User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 727 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 727
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  1. Jun 11, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
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  2. Mar 10, 2012
    4
    Super 8 is one of those movies that seem very promising at the beginning and are a total disappointment at the end. The start of the plot is very attractive and has a mysterious aura that surrounds it; and this feeling of understanding nothing gives the movie an expressionist atmosphere. So is a challenge to solve the problem and connect all the clues. Among the details are reveled, youSuper 8 is one of those movies that seem very promising at the beginning and are a total disappointment at the end. The start of the plot is very attractive and has a mysterious aura that surrounds it; and this feeling of understanding nothing gives the movie an expressionist atmosphere. So is a challenge to solve the problem and connect all the clues. Among the details are reveled, you start perceiving a huge conflict that involves the humankind, worthy of the greatest masters of cinema. This wide situation never stops caring about little human issues; in Super 8 the children are anxious to create a short film, no mattering what they have to do and when the accident occur they take it as a production value, totally delightful.
    All of the above suggest an epic ending, but there was no way that J.J. Abrams could have done it worst. This finale is like the queen of cheap sentimentalism, with a weak screenplay, poor performances and an awful direction; this is an ultimate piece of crap.
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  3. Jun 13, 2011
    5
    OK I was all hyped up to go see this only to be let down. It was slow from the beginning than the train wreck. This movie reminded me of E.T. with the ending and all. Not to original. A lot of cursing by the kids which in my opinion was unnecessary. I thought the X-Men movie was waaaay better. Not very original. Don't was your money on this one, wait for it on DVD. I have no idea what theOK I was all hyped up to go see this only to be let down. It was slow from the beginning than the train wreck. This movie reminded me of E.T. with the ending and all. Not to original. A lot of cursing by the kids which in my opinion was unnecessary. I thought the X-Men movie was waaaay better. Not very original. Don't was your money on this one, wait for it on DVD. I have no idea what the critics were talking about. Collapse
  4. Jun 17, 2011
    4
    I was expecting much more from Super 8, primarily due to the fact that it is an Abrams and Spielberg film. Hoping that there would at least be some originality worth noting to the film, I was left fairly disappointed. A large number of science-fiction clichés were incorporated with what felt like little shame. The positives would have to be the loose moral message of the filmI was expecting much more from Super 8, primarily due to the fact that it is an Abrams and Spielberg film. Hoping that there would at least be some originality worth noting to the film, I was left fairly disappointed. A large number of science-fiction clichés were incorporated with what felt like little shame. The positives would have to be the loose moral message of the film and the ending, which I will not discuss. It is easy to understand what was trying to be achieved with this film, and its similarities to E.T. and The Goonies, but it just did not come through. A rather outdone concept is probably the overlying reason behind the mediocre impression I was given. This film is not particularly worth seeing. Expand
  5. Jun 14, 2011
    5
    This movie could have been so much more. It had the feeling of an old Spielberg summer flick. It had good characters and at least some character development. It had child actors that didn't make me cringe every time they spoke. It had halfway decent dialogue and reasonably good acting. It was the Spielberg-type feeling that kept coming back. It really does feel like it was plucked straightThis movie could have been so much more. It had the feeling of an old Spielberg summer flick. It had good characters and at least some character development. It had child actors that didn't make me cringe every time they spoke. It had halfway decent dialogue and reasonably good acting. It was the Spielberg-type feeling that kept coming back. It really does feel like it was plucked straight out of the era when Spielberg was in his prime. Except for one major detail: the antagonist. The alien/monster was a real let down and left me wondering what exactly was the point of this character? The scenes featuring the alien are by far the weakest of the film. Nearly everything else is pure gold, as far as summer popcorn flicks go. Expand
  6. Jun 10, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am going to try and be concise and keep it short. This movie hurt my life, my relationship, my wallet, and my brain.

    Let's start by analyzing why it hurt my life. When we live, we want pleasure. Sexual, psychological, culinary, we simply want things that fulfill our needs and hopefully give us a little of what we want as well. As far as movies go, we want something wonderful, entertaining, fun, original, and skillful. Without those five things, I can't imagine someone enjoying a movie. This movie gave us none of those things. It was two hours of low-level suspense with children acting scared, excited, and adventurous. This movie was constantly loud, muddling any chance of becoming engrossed in its story or characters.

