A crew aboard a space station finds itself alone after a scientific experiment causes the Earth to disappear. When a space shuttle appears, the space station’s crew must determine if it is carrying friends or foes.
The Science Fiction Horror Film, directed by Julius Onah and produced by J. J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise, following Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). The film stars Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, and Zhang Ziyi, and follows an international group of astronauts aboard a space station who, after using a particle accelerator to try to solve Earth’s energy crisis, must find a way home after accidentally traveling to an alternate dimension.
Once announced as a yet-named Cloverfield film in late 2016, the film’s release was delayed several times. A surprise trailer for the film aired during Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, providing the final name of the film and its release on Netflix occurring immediately after the game. Though specific details of Netflix’s acquisition of distribution rights were not known, industry analysts believe Netflix’s involvement helped to make an otherwise lackluster film profitable for Paramount, whereas a more traditional theatrical release would have ended in a loss.
Despite the unique marketing tactics being praised, the film itself received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the messy narrative, writing and editing, with many considering it the weakest of the Cloverfield films, although Mbatha-Raw’s performance has received some praise.
“But in its final act, The Cloverfield Paradox tries to tie into its 2008 forebear in a much more literal sense, and the result feels spectacularly inept.”
“The Cloverfield Paradox is a disjointed, but enjoyable sci-fi horror/thriller that has mixed success as a shared universe film.”
“The third Cloverfield film is just about a Cloverfield film, but definitely a disappointment, trading on its name but not living up to its already muddled heritage. Only intermittently fun.”
“At this point, the Cloverfield concept just means: a vaguely monstrous franchise from the dark side that means whatever the hell we want it to mean.”