enjoy this movie, but I simply could not. While, some viewers were excitedly awaiting the appearance of the monster, I thought that everything was very predictable. The monsters always made a very formulaic appearance. You know, when the main characters are all outside, or one person seems to be put in a vulnerable situation, or everyone is in the dark. These are all the obvious opportunities for a monster to attack, and true to the formula, it does!

The reviewer said that a theater attendant warned that the movie was very loud. I wish I had been issued such a warning. The shear noise of the violence/screaming and the motion of the camera made my head spin. I barely even noticed the offensive language the reviewer mentioned because I could not understand most of the noise I was hearing. Also, I did not think that this movie was overly gory due to the constant movement of camera. There were a couple of wounds that were disgusting and made me avert my eyes. Also, the part when Beth is lifted off the rebar made me very uncomfortable and I turned away.

Although I knew and expected that this was a worldly monster movie, I am still saddened by the complete lack of any reference to God in this movie—aside from the misuse of our Lord’s name. The characters never experienced any kind of repentance or questioning of their life or faith, which is still usually seen, if only in a watered-down, desperate way. I do not think this movie would be enjoyed by anybody with a Judeo-Christian worldview, as there is absolutely no reference to a Judeo-Christian worldview in this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jessica, age 27
Negative—If you are allergic to camera shake, avoid this movie. It’s essentially a monster movie (although the title sounds like a brand of English butter) told through the eyes of a group of thoroughly annoying young people. It asks us to believe that a young man, having started taking a home movie on a video recorder during a farewell party, should keep it running as he flees from the monster and assists in rescuing survivors. He even films the monster attacking him—some feat! He should get an Oscar!<
Frankly, I found the home-movie type filming terribly tiring and ultimately annoying. You can’t get any sympathy with the characters as they do not develop. And you don’t see much of the monster (whatever it is) as it is shot with a small, hand-held camera. Worse, the shakes from the camera magnified on a big screen are likely to guarantee a headache. This film tries to be different but ends up being self-defeating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ken Edwards, age 60
Negative—This movie was absolutely horrible from a moral standpoint, as well as a cinematic one. In the beginning scenes, we see a couple who, although the actual act isn’t seen, have obviously slept together. At a party, we hear a couple arguing after the man’s girlfriend hears about it. Also, at that party, we see the booze flowing freely. While no F-words were used, the language was still very rough, with at least one use of GD and other profanities. Now, on to the movie’s cinematic faults. The acting was terrible. The script, which could have been at least marginally interesting, was duller than an overused case knife. The cast, made up of people I had never heard of before, came off as nothing but a bunch of amateurs. And, perhaps this films worst point, the camera work was HORRIBLE. If this movie had gone on one second longer, I might have developed a serious case of motion sickness. If you want to see a good movie, don’t even begin to consider this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Jared, age 27
Negative—My 12 year old son and I watched this and thought it was the worst movie we ever saw. No plot or ending. Not sure what they were going for. I’m sure none will see it twice.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Ken Stepp, age 52
Negative—While I was annoyed by the excessive cussing in the movie, the biggest problem I had was the fact that there was NO character development!! We got to see about 20 minutes of background info. I had forgotten what the person that filming the whole thing even looked like until half way through the movie he turns the camera back on himself. How are we supposed to care about what happens to these folks??? To paraphrase a great joke from 'The Producers': 'At the end of the movie “Cloverfield” everyone is dead. They were the lucky ones!'
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Marvin, age 41
Comments from young people
Comments from young people
Positive—…I think the reason that many people didn’t like the movie was because not only the shaky camera, but the fact that it was a very different sort of movie. Everything was tied to the characters and once the characters reached the end of their plot-line, the movie ended. It seemed less about the actual monster attacking New York than about watching the character development of real people living a nightmare, and seeing how they coped. Everything seemed absolutely real to me, and that can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Everyone’s obviously been well informed about the content issues, but honestly, I don’t think it really mattered. “Cloverfield” was a portrayal of the real world, and obviously that comes with sin. Now, if you don’t want to watch sin being depicted, then don’t go watch this movie. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ben, age 15
Positive—Some of my friends were going to the movies, and weren’t sure what to see yet. All we knew was, we were going on Friday, the 18. Eventually, we decided on “Cloverfield,” though I really wanted to see “27 Dresses.” In fact, not knowing anything about the movie made me feel even less inclined to see it (you know, the secrecy?). But, I thought this looked interesting, so I went. And, guess what? It was amazing.

First of all, most people who complain say that they got motion sickness from the jerkiness of the camera. But do you seriously think that if you were running from a huge monster attacking your city, do you think you’d have the steadiest hands?Also, if you were shaking or being attacked, the question is the same. I thought that the first person view was very well done, and it really did immerse you in the movie. You feel like you’re there when you watch this, so don’t think you won’t be feeling a little freaked at times.