    What was so endearing about the characters? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There is no development at all. One has a mother who died, wow, now we care about him! One has braces and likes fireworks, what an interesting character! One's a fat director, oh wow, that's truly something special! Nothing about the cast works. It's one thing to pay homage to someone (in this case, Steven Spielberg), but it's another to just mish-mash everything you've seen together into one movie and hope for the best.

    How did the movie hurt my relationship? It put me in a bad mood. After two hours of watching mind-numbing acting and a horrible story about a murderous alien who kills off people while building his spaceship, I was drained and unable to relate the way I normally do with my girlfriend. Rarely does a movie suck the life out of me like this. This alone should indicate that this film is trash, life-sucking trash.

    How did it hurt my wallet? Movies never make me think about the ten dollars I just spent on them. Even if it's just a fun comedy like The Hangover 2, I don't mind shelling out hard-earned money to see it. This movie made me remember that I had used money for it. That and the gas to go see it (easily two dollars worth of gas). What movie makes someone remember that money was taken from them? This one.

    Now, the most beautiful part, how the movie hurt my mind. At the end of the movie, roughly five people started clapping. I believe three of them were over-weight, Hispanic women, and the others I couldn't locate in the theater. I was thoroughly confused, beyond any confusion I've ever felt in my life before. I'm twenty-eight and I've seen a lot of things, this clapping phenomenon was one of the more bizarre. Why were they clapping? This wasn't sarcastic clapping, either, that I would've detected immediately and joined in on. This was genuine, "this movie was extremely good" clapping. What on Earth? Were they happy the alien had finally escaped Earth? Why were they happy for this alien who had killed several human beings? Were they happy for the town who now was free of a deadly alien who kept stealing their car engines and making their dogs run away from home? My god, why were they happy? People who watch "Lost" are possibly so enamored with the TV show that they force themselves to love this movie. Or maybe people who love Star Wars are so enamored with it that they force themselves to love this movie. I don't know what it is or what it was, but as an objective human being, this movie was trash. I suppose my biggest mistake was seeing the film at all -- especially having the ability to read about it beforehand, which I didn't. The movie must be more geared towards the 10-to-15-year-old crowd. Being over the age of 18 will not help you enjoy this film, I'll warn you now. Stay as far away from this film as possible, it can only hurt you.
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  7. Jun 10, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Cloverfield meets ET meets Friday Night Lights. Not a big disappointment, but also formulaic (lots of teasers re: actually seeing the "monster.") Most of the kids did a good job, but Elle Fanning is badly miscast.

