Review: ‘The Cloverfield Paradox,’ Netflix’s Surprise Release, Unleashes Chaos


A scene from “The Cloverfield Paradox,” which debuted on Sunday after the Super Bowl.

Netflix, via Associated Press

On Sunday evening Netflix flexed its instantaneous-programming muscles in what marketers like to call an “impactful” way. In a Super Bowl ad, it announced that it would debut a new film in the science fiction “Cloverfield” franchise directly after the Super Bowl. Well, O.K.

“Cloverfield” (2008) and “10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016) told two indirectly linked stories of a world besieged by giant beasts of unknown origin. They drew much of their appeal from mixing the fantastic with the banal — the first movie was a “found footage” affair. This new picture, directed by Julius Onah from a story by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, begins in a similar fashion, as couple Ava (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Michael (Roger Davies) sit in a nighttime traffic jam while discussing whether Ava should join a mission on a space station.