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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 730 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 730
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  1. Apr 23, 2014
    9
    Super 8 is a well-balanced blend of humor, heart, and wit to create a great sci-fi adventure for audiences everywhere to enjoy. It's visual dazzling, and the main protagonist kids are excellent. Many memories of former classic movies will come to mind while watching this one; it's just that good.
  2. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Another jaw-dropping adventure from veteran J.J. Abrams. Yes, the focus is on kids--but this one's for the adults. Super 8 is science-fiction which impressively incorporates nostalgia throughout.
  3. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    After watching this movie I can describe it in one word and that word is masterpiece, I was blown away, it's emotional, intense, touching, funny, sweet, and a kinda scary at times, the characters are all very well done and thought out, and the writing is pure genius, I do have one or two complaints but they all seem extremely small in comparison to the overall movie, and it is 100%After watching this movie I can describe it in one word and that word is masterpiece, I was blown away, it's emotional, intense, touching, funny, sweet, and a kinda scary at times, the characters are all very well done and thought out, and the writing is pure genius, I do have one or two complaints but they all seem extremely small in comparison to the overall movie, and it is 100% deserving of a perfect 10, it's very rare that a movie like this one comes out, do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as possible you wont be disappointed. Expand
  4. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    Don't be fooled by an almost all kid cast. this movie is not an ordinary monster film. with its terrific directing and visuals you sat in your seat wondering what is this thing. that is what i want from movies. unpredictable moments and Super 8 delievered on exactly that.
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    "Super 8" is a 2011 film directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. The film follows the story of a group of kids who witness a train crash in the summer of 1979 and investigate the paranormal events of the that it has on this town. Well to be blatantly and frankly honest - I observed almost no problems in this movie whatsoever. The problems that I did observe are"Super 8" is a 2011 film directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. The film follows the story of a group of kids who witness a train crash in the summer of 1979 and investigate the paranormal events of the that it has on this town. Well to be blatantly and frankly honest - I observed almost no problems in this movie whatsoever. The problems that I did observe are so trivial and insignificant that I'm not even going to waste my energy going over them. When I saw previews for this film, I saw that the prominent characters in it were mostly middle schoolers. Now, movies like this can go either one of two ways for me. One - the kids in this movie are so obnoxious as crap I don't even want to watch anymore. Two - the kids in this movie are portrayed in an enjoyable and original manner, that I can find myself relating to wholeheartedly. As you may have guessed the kids in "Super 8" are portrayed in the latter form. I found every child in this movie to be either hilarious or almost hauntingly familiar. In doing this, Abrams excels at portraying all of the interesting feelings and thoughts that go along with being a kid. The set pieces in this film are unbelievably breathtaking. I mean, the train crash in this movie is so astonishing, words can't even do it justice. The soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is incredibly diverse in emotions - it's scary, breathtaking, and thrilling all at once. The film in and of itself is a rollercoaster of emotions too. There were parts in this film where I couldn't stop laughing. Then there were parts where tension drew out like a blade. There were scenes that pulled at my heartstrings. I honestly can't say that for many of the films that have come out this year. All in all, I felt that "Super 8" was an almost relentlessly entertaining thrill ride. I can now see why Steven Spielberg wanted to be attached to this superbly thought out project. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2011
    7
    "Super 8", a film directed by the infamous J.J Abrams, is a surprisingly well made film; its a film pure of innocence and maturity fused together, like Spielberg did in the 80's. However Mr. Abrams, you directed the wrong movie at a awkward era; a era where we fight and despise each other with curses and swearings. 80's movies are appropriate movies, and the 21st century movies are"Super 8", a film directed by the infamous J.J Abrams, is a surprisingly well made film; its a film pure of innocence and maturity fused together, like Spielberg did in the 80's. However Mr. Abrams, you directed the wrong movie at a awkward era; a era where we fight and despise each other with curses and swearings. 80's movies are appropriate movies, and the 21st century movies are appropriate for the 21st century. Next time Mr. Abrams when you choose a movie to copy+paste into yours, make it something that is not Spielberg's. His work and recognition is better left in the 80's untouched. Expand
  7. Dec 28, 2012
    7
    While nothing about the film really sticks out, It's a rather solid movie overall and I enjoyed watching it. The story was interesting and the acting was solid as well. I think lack of memorable scenes and a lackluster ending hurt the overall value of the film quite a bit. Still, It's worth checking out.