    And I want the lipstick franchise.
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  8. Jun 13, 2011
    5
    This creative coalition between J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg feels like several movies we've seen before. A group of kids is making their own movie (be sure to stay thru the credits to see the result) and they happen to witness the escape ofâ
  9. Jun 12, 2011
    5
    What a strange movie to review. It was really two movies in one. The first was a fantastic Stand By Me-esque kids bonding adventure. The second was an appalling and brain melting action movie a-la Transformers 2. The two were completely incongruous with the second completely destroying the first. The first half of the movie would be a solid 8-9 out of ten with some great acting by the kidsWhat a strange movie to review. It was really two movies in one. The first was a fantastic Stand By Me-esque kids bonding adventure. The second was an appalling and brain melting action movie a-la Transformers 2. The two were completely incongruous with the second completely destroying the first. The first half of the movie would be a solid 8-9 out of ten with some great acting by the kids and a really absorbing story to boot. The film, like the train within it, became so totally derailed by about the midway point that it undid all of it's previous groundwork. Expand
  10. Nov 7, 2011
    6
    There are many parallels one can draw between "Super 8" and Spielberg's last attempt at alien sci-fi films, "War of the Worlds." That being said, "Super 8" is not quite as good as the War, but it is still a rather decent film. The story is interesting enough, but rather predictable. My biggest problem with the film was the amount of cheese (aka cheesiness/cliché) thatThere are many parallels one can draw between "Super 8" and Spielberg's last attempt at alien sci-fi films, "War of the Worlds." That being said, "Super 8" is not quite as good as the War, but it is still a rather decent film. The story is interesting enough, but rather predictable. My biggest problem with the film was the amount of cheese (aka cheesiness/cliché) that Spielberg and Abrams managed to instil into the film. It is so over-the-top that I could not believe it. The last scene was especially disgusting, just like the last scene of "War of the Worlds." That seems to be a critical flaw with me and Spielberg - he has been managing to screw up the last scene in his last couple of films, and it's always extremely annoying. Nonetheless, there are good aspects to the film (hence the 6, no?)! The acting is very good when it comes to the children actors - very convincing and very engaging. Adults - not quite so much, but still decent enough for this kind of film. The cinematography was nice at times, with very nice colours and tones they've used with their lenses. Cinematography as in technique of filming - bad. I am not quite sure how I feel about the film overall. Yes, it's good enough to get a positive review, that is for sure. But there are so many annoying things about it that one's left wondering when will Spielberg finally get his act back together and make some serious films again? Until then, this will have to work, I guess... Expand
  11. Sep 15, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. â Expand
  12. Jun 27, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What is the obsession with J.J. Abrams? The majority of his movies good then he add elements that taint the experience as a whole. Like eating an omelet and biting into an eggshell. The overuse of lens flares boarded on annoying and the attempt at the end to make you feel sorry for the creature and happy that it was finally able to go home was like trying to make you feel sorry for someone who abuses their spouse. The thing was eating a human leg and had other innocent people hung up for snacks when it got hungry. I mean come on. If I was stranded on a planet where intelligent cows dominated, I think it would be a bad move, diplomatically to start killing them because I was hungry for a cheeseburger. And don't say, "maybe it wasn't smart enough to think of that", it was smart enough to rebuild it's space ship.

    Someone needs to tell J.J. that plot holes are the "eggshell" in the "omelet".
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  13. Jun 11, 2011
    6
    Super 8 was indeed a good movie, however, I do not feel it deserved the 72 assigned by critics. The movie did not necessarily present any new material, but simply old concepts and ideas we've seen implemented in other movies rehashed into this feature. Furthermore, I feel the movie dwelled too much on the "movie-making" encapsulated plot of the film which did not necessarily add any deeperSuper 8 was indeed a good movie, however, I do not feel it deserved the 72 assigned by critics. The movie did not necessarily present any new material, but simply old concepts and ideas we've seen implemented in other movies rehashed into this feature. Furthermore, I feel the movie dwelled too much on the "movie-making" encapsulated plot of the film which did not necessarily add any deeper meaning or understanding to the movie as a whole. In short, I feel that Super 8 lacked a certain amount of new ideas, direction, and meaning for a movie with such an esteemed score. Personally, I rate this movie a 58/100 Expand
  14. Jun 21, 2011
    5
    A decent film, but I expected more. I have to admit, that the train crash was amazing; however the rest of the film was not. It started out interesting, but after about half an hour it started falling apart. They started out making a cool script, but just decided to remake E.T. I also thought it was going to be scary, it wasn't though. Also, Super 8 is a weak title, considering the film isA decent film, but I expected more. I have to admit, that the train crash was amazing; however the rest of the film was not. It started out interesting, but after about half an hour it started falling apart. They started out making a cool script, but just decided to remake E.T. I also thought it was going to be scary, it wasn't though. Also, Super 8 is a weak title, considering the film is a very small part of the movie. Expand
  15. Jun 2, 2012
    4
    Half way between The Goonies and The Faculty, Super 8 is a mostly tedious slog through the usual Spielberg territory. It's saved from the scrap pile by one or two delightful monster-movie money shots (It's inside the bus!) and a descent final reel, but Super 8 is only inconsistently entertaining at best.
  16. Aug 7, 2011
    6
    Could have been epic but has a terrible, deflating ending that makes you question why you watched the movie at all.
  17. Jun 11, 2011
    6
    It was very underwhelming. The story about the kids filming a zombie movie was more interesting than the main plot. The main plot felt out of place and just overly generic. Oh well.
  18. Jun 20, 2011
    4
    Goonies Part 2 or E.T. part 2. With the tagline "THIS TIME HE'S P.O.'d. It didn't help that I saw it a week after the hype. So I was let down. But let's be honest, everything you see in the previews tells the story. The 70's nostalgic era grows tiresome. FNL's Coach can't save the dragging. And I was just waiting for the chubby kid to do the Truffle Shuffle.

