The Cloverfield Paradox isn't doing too well with critics, as the surprise Netflix release is, as of this writing, sitting at a measly 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix decided to surprise release the third movie in the Cloverfield franchise by dropping it on their streaming service after the Super Bowl. The only advertising they did for the movie prior to releasing it was a single spot that aired during the game. That said, quite a few critics and fans are going to need time to weigh in, but the early word from critics has been rather ugly.
As of right now, there are only 38 reviews counted for The Cloverfield Paradox, which was originally going under the title God Particle when the movie was in production at Paramount before it was sold to Netflix at the last minute. That led many to question the potential quality of Cloverfield 3 and, considering that only six of the reviews currently counted on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, or "fresh," it seems like Paramount avoided a potential disaster at the box office. Though, as IndieWire notes in their review, at least with Netflix, it's free to watch with your Netflix subscription.
"It's worth remembering that the Cloverfield movies were only able to successfully disrupt conventional distribution methods because they're good. The best thing you can say about this one is that it's free with your Netflix subscription."
Though, the negative critic reviews of The Cloverfield Paradox don't seem to tell the whole story. As has been the case with movies in the past, such as Warcraft, Suicide Squad and Netflix's Bright, which has already been given a sequel by the streaming giant, there seems to be a divide between fans and critics. This is evidenced by the 61 percent audience rating that the movie currently has on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 3.4 out of 5. Admittedly, that's not a glowing endorsement, but seems to be a far cry from the abysmal 16 percent approval rating from critics. Even some of the "positive" reviews for Cloverfield 3 on Rotten Tomatoes struggle to find something nice to say, such as Paste Magazine's review.
"Is it any good? Well, yes, often it is, but it's sometimes tough to find those moments."
Netflix isn't likely concerned with what critics have to say. They were able to purchase a finished, franchise movie from Paramount, barely had to advertise and drew in a massive audience by releasing a single ad, albeit an expensive one during the Super Bowl. And fans seem to enjoy The Cloverfield Paradox enough, considering they don't have to leave their couch to watch it. But critics weren't willing to give this movie a pass, despite the convenience of being able to watch it at home on Netflix. Here's what Collider had to say about it in their review, comparing it to an overly long, weak episode of Black Mirror.
"The Cloverfield Paradox is a tepid, predictable, and largely uninteresting sci-fi film where dumb characters do dumb things and bad things happen because the script needs them to. It's a movie that's not particularly scary, interesting, or deep, but it does have good actors performing admirably ... the movie is nowhere near as good as the original Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane. It's not even as good as some of the weaker episodes of Black Mirror."
The fact that there's a divide between fans and critics only adds to the intrigue of The Cloverfield Paradox, which has been a fascinating movie to follow ever since it entered production. It will be especially interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on Cloverfield 4, which is reportedly already completed and set for release this October. Even though Paramount sold the movie to Netflix, they're likely going to pay attention to the critical response and the Rotten Tomatoes score as they figure out what they want to do with Cloverfield 4.