  8. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    Castaways, alien invasion, and paranormal phenomenon are nothing new, but when they are re-imagined by J.J. Abrams, they sure seem that way. Like king midis, everything Abrams touches is pure gold and Super 8 is no exception. On the surface, the film seems like something you've seen a million times before, but it's Abrams twist, turns, and imagination that make it very different. What ICastaways, alien invasion, and paranormal phenomenon are nothing new, but when they are re-imagined by J.J. Abrams, they sure seem that way. Like king midis, everything Abrams touches is pure gold and Super 8 is no exception. On the surface, the film seems like something you've seen a million times before, but it's Abrams twist, turns, and imagination that make it very different. What I loved about this film, was that it's a blockbuster film, with two major names behind it, and there wasn't any big stars attached to it. In fact, most of the cast never had a major role in anything, like the lead, Joel Courtney. I don't know how they found this kid. He had zero professional experience and he was really fantastic. This movie is a gem, and while it seems like it's been done, you've never seen it done J.J. Abrams way. Super 8 is an evolved version of many similar films behind it and is one that they will talking about for years. Expand
  9. May 23, 2015
    8
    What I think I loved most about Super 8 was the way it felt like the old sci-fi films of old from the 1970s and 1980s that Spielberg made. You can tell that this one has his fingerprints all over it (and not just because he was the producer) and I thought JJ Abrams did a great job capturing that childlike enjoyment of the genre. The film takes a similar approach to the aliens as in CloseWhat I think I loved most about Super 8 was the way it felt like the old sci-fi films of old from the 1970s and 1980s that Spielberg made. You can tell that this one has his fingerprints all over it (and not just because he was the producer) and I thought JJ Abrams did a great job capturing that childlike enjoyment of the genre. The film takes a similar approach to the aliens as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but amps up the thrills and action. In that regard, the special effects were great and really cool to take in. It also did a great job blending that portion of the film with the kids creating a film of their own that also manages to capture the joy of filmmaking. The acting in this one is quite good, especially given the age of the cast members. The film does the romantic element justice and treats its subjects with the respect they deserve, rather than trivializing their actions due to the ages. This film has a heart and soul that is on full display and really becomes infectious as you watch it. I was quite surprised at my level of enjoyment of this one and have to say that this was a resounding success. Expand
  10. Jun 20, 2013
    9
    A great sci-fi film mixed with a great coming of age adventure. With J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg together you should expect a film with adventure, amazement, and strong emotion and that is exactly what we get.
  11. Jun 11, 2013
    9
    This is pure entertainment. It was captivating and mysterious. It was fun and adventurous. The acting by the young cast was fantastic and the directing style and script reminded me of what great movies can really achieve.
  12. j30
    Nov 25, 2011
    8
    Going in, I didn't expect this movie to be so emotionally engaging. This really well made film by J.J. Abrams', whose love for film, especially the 80's time period, is painted all over the screen. The movie feels like a mixture between E.T. and The Goonies.
  13. Jun 10, 2011
    8
    The word that kept floating to the surface as I was driving home from the theater was authentic. I'd probably score the basic story and plot framework a "7", but the movie does such an incredible job bringing me back to the late 70's, and the kids are so spot-on perfect in their roles, that it became an easy 8, almost a 9. Most kids in movies are nothing like the kids I knew when I wasThe word that kept floating to the surface as I was driving home from the theater was authentic. I'd probably score the basic story and plot framework a "7", but the movie does such an incredible job bringing me back to the late 70's, and the kids are so spot-on perfect in their roles, that it became an easy 8, almost a 9. Most kids in movies are nothing like the kids I knew when I was young, but Abrams (and the casting director) nailed them in Super 8. Yes, it has that E.T./Goonies irreverent feel to it, but without these kids, the movie falls apart. Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, and the other adults are also extremely well-cast. Chandler - the acting Sheriff - is a tough father still grappling with the loss of his wife (who is also amazing in a brief snippet), and Abrams doesn't soft-shoe his relationship with his son. Elle Fanning is terrific - a star in the making. It's only the basic story that is the weak part of the film - and that may sound more damning than I mean it to me. As soon as I heard ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" (embarrassingly my favorite song for like 3 years of my youth) open the film, I was transported back to that time and place, and it just worked. Don't want to spoil anything further - it's worth seeing. Considering that my midnight show was only half-full, I'm skeptical that it'll have a huge opening weekend. I'm just hoping that some of the Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games kids will turn out for it - though the pre-cellphone, net, ipod days of the late 70s might be tough to relate to. Expand
  14. Jan 17, 2012
    9
    Super 8 reminds us all of the great blockbusters years ago and sadly the bad ones also and it does take a lot of ideas from E.T. Super 8 assembles a very talented young cast and offers thrills, adventure, and just dazzling visual effects. I give this movie 87%.
  15. Dec 6, 2012
    8
    Truth is...I didn't want to see this that bad. I only saw it because it got good reviews and the movie that I originally wanted to see (Green Lantern) didn't. I'm so so glad I saw this film in theaters! It blew me away and I absolutely loved it! One of the best films of 2011 so far.

    First off, props to the kid actors. They were excellent, especially Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning.
    Truth is...I didn't want to see this that bad. I only saw it because it got good reviews and the movie that I originally wanted to see (Green Lantern) didn't. I'm so so glad I saw this film in theaters! It blew me away and I absolutely loved it! One of the best films of 2011 so far.

    First off, props to the kid actors. They were excellent, especially Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. Sometimes films that revolve mainly around kids fail because of annoying performances, but Super 8 was very good. I thought all the young actors did a fantastic job, as did the entire cast, but this movie's all about the kids.

    The story and pace of the film were also very good. The premise of the story is something that isn't entirely original, especially as of late, but I thought it was brilliantly executed by the cast, and director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek). The pace and intensity was constantly building as the film progressed. It would slowly answer questions but not giving away too much like so many films do. The film builds wonderfly to a somewhat obvious, but very effective ending.