    I have to be honest, I
    Goonies Part 2 or E.T. part 2. With the tagline "THIS TIME HE'S P.O.'d. It didn't help that I saw it a week after the hype. So I was let down. But let's be honest, everything you see in the previews tells the story. The 70's nostalgic era grows tiresome. FNL's Coach can't save the dragging. And I was just waiting for the chubby kid to do the Truffle Shuffle.

    I have to be honest, I have not truly enjoyed a Spielberg movie in a long time...Crystal Skull anybody? This was better than most of his efforts of late. And Abrams is style over substance. Cloverfield was good in the theaters and this movie is like a prequel to that in a way.

    This movie grows tiresome. And the ending was awful. I was very let down. Now all that being said, I think this would make a great movie for some kids to cut their sci-fi horror teeth on. It's got some quick easy scares and some fun old time sci-fi ideas.
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  19. Aug 20, 2012
    6
    I remember the Trailer for this film and it made no sense at all. so did not wase my money at the movie theater on some thing that could be as dumb as colvefield was. Rented this when it came out and it tried hard to be that magical 80s film like E.T. was infcact its even set in the 80s . unfortunitly it never really gets there though the acting is solid , epecially from the kids. TheI remember the Trailer for this film and it made no sense at all. so did not wase my money at the movie theater on some thing that could be as dumb as colvefield was. Rented this when it came out and it tried hard to be that magical 80s film like E.T. was infcact its even set in the 80s . unfortunitly it never really gets there though the acting is solid , epecially from the kids. The other problem i have is the over all plot is just so slow to move any where and it also goes back to never showing you the creature till the last 15 minutes of the movie but even then its when its dark out and the creature is black and HORRABLY shown to where you never get a decent look at it. It in the end just felt lackluster though i would not say a bad movie. Expand
  20. Dec 29, 2011
    6
    Disappointing, especially since I chose to watch based on mostly high marks from crtics. Anne Hornaday for the Washington Post had it about right in her review. Started out promisingly enough. Final thoughts: dialog bad;, character development weak; the alien embarrassingly bad; and a movie pubescent boys might like. Glad I rented DVD and not paid for ticket or bought DVD.
  21. Jun 28, 2011
    6
    An entertaining movie, I thought it was a great performance by the young actors compared to other movies i've seen. I really enjoyed the first 1/2 of the movie until it began to focus more on the creature and the story became thinner until presented with the predictable and sappy ending. I left with a feeling that it could have been much better, but it was still worth seeing.
  22. Jul 17, 2011
    6
    I liked the movie, funny moments, but sometimes I felt like I was watching the movie silly typical of children, if I have to applaud is all you have to do with the creation and arrangement of the sound, very good, Pd: my sister did not like, and Charles is so funny.
  23. Jun 20, 2011
    4
    This is your basic summer monster movie. A little better than average, but not by much. It borrows a lot from other films of the genre and there is really nothing original here. The plot is simplistic and full of holes and inconsistencies. Special effects and CGI are on par with similar films. I'm not saying its a bad movies, it's just not very good and certainly does not live up to the hype.
  24. Jul 8, 2011
    4
    This movie promised to be a suspenseful, wacky, and exciting hit due to the powerhouse combination of Abrams/Spielberg, and then it went and proved us wrong. I wish I could go as far as to say that the movie was at least fun, but it wasn't. The action, plot, and story felt like something we've all seen a hundred times, and the action was dull (to put it nicely). A serious disappointment.
  25. Jun 28, 2011
    5
    The first half is wonderful, evocative of works by Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and Ray Bradbury. Then the second half goes right in the dumper. The story kicks in and you can't wait for the thing to be over. I really wanted to like this movie --actually I did for about 45 minutes. So I can only score Super 8 as I did. One half of a success.
  26. GMU
    Jun 12, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film looked like one to look forward to for 2011, being one of very few superbowl ads that was actually exciting to watch. But like his previous film, Star Trek (2009) it failed to live up to personal hype. (I know it was a teaser trailer, but how could you not be pumped?; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR6ALzHQA2k&hd=1) Super 8 was pleasing until it became more and more involved with the disappointing monster creature that had the predictable conflict of wanting to go home and not being able to due to captivity by humans (free willzyx). The ending was very predictable and it was unfortunate to see such a good setup for a movie go to waste. The setup meaning the characters (aside from Alice's father) and everything up until seeing the monster and later being acquainted with him. The best parts of this movie was the short film shown at the end, and for some reason I can't shake elle's zombie scene out of my head. It brings out my inner child like most of this movie (but more so especially in this scene and in the kids zombie film shown during the credits) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqn3iXUUOz4) Expand
  27. Jun 20, 2011
    5
    Overall, a well presented movie with interesting characters and story which unfortunately suffers from sometimes forced dialogue/humor and trying to cover too much ground.

