Cloverfield ★★★★½

Engaging and intense, the movie almost perfectly accomplishes its objective. The shaky-cam style is effective and not overdone, placing the viewer in the middle of the chaos and panic. The monster is refreshingly different and quite scary, and its impact is further enhanced by the fact that no explanation is given as to the origin and motivation of the creature. I admire filmmakers who have the courage not to show impressive scenes when they are not really needed; just as the big battle taking place on the other side of a hill in "War of the Worlds" is never shown, there is wisely no perfect, sharp big-picture view of what is going on in "Cloverfield".