    Also the visual effects were awesome, as was the 1970's cinematography. Good musical score, too.

    Super 8 is definitely the surprise hit of the summer! I loved every second of it, and i'm really glad J.J. Abrams was able to pull off another solid film after the near perfect Star Trek in 09. Super 8 = 100% recommended!
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  16. Jul 30, 2013
    9
    There are moments of genius, spectacle and visually stunning set pieces that deserve nothing but admiration for the scope and vision of J.J. Abrams in his highly secretive 'Super 8', a film that has flashes of of the science fiction favourites we came to love, E.T. being the one that comes to mind. Its a homage of sorts that messes with the things that go bump in the night scenario, butThere are moments of genius, spectacle and visually stunning set pieces that deserve nothing but admiration for the scope and vision of J.J. Abrams in his highly secretive 'Super 8', a film that has flashes of of the science fiction favourites we came to love, E.T. being the one that comes to mind. Its a homage of sorts that messes with the things that go bump in the night scenario, but adds in a pack of excellent performances from a child cast that push the film to be character-driven piece, where the actors make the film. Joel Courtney makes a commanding debut as the young kid Joel, who helps his friends film near a train station, where they witness a massive train crash which isn't everything it seems to be.
    As the rest of their town suffer the repercussions of this irregular crash, Joel and his friends wonder what exactly happened and why the strange anomalies that occur afterwards are in place. From start to finish its clear the eye that Abrams has for detail and awe, his nostalgic bows to the Spielberg era of science-fiction aren't subtle, with various nods here and their to plot devices used in the past by Spielberg, such similarities that lead to an ending which feels very forced and typical to suit those who remember those films of the past, while there is emotional depth to the final moments, it just happened too quickly.
    The redeeming feature of the extra-terrestrial adventure is the "precious cargo" itself, something we rarely see throughout the film, but we have the feeling it is there, through clever uses of editing and the panic on its unfortunate victims. The train mentioned earlier is one of the best highlights and most impressive feats of the film, with an added dose of miraculous explosions to pay homage to the films of yesteryear. But these feats couldn't be truly accomplished with the impressive turns of the relatively young cast, who show true quality and bring real depth and charisma to their performances, much like The Goonies, they have their own traits and personalities that contribute towards their group.
    A masterful piece of filmmaking that takes off running but ultimately begins to unravel as the closing moments are rushed and forced to be accepted, but excellent performances and some stunning visuals make Super 8 and unmissable and nostalgic trip.
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  17. Sep 12, 2011
    8
    Proof that the very best monster movies aren't really about the monster, but about people. The film's more about relationships, growing up, and dealing with bereavement than about a creature's rampage through small-town America. The young cast are great, all delivering engaging, but natural performances. J J Abrams really couldn't have made it any clearer that he loves Spielberg,Proof that the very best monster movies aren't really about the monster, but about people. The film's more about relationships, growing up, and dealing with bereavement than about a creature's rampage through small-town America. The young cast are great, all delivering engaging, but natural performances. J J Abrams really couldn't have made it any clearer that he loves Spielberg, everything from the setting, to the cinematography and mise-en-scene could have come from late 70s/early 80s Spielberg films. Maybe you could criticise Abrams for being too Spielbergian and having few ideas of his own, but he does undoubtedly put his own mark on the film, once again demonstrating his skill as a character-focused storyteller. After the emotional first act and sensationally realised train crash, the plot does drag a little, and evil army officials seem a little too cliched to make particularly compelling antagonists (though using them does nod to E.T.) The creature itself is also not particularly memorable, but as already stated, Super 8 isn't about the monster, but about people. A very entertaining ride overall, just make sure you sit through the credits! Expand
  18. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    I'm really glad that I watched Super 8. It had a really interesting plot with surprisingly good acting by the young kids. The sci-fi mixed with horror worked well. The only real negative with the film, in my opinion, was the exaggerated Air Force. They were essentially the villains in this film and the actions of the Air Force just felt overdone and lazy. Overall though, it was definitelyI'm really glad that I watched Super 8. It had a really interesting plot with surprisingly good acting by the young kids. The sci-fi mixed with horror worked well. The only real negative with the film, in my opinion, was the exaggerated Air Force. They were essentially the villains in this film and the actions of the Air Force just felt overdone and lazy. Overall though, it was definitely very entertaining, felt original and fresh, and had good acting and development. Expand