    Super 8 is a movie which tries to do a lot of things and please a wide spectrum of audience. In short, it's a summer movie with the mystery and suspense of aliens and military cover ups, a coming of age story, and a
    Overall, a well presented movie with interesting characters and story which unfortunately suffers from sometimes forced dialogue/humor and trying to cover too much ground.

    Super 8 is a movie which tries to do a lot of things and please a wide spectrum of audience. In short, it's a summer movie with the mystery and suspense of aliens and military cover ups, a coming of age story, and a single parent raising a child solo. The movie balances all these elements without falling short in terms of presentation or pace, but the overall narrative ends up with a few holes in it, namely the scenes involving the alien. These scenes are by far the weakest in the film. Part way through, the movie reveals the alien's motivations, and shortly after, subsequent scenes seem to conflict with these motives or offer no explanation for their occurrence. The scenes with the middle school kids and their summer escapades showcase some of the most well written scenes in the movie, however at times the children's dialogue and humor either feels forced or simply sounds strange coming out of the mouth of a child. In other words, the children sometimes speak as no child their age would speak and act with an air of adult maturity I've yet to see a junior high student possess. Additionally, the children's humorous dialogue unfortunately works against many of the scenes in the latter portions of the film shattering to pieces any sense of suspense or danger those scenes attempt to instill.