Content Issues—Yes, the story does start with the morning after Rob and Beth slept together. Yes, there is drinking at the party sequence. Yes, there’s a lot of cursing. But Rob and Beth’s act is never commended. Rob’s brother, Jason, even tells Rob that Beth is too good for him because of how insensitive he has been to her since. The drinking, once again, never seems promoted, especially when Hud (the cameraman) tells Rob he seems to be having too much. The cursing is actually no where near as bad as it could have been, or if this was happening in real life (there wasn’t even an f-word). The GD-word? That wasn’t so great, though.

Positive Content—Self-sacrifice and bravery are promoted. The characters never think twice about going to rescue Beth with Rob. They run back to the center of the city, where the monster is (once, Hud even says that the people are running the other way, so they should too). Climbing on a slanted building, braving dark subway tunnels, you name it, they got it.

Now, for the biggie. This movie is very violent. And due to the realism and great acting, it feels even more violent than the movies it definitely is not more violent than. The suspense throughout was very tense, and definitely not something a child under the age of 13 should have to go through. While it wasn’t nearly as bloody as most people make it sound, there was blood. Since the production was so secretive, and no one had any idea what the monster looked like, people were screaming at parts, and very loud. Just a warning: if you’re scared of spiders or things popping out at you, this isn’t your movie.

The acting was amazing, and since they’re all unknown, it feels even more like we’re watching real people. The monster isn’t revealed completely for quite some time, but expect to be freaked out.

The biggest problem I had was the ending. It really just seemed to end. People were very angry in the theater. But, you have to stay to the end of the credits. A very important whisper will come up, and you need it for the plot. If you can’t tell what it says, do a search on it. And, *SPOILER* we also see that the monster is an alien, because in the very last recorded part with Beth and Rob at Coney Island, something drops into the ocean on the side of the screen.*END SPOILER*.

All in all, this is a very good, very suspenseful movie that is definitely only for mature 13 year olds and up. But I still loved it, and I’m glad I went to see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah, age 16
Positive—“Cloverfield” was what I expected it to be: intense and very realistic! It’s true that the style in which they chose to film it was very jerky, but, to me, it gave the movie more personality and made it a lot more interesting. The actors were very good and so were the visual effects! Very creepy. Very real. The only thing I disliked was the bad language, and, sad to say… the ending! The rest of “Cloverfield” however, was excellent! I’d recommend this movie to my friends… particularly to people who ARE NOT prone to motion sickness…! But if you certain folks do decide to go see it and SOME how end up getting sick, don’t complain! Because now you know what you’re getting yourself into!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bekah, age 17
Positive—This movie wasn’t your average movie. It was something of its OWN!. Not only in how it was filmed, but in the way the story and plot is structured. This movie was just kind of scary in it’s own entertaining way. There were a lot of “oh, s_ _ _” and “Oh my God!” There also is some immoral themes going on like sex before marriage and drinking. These themes are only expressed for a small portion of the film, but that still does not make the right. But other than that, the movie did a great job keeping you interested, and trust me, you’ll always be guessing WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. Also, the acting is very good, and it is believable from BEGINNING TO END. And to add to that, the monster in the film (don’t worry, I’m not going to say what it is) is never really shown fully for quite some time, which is neat cause you’re wondering what is that thing, just like the characters in the movie. I do advise parents that only let your kids see this movie if they are very MATURE, because there is disturbing parts and as mentioned before, some language and immoral themes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tommie, age 14
Positive—This movie was just plain crazy. I loved it though, saw it with my Dad, and it was pretty clean for the most part,the only mildly uncomfortable part was when Hud went around telling people that Rob an Beth had sex. I’m usually scared pretty easy, but this movie didn’t bother me at all really. It’s really suspenseful, but overall just a really fun movie that I recommend for mature 11 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Nate Doederlein, age 13
Positive—The second best movie I have ever seen! Only “Freedom Writers” was better. I did not feel motion sickness at all and had no problems with the camera. I loved the style. I was truly astounded by the brilliance of the story and method of making this movie. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Justin, age 15
Neutral—I saw this movie with my friends one night thinking that it would be a scary, action packed movie. It was not. It started out at a party for Rob’s going away. THat 15 minutes of the movie were boring. When the monster attacked it got really exciting. For some people the violence and gore may be offensive, but I did not find it offensive at all. The two bloodiest parts of the movie is when the main characters get attacked by spider like creatures, and one main character gets bitten. They go to a rehab center to get it bandaged up. While at the rehab center you see a man with a hole through him. Then the girl who got bitten says she doesn’t feel well. The camera turns toward her, and she’s bleeding from her eyes and mouth. All the doctors yell. We got a bite, and they take the girl into a tent. While in the tent, the girl’s head explodes, and you see mostly everything. The other really violent part is when Hud, the camera guy, gets ripped to pieces by the monster.