  19. Aug 3, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. She believes him, but it's a school day, so "no T.V." the mother warns Elliott, who fakes being sick in order to stay home with the alien. Unbeknownst to Mary, whose husband had just recently bailed on her and their three children for sunny Mexico and another woman, there exists a subconscious reason as to why she forbids her son from watching television. Slowly but surely, she's turning into something else, something other than a mother. Later in "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial", Mary is in the kitchen with her daughter, unpacking the groceries while E.T., whom the mother presumes to be Gertie's imaginary friend, constantly avoids her notice, in spite of the little girl's vociferations. The domestic scene, on one level, is all about comic timing: the alien who wobbles right pass Mary while she's busy putting food away in the refrigerator, but "Super 8", with its subordinate homage to George Romero, coaxes out another level, which brings to mind the moment in his 1978 shocker "Dawn of the Dead", where the living dead traverse a parking lot as they make their descent upon a shopping mall, because, as one character observes, these non-people harbor memories still of what it meant to be alive. Just like these catatonic consumers who know the words but not the music of being human, Mary can't see E.T. because she's among the living dead(her philandering husband killed the old Mary), and is only going through the motions of being a mother. Suburban life has zombified her, exasperated by sexual displacement and the television(which just happens to be on at the time), the same factors that drains all the life out of socialite Cary Scott in "All That Heaven Allows", the 1956 melodrama that stealthily informs the Spielberg film, in which the genre-inspired dialectic is fully intergrated, narrative-wise, and not partitioned off as the film-within-the-film in "Super 8". Whereas Mary has a divorce impending, Cary(the names rhyme) is a widow, but both women are clearly one and the same, in regard to their negotiation between being a mother and a sexual being. In the Sirk film, Cary, dressed provocatively in a red dress at a get-together among the affluent, causes one partygoer to comment, "It's indecent to have two children and look as young as you do," while in E.T., Mary, who is acting as hostess to a party for Michael and his buddies, shimmies around in an orange kimono, enticing one of the boys to inch his extended finger toward her extended butt while she tends to the food. The gesture mirrors the one that E.T. uses to heal Elliott's finger, but that's not the sort of healing Mary needs, and certainly, Michael's friend is too young to provide it. For Halloween, Mary wears a cat suit, which would probably cause Cary's son to exclaim, "Holy cats, mother!"(his reaction to the red dress) and Cary's daughter to expound: "When we reach a certain age, sex becomes incongruous." In the absence of a man, Mary unconsciously flirts with Michael's friends because she needs to feel desirable again. They're about fifteen years her junior, the same chronological distance that exists between Cary and Kirby, the gardener who could rescue the widow from the zombie circuit of the Connecticut suburbs. A zombie, however, is what Cary's children feel comfortable with, so when they chase Kirby away, they buy their mother a sort of surrogate lover, a television set("the world's parade at your FINGERTIPS"), to keep her company. Conversely, it's the zombies themselves who come for Mary in the form of D.C. men outfitted in astronaut suits, invading the house "Night of the Living Dead"-style. Near the man crashing through the window blinds, the moviegoer pays special attention to the train-set moving along the circular track, an object suddenly foregrounded through its life-sized counterpart that the kids use in "The Case"(the zombie movie), forcing in the moviegoer a rethink of the way Spielberg portrays the suburbs in "E.T." as the golden wonderland of yesteryear, by its association with the darker "Super 8" where an entire subdivision is used as the setting for a war between the government and the alien, in which the whole neighborhood gets pounded good. In the Spielberg film, a government agent tells Elliott, "I'm glad he met you first," because had E.T. met the same fate as Aqua(who makes first contact with the millitary), "Super 8" suggests that bedlam would likely have followed. E.T. is good because Elliott is good; his telekinetic powers, at the employ of benevolence, could easily have turned Carrie-like if threatened, as is the case with Aqua, who grows up in government captivity. "Super 8" makes us realize that Elliott's friend, likewise, had the potential to kill. As suggested by the period setting of "The Case"(Charles has his leading man wear a fedora and trenchcoat), the children reject the notion that they're living in a golden age(ala "Midnight in Paris"). Expand
  20. May 17, 2015
    7
    The story was interesting and the acting from the kids was descent but,the movie seems very long and boring.There is a lot of unnecessary characters and the movie is not that entertaining but,it was still a good movie.