    Super 8 is a well packaged and presented film whose minor short comings might irritate some movie goers enough to make them wonder if this is just a remake of E.T. with a less friendly alien.
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  28. Jun 15, 2011
    6
    Writer/Director/Producer JJ Abramas is one of film and televisions hottest talents. With credits that include Lost, Fringe, Alias, â
  29. Jan 23, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Entertaining. The special effects are a bit old now. The story line is a bit... hm, old too. I would recommend the Iron Giant. Animated but, far better. Expand
  30. Jul 17, 2011
    6
    Super 8 is a half good movie, more good than bad but despite having some charm, is bogged down with issues and a story that feels disjointed with awkward unrelated subplots. In the end why this movie needed a monster/alien is puzzling to me as it only seems to be shoved in so the movie can claim to be a 'homage to Spielberg movies', the movie is named after the alien but the alien to SuperSuper 8 is a half good movie, more good than bad but despite having some charm, is bogged down with issues and a story that feels disjointed with awkward unrelated subplots. In the end why this movie needed a monster/alien is puzzling to me as it only seems to be shoved in so the movie can claim to be a 'homage to Spielberg movies', the movie is named after the alien but the alien to Super 8s story was unnecessary! I did enjoy the story of the young kids making a movie, but the forced alien plot was fairly forgettable and pointless. Super was only ok, I wanted to like it more however its issues pull it short of a good movie. Expand
  31. Jul 6, 2011
    5
    I must say, I was quite disappointed with Super 8, I was expecting allot more from an Abrams/Spielberg collaboration. After seeing films such as Cloverfield and Star Trek, Abrams skills as a producer and Director (respectively) is without a doubt good. In fact, Abrams did an okay job directing super 8, by drawing good performances from the young cast and successfully mimicking theI must say, I was quite disappointed with Super 8, I was expecting allot more from an Abrams/Spielberg collaboration. After seeing films such as Cloverfield and Star Trek, Abrams skills as a producer and Director (respectively) is without a doubt good. In fact, Abrams did an okay job directing super 8, by drawing good performances from the young cast and successfully mimicking the aesthetics of Spielberg's work of the 70's and 80's (like Jaws and E.T. just to name a few). But unlike Spielberg's work he failed to tell a good story, which leads to the downfall of this well produced film, Its Screenplay. It was underwritten, causing viewers to witness a half-baked plot being unfolded and care little about our characters by the end of it all. It eventually lead to a climatic mess, which is unfortunate, as it was really working with a good cast and a good premise. Despite these artistic misshaps it was an entertaining, well-meaning summer flick with sweeping visual effect and well constructed action pieces. Despite my disappointment, It would be wrong to give this anything less than 5 because it wasn't bad... It was an okay movie. Expand
  32. Jul 10, 2011
    4
    How can people actually like this movie that much? Sure, it had its moments, but thats not enough to make this a good movie. After seeing the trailer me and my friends were thinking "oh boy, this looks like an awesome movie!", and it started off promising. But the more we watched the worse it got... After leaving the cinema we all had this deep feeling of disappointment, that this movieHow can people actually like this movie that much? Sure, it had its moments, but thats not enough to make this a good movie. After seeing the trailer me and my friends were thinking "oh boy, this looks like an awesome movie!", and it started off promising. But the more we watched the worse it got... After leaving the cinema we all had this deep feeling of disappointment, that this movie had potential, but didnt quite reach there... The second half ruined it for me. You might like it if youre seeing it as a tribute for other Spielberg movies, but if you're like me and think of this as a "standalone" movie you might be disappointed... Expand
  33. Jul 11, 2011
    4
    Overall. I'm not a fan of the genre, but I found this movie to be mostly predictable and in some parts downright boring. It was saved from receiving a lower rating by allowing me to reminisce on how good E.T. was.
  34. Jul 21, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Super 8, at its core and on paper, sounds like a tremendous idea. You have steven spielberg, a fabulous director directing a movie about a monster that comes and terrorizes the city, sounds good enough, right? Well, not exactly. The way the movie is put together is utterly disappointing, and the ending is wrapped up quickly without tying up any loose ends. The movie is about a boy and his friends shooting a movie with their super 8 camera for a movie festival. They are making a zombie movie, and one night get a girl in the grade above them to drive them out to a train depot to shoot. While filming, a train is coming by and the boys would love to use it for good background and effects. They accidentally capture the train being sabotaged by a driver and the train exploding, as well as the monster escaping. He is a monster from outer space that was being imprisoned and tortured for years. The movie is mostly about the relationship that grows between the main boy and girl characters, with the monster just "being there" in the background. That is where Super 8 falls, the monster isn't really the main story, he's just there to spice things up while the other parts of the movie go along. The movie could have just about the relationship with the boy and his father as well as the boy and the girl, and it could have been a movie just about a slice of life. But the monster ruins the movie by constant interruptions and just plain stupidity. The children are captured by military officials, and eventually that is what leads them to the monster. They find out the monsters story which is that he just wants to go home, which is both stupid and has been done before, and the boy just tells the monster to go home, and he leaves, and that is how they wrap the movie up. It is a very disappointing, and doesn't tie anything up. Expand
  35. Aug 25, 2011
    6
    It's lack of originality is matched only by its enthusiasm and sincerity in its desire to make a pastiche of Spielberg classics, something it does to great effect, in spite of inner-cynicism it stirs up.
  36. Sep 4, 2011
    5
    His attempt in the film to pair blockbuster action with heartfelt emotion is a noble one, but in the end, unsuccessful.
    Read my full review at: http://themuddoctor.blogspot.com/2011/09/super-8.html
  37. Nov 27, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was an entertaining film, thanks to the child stars who carried the whole film like pro's, although the grown-up actors were also quite good. Steven Spielberg produced it but did not direct, even though he might as well have, because the film is thoroughly Spielbergian. Instead of ET, Phone Home, we have ET, Please Leave, because this is not a cute, cuddly creature that any child would want to adopt as a pet and hide in his closet. This ET is fed up with the human species, having been captured after crashing his spaceship, imprisoned for many years, scientifically observed and misunderstood, and once loose, he is dangerous. The original ET was released in 1982, and this movie is set in 1979. The time frame is also very Spielbergian--a simpler time when there was no Internet, no Game Boys, and no cell phones. The only electronic device is a strange gadget called a Walkman. Kids had to be more resourceful and have real hobbies, like making amateur films and carefully painting model cars or model monsters. There is also the Spielbergian empathy for the little boy, wistfully played by Joel Courtney, who must grow up without his mother, marked for life by his grief but also experiencing life more intensely and with more courage, thus giving him a maturity and a wisdom beyond his years. There are lots of special effects, including a train wreck that, spectacular as it was, might have been a little unrealistic, since I suspect hitting a pick-up truck at such high speed should not have caused the devastating explosions and derailment of dozens of cars as depicted in the film. Sometimes the special effects are overdone and try to become a thing-in-itself. In any case, it's nice to see Spielberg back in his old form, even if he hired J.J. Abrams to direct it for him. Expand
  38. Nov 18, 2011
    6
    Super 8 ends on a quick note, but it will keep you guessing throughout. The performances from the actors are great and it actually makes sense when you watch it.
  39. Dec 23, 2011
    6
    I thought it would be a better movie, but the monster didn´t convinced me, it looked too ridiculous for my taste. It is certainly worth seeing, but not directly at the movies.
  40. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    I always have conflicted feelings when it comes to movies where the trailer shows all the backstory, and the movie itself doesn't really do that. In this instance, a train is taking cargo from a now closed Area 51 when it crashes in a small Ohio town. The train's origin and cargo are very indirectly approached in the movie, which leaves a feeling of a small plot hole.

