Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 8, 2011
    88
    A wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of filmmaking, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 10, 2011
    88
    Super 8 is in many ways a perfect summer movie: smart, exciting, heartfelt, and suffused with nostalgia.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    It's an enjoyable, well-acted, old-school geekfest pitting a group of middle-school students against an escaped monster from outer space.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    This movie, a true beauty, will put a spell on you.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 9, 2011
    100
    The pacing is superb, quick and agile without being frenzied, and the special effects are jaw-dropping.
  6. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 8, 2011
    100
    Loving, Playful, and spectacularly well made, Super 8 is easily the best summer movie of the year - of many years.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    There's a thin line, though, between honoring what came before you and replicating it, and Super 8 occasionally wobbles over that line into predictability.
  8. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 9, 2011
    60
    This melding of two cinematic sensibilities, though effective at moments, is finally not as exciting or involving as it we'd like it to be.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 9, 2011
    90
    This new film isn't perfect, and may not be a world-changer, but it's certainly a world-pleaser.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 9, 2011
    88
    This sci-fi thriller has an engrossing plot and a strong cast of fully drawn characters. There's even a sweet youthful love story. In other words, it's a summer blockbuster firing on all cylinders.
  11. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 8, 2011
    50
    The actors are talented enough to carry the movie, but they fade into the background once things grow dire, and the special effects take over. There's no sense of wonder or awe.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 10, 2011
    58
    If Abrams had stuck with the kids and cut way back on all the sci-fi hoo-ha, his film might have stood a fighting chance of being charming. Big is not always better, even when it comes to fantasies.
  13. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    Super 8 takes its place among the best B-grade science fiction movies of this generation by copying the best of the past 50 years.
  14. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 9, 2011
    67
    Ultimately, it's the period and character details in Super 8 that provide the grist for its winning formula, rather than its emotional arc and monster jolts.
  15. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 9, 2011
    60
    Like his (Abrams) previous features, "Mission: Impossible III" and "Star Trek," Super 8 is an enticing package without much inside.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 8, 2011
    75
    Abrams knits together the ordinary stories of the mill town's inhabitants in a way that feels dramatic without showing their contrivances too obviously. And his casting of Courtney and Fanning was fortuitous, though Abrams' banter for the supporting kids grows tiresome in that "Goonies" way.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 5, 2011
    70
    Like an old airplane (or spacecraft) jerry-rigged from scrap pieces and made air-worthy again, Super 8 has been patched together with 30-year-old spare parts to provide an enjoyable ride of its own.
  18. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jun 9, 2011
    83
    It's spirited and funny and deeply entertaining, a summer movie for kids who think like adults and adults who feel like kids.
  19. 63
    All the kids here are terrific, significantly better than the actual movie that surrounds them. Although ostensibly fashioned by Abrams, it's really a summer-weight Spielberg yarn.
  20. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 9, 2011
    90
    It's an expertly constructed thrill ride with wonderful atmosphere and tremendous good humor; if its heart of gold is artificial, that won't stop you from enjoying the heck out of it.
  21. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    The unforced performances of Courtney and Fanning are remarkable.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 9, 2011
    60
    This uneven but often charming movie produced by Spielberg gets so many things right, including its practiced naivete. What's missing, however, is a crucial sense of connection to itself.
  23. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 9, 2011
    63
    All too often the plot feels calculated rather than organic, the result of a time-tested formula rather than genuine innovation.
  24. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    Its pleasures are borrowed, but durable.
  25. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Jun 7, 2011
    80
    A big-bang demolition derby, J.J. Abrams's much-anticipated, greatly enjoyable Super 8 seems bound for box-office glory.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 2, 2011
    100
    The year's most thrilling, FEELING mainstream movie.
  27. 60
    It would be easy to dismiss as 100 percent ersatz if it didn't rekindle at least some of the old excitement - and if the magic of Spielberg's older movies didn't filter through, like light from a distant galaxy.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    Such a disarming homage to the cinema of the Reagan era that even grouchy gremlins might feel like it's morning in America. But be forewarned that if this movie is exposed to sunlight, you'll notice the puppet strings.
  29. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 8, 2011
    80
    It is just a tremendous amount of fun.
  30. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 7, 2011
    60
    Had the big boy himself, Steven Spielberg, made his directorial debut with this slam-bang sci-fi thriller set in suburban 1979 (and not merely produced what amounts to an homage), he would have been celebrated as a gifted bringer of mayhem: a Michael Bay before there was one.
  31. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 8, 2011
    83
    Creepy implications keep Super 8 engaging, but the cast makes it click.
  32. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 8, 2011
    100
    A movie of here-and-now thrills, goosed by judicious CGI effects that never overpower the humanity of the situation.
  33. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 8, 2011
    50
    The best thing about Super 8, by far, are the kids, all perfectly cast. The script does a much better job making them believable and real than the adults...The rest of the movie steals shamelessly from...
  34. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jun 8, 2011
    100
    J.J. Abrams, with Steven Spielberg producing, has made one of those jaw-dropping out-of-body summer entertainments that kids old enough to swear and see PG-13 films will remember on into adulthood.
  35. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 9, 2011
    65
    The timing couldn't be more opportunistic for a new Steven Spielberg movie that mines the thrilling uncertainties of childhood - even if it happens to have been made by J.J. Abrams.
  36. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Jun 9, 2011
    50
    Writer-director J.J. Abrams overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder.
  37. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jun 8, 2011
    50
    J.J. Abrams's latest puts a modern spin on classical material, though here reinvention isn't the goal so much as slavish duplication embellished with muscular CG effects.
  38. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 9, 2011
    60
    Super 8 is at its best when it dwells in this secret childhood empire, and at its worst when it juices up its essentially simple story with increasingly senseless action set pieces.
  39. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Jul 31, 2011
    80
    It's nowhere close to "E. T." - what is? - but amongst the hullabaloo of summer, Super 8 is something to cherish: a beautifully made homage to better times, and better movies.
  40. Jun 5, 2011
    50
    A relatively standard monster movie.
  41. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jun 2, 2011
    50
    It's in the moments Abrams attempts to combine emotional payoffs with popcorn-style thrills that the film rings most false.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 677 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 249
  1. Jun 11, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This is the last Spielberg movie I will go to see based on his name alone, last one before this was Indiana Jones 4 which was a total disaster. This movie starts out promising but then falls apart completely by the end. The main problem with the movie is that the monster has no purpose what-so-ever in the story and the film would have been great if it was just about the father son trying to find peace after the death of the mother in addition to the son coming of age with the girl and his friends by shooting a super 8 movie. That part of the movie is good, then the monster appears and not only destroys half of the town, but it goes one step further and destroys the film too. The monster is just stupid; it's not interesting and there's really nothing in the storyline of the monster that hasn't been done before. It's basically bits and pieces of other - better - movies that have already been released. The movie falls apart because for almost 3/4 of the film the monster is just background noise between the scene of the boy and girl, and his friends, all of which are interesting. Then at the end of the film these stories are abandoned completely and the monster's story - which sucks - is wrapped up in to a cgi blastoff which ends the film.

