There is a strong argument to be made for Cloverfield being one of the most significant sci-fi films of the twenty-first century if we dissect the movie into its numerous creative elements and then look at their individual inspirations and triumphs over the intervening 14 years.
Matt Reeves directed a feature for the first time in 12 years with the found footage creature feature, and he hasn't fared too poorly since then. In a similar vein, it was Drew Goddard's debut script for a major motion picture. Goddard has since contributed to a large number of important productions as a screenwriter, producer, or director.
In addition, despite having a sizable $250+ million development deal with Warner Bros., J.J. Abrams has essentially been stealing money from the studio by delivering little to nothing despite it. Cloverfield was only Bad Robot's second cinematic effort as a production company (and first in the seven years since cult favourite horror Joy Ride).
No one in their right mind could dispute that Cloverfield has had a significant impact on contemporary film after adding in an extended franchise that includes 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Cloverfield Paradox, and the upcoming mysterious direct sequel, as well as a $172 million box office haul on a $25 million budget as compensation for an outstanding marketing campaign.
However, that is not the core of the discussion taking place on Reddit. Fans are debating Cloverfield's creative merits instead of discussing the film's influence. Is it a hyped-up, clumsy, B-tier monster mash with an A-list pedigree? Or does it merit its Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating and fame as a minor classic by producing the greatest amount of suspense, dread, and fireworks on a comparatively low budget?
A consensus isn't exactly near given how intense the debate is becoming, but it's still interesting to see how modern moviegoers feel about the movie over 15 years after it first came out.