    It is not alone:
    I always have conflicted feelings when it comes to movies where the trailer shows all the backstory, and the movie itself doesn't really do that. In this instance, a train is taking cargo from a now closed Area 51 when it crashes in a small Ohio town. The train's origin and cargo are very indirectly approached in the movie, which leaves a feeling of a small plot hole.

    It is not alone: there are several places during the movie where further exploration of details would be appreciated (the disappearance of the dogs, how a truck derailed a train...). Also the Lamb/Dainard family dilemma remained a small mystery to me; what really provoked all that hate and distrust that seemed to come out of nowhere, just because Joe's mother died in an accident at the factory.

    The story starts out slowly, entering the lives of a group of friends making a zombie film. They happen to see a train crash (leading to a slightly absurd dash between burning, flying, crashing rail cars), and just like the rest of their town, they are baffled by the army's involvement. All too soon it becomes apparent that something evil is on the loose, lurking in the darkness, grabbing people and stealing electric equipment.

    There is humor present in this movie, but I thought it was pretty creepy for a PG-13 rating. The plot moves forward slowly in the beginning, not really focusing on the supernatural aspects all that much, leaving it on the background. When the army steps in, pieces start falling together faster, and the plot hurries towards the ending - and the ending itself it way too sudden. All that built-up seems to accomplish very little as the actual alien gets very little screen time, or depth.

    On the plus side I must say the kids in this movie pretty much remained as ones, not turning world-saving adults, although they were prone to some heroics. It wasn't too bad, though.

    All in all a nice movie, but it seemed its main focus was slightly different than what I wanted or expected, and everything took its time. Plus I found the ending disappointing and jumpy.