  21. Sep 17, 2011
    8
    I cannot tell if this film is a beautiful homage to the films of Spielberg or a film that stands on its on, a fully original entity which could stand up to Spielberg's films in a fight for the top spot. On the one hand, Super 8 (Directed by JJ Abrams) is so engrossing as a window into a mourning town but it also tells a thrilling coming of age tale because of its extremely talented groupI cannot tell if this film is a beautiful homage to the films of Spielberg or a film that stands on its on, a fully original entity which could stand up to Spielberg's films in a fight for the top spot. On the one hand, Super 8 (Directed by JJ Abrams) is so engrossing as a window into a mourning town but it also tells a thrilling coming of age tale because of its extremely talented group of actors. Elle Fanning's character is like an onion, with so many layers to her character helping the viewer to feel with her, that when you are finished peeling you are crying like a baby. Sure there is a science fiction element that harks back to Spielberg but its execution is to embrace what made those films so imaginative and use it to improve the experience, embracing the sense of wonder that Spielberg film did. The ending is the major payoff with a beautiful finale with an awe inspiring set piece, rousing music and a great sense of forgiveness and amazement. Expand
  22. Jun 27, 2011
    9
    The special effects in this movie were spectacular. The train wreck was amazing. The acting by the kids was very good. If you're looking for plausibility, this movie might not be for you. But if you're looking for a fun, good time at the movies, this movie certainly worked for me. It also had one scene where I almost jumped out of my seat! I won't spoil the scene but I wasn'tThe special effects in this movie were spectacular. The train wreck was amazing. The acting by the kids was very good. If you're looking for plausibility, this movie might not be for you. But if you're looking for a fun, good time at the movies, this movie certainly worked for me. It also had one scene where I almost jumped out of my seat! I won't spoil the scene but I wasn't expecting it and it definitely was the scariest moment I've had at a movie in a long time. This will be a blu-ray purchase when it comes out. The sounds and effects are spectacular. Great job by all involved. Expand
  23. Jun 29, 2013
    8
    This "kid-like" movie is as memorable as "The Goonies". This movie is wonderfully created with great acting and a surprisingly well made story. The kids are surprisingly amazing, especially Joel Courtney. I need to see him in more movies. Plus, the movie is surprisingly very emotional. All the elements play off each other very well. The one thing I don't really like is the fact the "mainThis "kid-like" movie is as memorable as "The Goonies". This movie is wonderfully created with great acting and a surprisingly well made story. The kids are surprisingly amazing, especially Joel Courtney. I need to see him in more movies. Plus, the movie is surprisingly very emotional. All the elements play off each other very well. The one thing I don't really like is the fact the "main purpose" of the story is based off of an unoriginal idea. I mean, aliens? Do we not have enough alien movies? But the way this movie is made, I ignore that fact and just enjoy this movie. Overall, with an unoriginal idea, it's still a kid-like movie that's not only interesting and well made movie, but also has heart. Expand
  24. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    Fantastic movie following a group of kids making a movie that gets interrupted when a train crashes in their town carrying some rather suspicious cargo. The young talented cast are all great but its the creative idea and two brilliant minds (Abrams & Spielberg) put together that make this an amazing film. The train crash scene alone is just spectacular but the final few scenes are alsoFantastic movie following a group of kids making a movie that gets interrupted when a train crashes in their town carrying some rather suspicious cargo. The young talented cast are all great but its the creative idea and two brilliant minds (Abrams & Spielberg) put together that make this an amazing film. The train crash scene alone is just spectacular but the final few scenes are also just amazing. Overall a stand-out film from 2011 and one of my favourites for this genre. Expand
  25. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    I did not know much about this movie going in, but loved it! It`s like Gonnies but different things going on. I love the characters and story. It was a fun movie to watch!
  26. Feb 12, 2014
    8
    This must have been one of the most faultless movies I've ever seen in my entire life, and I must say that the collaboration between J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg worked exemplary.

    The most spectacular thing about Super 8 is the amazing story, it's so interesting and eventful, and the tempo is so comfortable and calm. Super 8 got an interesting opening scene, and the movie overall
    This must have been one of the most faultless movies I've ever seen in my entire life, and I must say that the collaboration between J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg worked exemplary.

    The most spectacular thing about Super 8 is the amazing story, it's so interesting and eventful, and the tempo is so comfortable and calm. Super 8 got an interesting opening scene, and the movie overall felt very mysterious and unique, which I think is awesome. The actors in Super 8 are great, and I really enjoyed the childish environment between the characters in this movie, and overall did Super 8 feel exiting and eventful. Another great thing about Super 8 is the lens flares, I just love them so much, and the film is very well made, and the story never felt boring at any time.
    There isn't much bad things about Super 8 actually, and I must say I love Michael Giacchino's music, but in Super 8 they weren't that much spectacular music as there is in his previous works, but it's still great. There is another bad thing about Super 8, and it´s the ending, and I think it's a wonderful ending, but they might could have done more.
    Super 8 is an enormous good movie, and I think it's extremely hard to find flaws in this movie, and it might not be one of the best movies ever, but it's still a great flawless movie.

    Super 8 gets a 8,5/10
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  27. Aug 27, 2011
    7
    The movie is good, if we compare with the bombs that are coming to the cinema lately, but the problem is that Super 8 was meant to be an homage to Spielberg, and it seems that only served for that. A blend of all scenes of the biggest hits of the magician of the cinema, and this, unfortunately, only served to remind us of all the amazing things that the filmmaker presented over the years,The movie is good, if we compare with the bombs that are coming to the cinema lately, but the problem is that Super 8 was meant to be an homage to Spielberg, and it seems that only served for that. A blend of all scenes of the biggest hits of the magician of the cinema, and this, unfortunately, only served to remind us of all the amazing things that the filmmaker presented over the years, however by the end of the projection, I got the feeling that what I had just seen was good, but it had a lack of ET's quality. Actually what I liked most was to see the return of a science fiction movie starring children, because ultimately it was restricted only to fantasy. Well, but the similarities stop there. In the end, it was worthy for the memories, not a film that will be in people's minds for a long time, unlike the stories that Spielberg could tell us so well in the past. Expand
  28. Apr 23, 2015
    9
    Super 8 is an homage by its writer/director, J.J. Abrams, to its producer, Steven Spielberg. It's also a love letter to all those with a passion for filmmaking that emerges at a young age. Super 8 is the kind of high-profile movie we so rarely see these days: an original story (not a sequel, spin-off, re-boot, or adaptation) in 2-D. The special effects are state-of-the-art (would anyoneSuper 8 is an homage by its writer/director, J.J. Abrams, to its producer, Steven Spielberg. It's also a love letter to all those with a passion for filmmaking that emerges at a young age. Super 8 is the kind of high-profile movie we so rarely see these days: an original story (not a sequel, spin-off, re-boot, or adaptation) in 2-D. The special effects are state-of-the-art (would anyone expect anything different from an Abrams/Spielberg collaboration?) but are not used gratuitously. Unlike many science fiction features, this one puts the characters before the monsters and the big bangs. Abrams remembers the simple rule that a majority of his contemporaries have forgotten: action and mayhem have meaning only when an audience cares about the people trapped within the maelstrom.

