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Cloverfield ★★½ 2008 (PG-13)

Rob (StahlDavid) and friends are enjoying his goingaway party in Manhattan on the night before he is to leave for Japan. Pal Hud (Miller) is filming the party, complete with mushy goodbyes and confessions of things undone—and one might get drowsy here if not for the dizzying effect of Hud's camerawork—when there's a terrifying rattle. Thinking an earthquake hit, the friends rush to the roof only to realize it's no earthquake and the city's in total chaos, evidenced by screams and fireballs and Lady Liberty's head (yes, the statue) rolling down a city street. Not to spoil the fun, but it's an oldfashioned monster movie. The “Blair Witch” generation will be nonplussed by the jumpy, hyperactive filming (the unfolding tragedy is all captured courtesy of Hud's digital video cam), and others will appreciate the nod to monster flicks of the past. A fun romp with a scary monster and a little love story tossed in—mix up and enjoy. 90m/C DVD . US Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, Michael StahlDavid, Mike Vogel, T.J. Miller, Odette Yustman; D: Matt Reeves; W: Drew Goddard; C: Michael Bonvillain.