    Good movie, worth the watch. If you're easily spooked, prepare to feel jumpy during this!
    Expand
  41. Jan 13, 2014
    5
    In the end, I asked myself "why?" and it just didn't make any sense. The big catchphrase seems to be "accidents happen" and that's how the movie exists. It just happened. They had to write and film something, right? So why not this? It's entertaining and they do a superb job (especially the kids), but what did they have to work with other than a shiny lump of... of what? I think JJ AbramsIn the end, I asked myself "why?" and it just didn't make any sense. The big catchphrase seems to be "accidents happen" and that's how the movie exists. It just happened. They had to write and film something, right? So why not this? It's entertaining and they do a superb job (especially the kids), but what did they have to work with other than a shiny lump of... of what? I think JJ Abrams could make great movies if he chose a story with more meaning and less shine. Expand
  42. Apr 4, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It wasn't a terrible movie, but it wasn't spectacular either. I heard it was supposed to be similar to District 9 (which I really enjoyed), but after seeing it I was disappointed. The aliens look like giant spiders, and they randomly snatch people away at night. There is no explanation as to why they do this, let alone their reason for being on Earth. The main kid gets all whiny and sweet talks to one of the aliens towards the end, while the alien looks bewildered like a dog. Then all the aliens suddenly stop fighting the military and pack up and leave. Spielberg has a tendency to get overly sentimental and overlooks logic in the plot. But viewers who care more about the emotional aspect of a movie than plot integrity might enjoy this more than I did. Expand
  43. Jan 12, 2013
    5
    A blatant alien tale with an ok ending that eventually sums up a movie with good plot development and special effects. I Didn't care for it and I don't know why so many people defend it.
  44. Jun 11, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was good but it could be much much better. The plot is extraordinary and the kids are good too. The first half of the film was excellent. The second one was a little bit of a problem. Seriously a monster down of the ground? I knew it would be something like that but not in that way. I was really looking forward to watch that film and i was kind of disappointed. I expected more from Spielberg and Abrams. Expand
  45. Mar 4, 2014
    5
    Whilst appreciating this is a homage to the good ol' days of cinema, and that the lack of originality to the plot is somewhat intentional, I do feel that it stops the film from breaking the mediocre barrier. The end scene just tarnishes my opinion further and just annoyed me. Plot holes and annoying dialogue adding fuel to the fire. At the end I was just a simmering pot of disappointment.Whilst appreciating this is a homage to the good ol' days of cinema, and that the lack of originality to the plot is somewhat intentional, I do feel that it stops the film from breaking the mediocre barrier. The end scene just tarnishes my opinion further and just annoyed me. Plot holes and annoying dialogue adding fuel to the fire. At the end I was just a simmering pot of disappointment. Definitely a let down. Expand
  46. Apr 1, 2014
    4
    Seriously, this is the best you can do? Another alien movie full with a bunch of cliche story elements. Sorry but that is not for me. I do like that this movie has some old school elements to it and some interesting themes, but the movie just did not impress me. I was really wanting something better but this just falls flat and was just not very fun, just a bunch of "been there, done that"Seriously, this is the best you can do? Another alien movie full with a bunch of cliche story elements. Sorry but that is not for me. I do like that this movie has some old school elements to it and some interesting themes, but the movie just did not impress me. I was really wanting something better but this just falls flat and was just not very fun, just a bunch of "been there, done that" story elements mixed together into a disaster. I would not recommend this film. Expand
  47. Nov 30, 2014
    6
    Better than the average sci-fi movie. It is also a bit unoriginal. Tries to be one of these movies with loud sound and crazy video effects. And it succeeds to some degree. The main characters are kids, so this gives it a certain "popcorn movie" quality and feel. Also the thriller part seems teen-oriented with many "big sound" scares. The suspense factor is too predictable and mediocre. ItBetter than the average sci-fi movie. It is also a bit unoriginal. Tries to be one of these movies with loud sound and crazy video effects. And it succeeds to some degree. The main characters are kids, so this gives it a certain "popcorn movie" quality and feel. Also the thriller part seems teen-oriented with many "big sound" scares. The suspense factor is too predictable and mediocre. It has a romance development which is played well. Overall, It does get you hooked, but starts to drag in the last 3rd. If you want to go to the movies for some sound/video effects or just to have fun with friends, you might like it. If you search for a serious or believable story, look elsewhere. Expand
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.