    Abrams brings an element of biography to Super 8, recalling the days when he, like many future filmmakers inspired by the crop of visionary directors exploding onto the scene in the late '70s and early '80s, borrowed his parents' Super 8 camera and made a "movie." Setting the action in 1979 also allows for a dose of well-earned nostalgia when it comes to music, clothing, attitudes, and technology. The Super 8 camera is, of course, an artifact of the past (today's kids use smart phones to get their cinematic feet wet), but one cherished by many. Without the Super 8, would there have been a Spielberg, a Francis Ford Coppola, or a George Lucas?

    One obvious lesson learned by Abrams from Spielberg has its roots in Jaws: when it comes to the monster, less is more. To that end, until it comes time for the "big reveal," the creature is glimpsed only briefly. Even during an attack on a bus (which recalls the T-Rex rampage in Jurassic Park), the camera avoids lingering on the monster. With Jaws, this was a happy accident, necessitated by the fact that the fake shark looked too silly to put on screen for long. With Super 8 and its refined special effects, it's a deliberate decision.

    The relationships among the kids represent the movie's heart and soul. These six friends act toward one another in much the way real nerdy adolescents do. There's the dominance of Charles, the rivalry between Charles and Joe for Alice's attention, and the emergence of Joe as the unlikely hero. Home life also comes into it, with Charles' large, bustling family being contrasted with the contentious relationships between Joe and his police officer dad, Jack (Kyle Chandler), and Alice and her disreputable father, Louis (Ron Eldard). As with so many movies focused on youthful protagonists, however, the adults are of secondary concern, functioning more as plot devices than fully fleshed out individuals.

    In a way, Super 8 offers to today's generation of movie-goers a hint of what it was like for those of my generation to go to a theater during the '70s and '80s and experience the latest product of Spielberg's imagination and skill. Over the years, Spielberg has matured as a filmmaker but some of his best endeavors remain those when he was still experimenting as he perfected his craft. Perhaps that's where Abrams is today and, by looking back to Spielberg, he is establishing his own course forward. Super 8 is in many ways a perfect summer movie: smart, exciting, heartfelt, and suffused with nostalgia. It's a great thing to see a motion picture spectacle that does not require a temporary lobotomy for gratification.
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  29. Jun 18, 2011
    9
    This movie is all character development. by the end of the film you are so attached to the characters you don't want the movie to end. Best summer blockbuster so far
  30. Jun 12, 2011
    9
    This film was almost picture perfect in my opinion. The acting was veryyyyy good throughout the entire movie, especially by newcomer Joel Courtney who plays a boy named Joe Lamb who tries to get over the trauma of losing his mom and repair the relationship with his father. Taking us through an alien attack and mass destruction of the town along the way. It was pretty much like E.T. but aThis film was almost picture perfect in my opinion. The acting was veryyyyy good throughout the entire movie, especially by newcomer Joel Courtney who plays a boy named Joe Lamb who tries to get over the trauma of losing his mom and repair the relationship with his father. Taking us through an alien attack and mass destruction of the town along the way. It was pretty much like E.T. but a more adult like version. Their was comedy, their was drama, and their was action, its had all three, and it did all three very well. My only compaint about this film is the train crash. No way in hell would a pickup truck cause that much damage to a train. At the speed the train was going it would slice right through the truck like a knife with butter, and the guy driving the pickup truck, he survived? How is that possible at all, even in science fiction/ fantasy, its just not possible. Thats the only reason I gave it a 9 and not a 10. Other than the high unrealism of the train crash, this movie was amazing, great acting, amazing action, and overall super 8 is a superb film. Expand
  31. Nov 7, 2011
    10
    The most interesting and exciting movie of the year. Super 8 deserves five star rating. Why? Because it's impressive, thrills, emotional, sweet, and scary.
  32. Aug 18, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Loved this movie ! I cant even take my eye of for a second . what is not to like ? J.J. Abrams & Spielberg did it again . Its not just tipical teen movie ! They have mixed Teen & Si-fi so amazingly ! The actors were also good ! Joel Courtney(Joe Lamb) was a little week !