    Let's recap:

    Father and Son grieving after loss of the mother, the father is distant from his son. Climax: Father and Son hug at the end of the film. No talking about all of the previous stuff, just a hug.

    Son & Girl(friend) awkward relationship that blossoms in to...
    Climax: nothing...

    Monster & Military - The monster is captured, tortured and then escapes but not after killing innocent people and then being helped to escape by the kids who are scared to death of it the entire film, but then suddenly decide to help it. Which escapes in a space ship which it builds out of regular everyday items from 1979 which some how selectively magnetize themselves to the watertower (never explained, it sounds ridiculous writing this out) and then can summons thousands of minature cubs in to a ship which just suddenly appears for no reason. There is never an explanation as to how the monster suddently fixes his ship at the end. T

    Super 8 Movie - The kids are shooting this zombie film the entire god damn movie and it just becomes irrelevant at the end. You would think they would at least play the final cut during the credits or something, but no... nothing.

    Group of friends: The entire movie the son is running around with his four friends but at the end each ot these friends gets cut from the ending, there is no closure on any of their stories.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 10, 2011
    0
    What a pile of crud. Worst sci-fi movie I have seen in years. The original teaser was totaly misleading as to what the movie was about. I will think twice before going to any JJ Abrams or Spielberg movie again. Full Review »
  3. Jun 10, 2011
    8
    Super 8 was a surprisingly delightful movie. Judging by the teasers I was really not interested in it at all but with names like Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams being branded on every trailer and poster I simply had to give it a shot. And I was really glad I did because it was very very good. It was really a tribute to the movies of the late 20th century wasn't it? It had all the elements of Spielberg's classic E.T. with a close group of friends on bicycles riding about town shooting scenes for a movie with "production value", adults who seem to be one step behind the kids on the whole mystery, the government intervention and of course an extraterrestrial being "trying to go home". The special effects were great, especially the train crash. Very breathtaking stuff. But even with all the amazing effects and all the action going around, we never really forget the emotional side of it all, Abrams never let's the action upstage the human aspect of the story. Joe who recently lost his mother to a violent tragedy lives with his grief-stricken, depressed and distant father begins to bond with Alice in an 8mm film production of zombies, she herself has father issues. Their relationship reminds me a bit of Abby and Owen in Let Me In united by their own little tragedies, finding solace in each other. Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney play their roles exceptionally well, amazing since it's their first time in a major movie. It was really refreshing to finally watch a movie which was not rushed through production (yeah I'm looking at you X-Men), very carefully thought out and which really took it's own time to tell the story that it wants to tell. I wasn't born in the 60s or 70s but watching Super 8 made me feel like I was in that period of time of filmmaking, it felt very authentic. The closing credits was awesome. Full Review »