The two things that did offend me though was the multiple uses of the s**t word, and the multiple uses of the lord’s name in vain.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jonathan, age 12
Neutral—This movie was GREAT except for the whole movie is like a person taping it [hard to explain] like the camera moves around a lot! and it gives you motion sickness and stuff.

They cuss a couple times in this movie

The blood scenes are gross but not that bad.

The Ending: Stupidest Ending I’ve ever seen in my young life :-]
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Aimee, age 13
Negative—To start off we would like to say the that footage was extremely well done and the special effects were absolutely amazing BUT…
1) at the very beginning there was a party during which rumors were spread about 2 of the main characters engaging in immoral deeds
2) and probably the most offensive part of the movie was it’s frequent use of the Lord’s name in vain. I’d say about every couple of sentences there were people screaming God or Jesus, which is obviously wrong.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David and John, age 16, 15
Negative—This was the worst thing to see in a theater. I got a refund. This movie is filled with blood guts and gore. I’m sorry to say I saw this horrendous film, but my friend dragged me along. Nobody famous starred in it. …One of the actors doubled as the camera guy, and you’ll know what I mean if you see it. The camera was shaking, and it was done like a documentary. I saw more feet in this movie than I did faces. You couldn’t tell what was happening because there were no camera guys, but just one guy holding a camera. This new take on filming is a complete failure. I stayed 1 hour then left the theater about to puke because I was so dizzy. I only stayed so long because I thought they would start to film it with a camera team. NOPE!!!… …The characters had loose morals… drank and it was implied that they had intimate relationships in the past. (opening scene)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Eden, age 16
Negative—Me and some of my friends went to see this movie and I hope that you don’t make the same mistake. It was a horrible movie, and I can’t believe that I wasted my money on it! Biblically there was nothing very offensive, except what would be in normal movies like the usage of God’s and Jesus’ name in vain—but with cussing in all, the only words I heard were God’s name in vain and s***. With gore there are a few parts, and if you can’t stand blood or deep cuts and holes in peoples body then don’t see it. I don’t recommend this movie for anybody in the reason that it is pointless. It made me very dizzy and cross eyed in the point that the whole movie takes place like a homemade film… (filmed by one of the groups friend by a home video camera). I thought, most of my group too, that it was stupid… and one of my friends that doesn’t get things right away didn’t even get any of it. Sexually, there is only one scene, at the beginning. It doesn’t make sense what so ever. Please just trust me and don’t go see it! It is not worth the money!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Gabby W., age 13
Positive—The film could have toned down the language but I’m going to disagree with the author on a few things. The gore in this movie was a little high and I wouldn’t suggest any kids see this, but the author seemed to me to exaggerate a little. The only scene to have a lot of gore was when the woman exploded (and no alien jumped out of her). Plus, it was behind a curtain. Also with the people who were robbing stores, the creators wanted to show what might happen in a panic. It happened during hurricane Katrina.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Dustin, age 16
Negative—This movie is the worst movie I have ever seen; it has no plot, and all throughout, I was trying to figure out when it was starting, and it had poor lighting throughout this movie. It was so disappointed, I will never watch this film again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Darren Handy, age 14
Neutral—After watching this movie alone, as a christian, I find many different likes and dislikes. In terms of suspense, action, and special effects, this movie was beyond awesome. But I found there was about 3 scenes that gave reference to sexual elements. The film did not show anything graphically sex-related but it did show a girl on a bed showing only her back and a guy is seen, out of the bed, only wearing boxers. Which obviously meant they slept together and previously had sex. I skipped that seen so that’s the only thing I saw before I tapped the remote. Other than that there were a few scenes were they mentioned the two people having sex. I also fast forwarded that part incase they got into dialogue. When it comes to profanity it wasn’t terrible. They did say the “d” word and “s” word a lot. And there was quite a few OMGs. Other than that I can’t remember what language was included. You can barely notice it because everything else is so loud and energetic. And when it comes to blood and gore, I would avoid bringing anyone under 12. I am 13 but a friend of mine was 12 when he saw it and he wasn’t scared or overly disturbed. I do believe that this movie was pretty graphic for a PG-13, I won’t give away everything but I will say that there was one sean where injured people are shown and there is blood. But altogether, this is a great sci-fi action/thriller for those of you who like suspense movies and can stomach the blood and gore.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Zac P., age 13
Positive—I really didn’t know what I would think of this film. I hadn’t heard too much about it when I rented it with my dad. The story flowed so quickly I was out of breath nearly the whole film. Not only is there suspense—not seeing the monster right away, and never quite seeing the whole thing—was such a good decision on the part of the filmmakers, but I liked the moral side to the story. At first it’s a little shaky, but each character helps one another, and despite the danger, they all decide to risk their lives to save another. Because I hate spoilers, I won’t say too much, but when the credits rolled, I couldn’t wait to watch it again! I loved it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½