    Riley Griffiths(Charles) did good job as a bossy friend ! The others were also good except for Elle Fanning(Alice Dainard)
    when i was seeing this movie i was like are you freaking kidding me? She is just 13 ? i cant believe it ? Her acting was like freaking awesome ! i watched Dakota's (Elle's sister in real life)most of the movies so first i thought she couldn't be better then her ! but she really surprised me a
    lot ! her acting is awesome ! [Look out Dakota ur baby sis is passing you]
    and not to mention she looked very beautiful ! spoilers !!!! At the begining of the movie where the kids were filming the movie that I Love You part she nailed it spoilers !!!! . SO OVERALL [out of ten]

    Story : 1.7/2 [Awesome mixture with teen and si-fi]
    Directing : 1.7/2 [j.j.A 's one of the best entry]
    Acting : 1.6/2 [whole 1 point is for Elle coz of Joel the rating is low]
    Sound : 1.3/2 [i didnt like the soundtracks & the musics .wasn't good]
    Edit & Effect : 1.8/2 [That train accident was beyond awesome]

    Overall 8.1 out of 10
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  33. Jun 13, 2011
    7
    A good film in a sort of Goonie-esque, E.T sort of way. I had very large expectations for this film, but was ultimately, slightly disappointed. While I greatly enjoyed it, I found the first 3/4 of the film to be very slow, though much credit is due for character development. I wasn't blown away.....and quite frankly, I expected to be. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised of howA good film in a sort of Goonie-esque, E.T sort of way. I had very large expectations for this film, but was ultimately, slightly disappointed. While I greatly enjoyed it, I found the first 3/4 of the film to be very slow, though much credit is due for character development. I wasn't blown away.....and quite frankly, I expected to be. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised of how touching this film can be and how original those moments are. Expand
  34. Jul 21, 2012
    8
    I do not normally enjoy films with children as the main protagonists but this film was extremely enjoyable. I felt a weird sense of nostalgia despite the fact that I was born in the early 90s and pretty much have no idea about things like a Super 8 camera. J.J. Abrams is quickly becoming one of my favourite people in the world of cinema.
  35. Aug 23, 2011
    9
    L'un des grands maîtres du blockbuster américain, J.J Abrams (Mission : Impossible 3 et Star Trek), nous livre son film personnel, sous la houlette du géant Steven Spielberg. A se demander si ce n'est pas ce dernier qui a réalisé Super 8, tant on ressent la patte du réalisateur. Et pourtant, ce blockbuster estL'un des grands maîtres du blockbuster américain, J.J Abrams (Mission : Impossible 3 et Star Trek), nous livre son film personnel, sous la houlette du géant Steven Spielberg. A se demander si ce n'est pas ce dernier qui a réalisé Super 8, tant on ressent la patte du réalisateur. Et pourtant, ce blockbuster est bien l'oeuvre de Abrams, jonchée de références de son mentor (E.T. l'Extra-Terrestre, Les Goonies, Rencontres du Troisième Types...). Et bien que le scénario se base sur une histoire de monstre, c'est pour mettre en scène des personnages intelligemment travaillés et interprétés. En gros, Abrams nous livre son enfance et son amour pour le cinéma et les seventies. Quelques défaillances sont à notées (la scène du train qui déraille est vraiment démesurée) mais devant ce film à la bonne mise en scène et aux effets visuels de toute beauté, on ne peut que crier "SUPER". Expand
  36. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    Super 8 was very awesome and one of the best summer blockbuster films of the year. Spielberg and Abrams work very perspective in th way that Steven Spielberg made other films that connect into alien invasion and the atmosphere of every terrestrial scenery at the same time. It has great acting, great scenes, great explosions, great chills, great people, great thrills, great music, and greatSuper 8 was very awesome and one of the best summer blockbuster films of the year. Spielberg and Abrams work very perspective in th way that Steven Spielberg made other films that connect into alien invasion and the atmosphere of every terrestrial scenery at the same time. It has great acting, great scenes, great explosions, great chills, great people, great thrills, great music, and great cinematography. That's what we expected to see that some other movies take time that it gets too overrated too much, but I can honestly say that for me was fantastic that it doesn't get too boredem to watch and happy to see it again. Well done for JJ Abram's film that brings a good idea and thanks to Spielberg to bring back some memories that we've seen his films that gets too exciting. Expand
  37. Jun 20, 2011
    7
    Although it ended up being another Spielberg alien flick, it took a different route and course to get there. That made it more interesting and more enjoyable. I was never bored except for the Spielberg ending which I anticipated. This is one of the better summer escape movies. Better than X-Men.
  38. Apr 23, 2012
    7
    Despite the Spielberg style ending, and the general emotion that can sometimes feel a little soppy, this piece has enough force and passion within it to convince me that it is more than just another E.T. This has a beautiful soul compared to all the other schmaltzy style films. I love it how they blended together the effect of the destruction and the simplicity of characters survivingDespite the Spielberg style ending, and the general emotion that can sometimes feel a little soppy, this piece has enough force and passion within it to convince me that it is more than just another E.T. This has a beautiful soul compared to all the other schmaltzy style films. I love it how they blended together the effect of the destruction and the simplicity of characters surviving together as one. I could perhaps suggest that the film is perhaps symbolism, not just for the destruction and isolation of different households of people in society, but also how they are constructed. The only criticism of the film though, is the spirit that Spielberg put a little too whole-heartedly into it. Still deserves to be top though - the effects were beautiful, and I found it a little chilling despite its rating. Expand
  39. Mar 26, 2012
    7
    The films basic message is to let things go and move on regardless of how bad your past events were. While at the same time it is about adventure and helping each other out. â
  40. Feb 10, 2012
    8
    Loved it. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is but this movie just has this magical feeling to it that only classics have. I know that sounds dumb but that's how I feel. I think it ended a bit abruptly and you only see the monster for a short bit but still this will go down as a classic for sure.
  41. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    Check out my video review here: http://youtu.be/Yrt82fDRCA0 With dazzling special effects and set design this is more then just a monster flick. It is the greatest monster flick ever! A picture perfect period piece and not too much alien this film will satisfy any audience member who watches it. It's and better, more advanced, twenty-first century telling of E.T. (With a little more frightCheck out my video review here: http://youtu.be/Yrt82fDRCA0 With dazzling special effects and set design this is more then just a monster flick. It is the greatest monster flick ever! A picture perfect period piece and not too much alien this film will satisfy any audience member who watches it. It's and better, more advanced, twenty-first century telling of E.T. (With a little more fright and a little less family fun) Expand
  42. Dec 11, 2011
    7
    "Super 8" ensembles an amazing and competent young cast and relies on a perfect pace and nostalgic tone. I know it's a tribute to Spielberg and to the sci-fi movies of the past century but, the whole story sounded like: " Haven't I see that before?
  43. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    An excellent, old school piece of film making from the director of Star Trek. Reminiscent of the Goonies in parts, with a sprinkling of horror and violence. Spot on special effects, believable characters, and a quite funny in parts. My only gripe was the occasional lashing of ultra sentimentality that seem to plague most of the films Spielberg is involved in. Almost snapped by heartAn excellent, old school piece of film making from the director of Star Trek. Reminiscent of the Goonies in parts, with a sprinkling of horror and violence. Spot on special effects, believable characters, and a quite funny in parts. My only gripe was the occasional lashing of ultra sentimentality that seem to plague most of the films Spielberg is involved in. Almost snapped by heart strings once or twice, ruining the experience, But on the whole - brilliant. Expand
  44. Jun 18, 2011
    8
    great movie. it was good. great acting. but it reminded me of e.t at the end of the movie. other than that prepared to be scared and entertained. special effects were good.
  45. Jul 18, 2013
    9
    This film feels like Spielberg classics 'Close Encounters,' 'E.T.' and 'The Goonies' packed into one. It has great acting, beautiful cinematography and a touching story that can also be quite intensely scary. Overall, it is a very entertaining film.
  46. Jun 14, 2011
    8
    Super 8 was visually stunning, well acted, and a lot of fun as well as well written for the first hour and 35 minutes or so. However, the ending was disappointing and cliche. The ending really brought down the score of the movie for me, but nonetheless, it is still a summer movie worth seeing.
  47. Dec 10, 2012
    8
    Super 8 is one of the best alien films to hit theatres in recent years- J.J. Abrams does a great job keeping you thoroughly interested in the story while providing enough tension to quicken the pace of the plot just enough. Well done.
  48. Jun 16, 2011
    8
    Where can I start ! There's so much positive things about this movie. I like the fact that it's a movie with kids, that's not kiddy. J.J. Abrams did a terrific job directing the film, like every scene was perfect and coherent. The kids were awesome. Sometimes they were having this funny conversation, like if they were adults. '' Super 8 '' kind of reminds me a little bit of '' CloverfieldWhere can I start ! There's so much positive things about this movie. I like the fact that it's a movie with kids, that's not kiddy. J.J. Abrams did a terrific job directing the film, like every scene was perfect and coherent. The kids were awesome. Sometimes they were having this funny conversation, like if they were adults. '' Super 8 '' kind of reminds me a little bit of '' Cloverfield ", because of the fact that we only see the alien at the end. The dialogue is well written. The level of suspense is exiting. You can easily get absorb into the story and trying to figure it out. There's nothing really special about this movie, it's just enjoyable. Expand
  49. Sep 23, 2012
    10
    The best movie Steven Spielberg has made since "Jurassic Park". Super 8 was an amazing adventure with a revolutionary plot, great action, and some really good characters, even if they are children. Super 8 was a great adventure, like "ET" mixed with "Alien".
  50. Jun 12, 2011
    7
    Super 8 is jam-packed with dazzling visual effects, good acting, great sets, and many throwbacks to Speilberg's earlier films. That said, Super 8 isn't perfect and has a few problems I didn't manage to overlook. Any person in film or theater knows that tone is one of the most important parts to any production, but Super 8 seems unsure of itself and keeps changing the tone from horror toSuper 8 is jam-packed with dazzling visual effects, good acting, great sets, and many throwbacks to Speilberg's earlier films. That said, Super 8 isn't perfect and has a few problems I didn't manage to overlook. Any person in film or theater knows that tone is one of the most important parts to any production, but Super 8 seems unsure of itself and keeps changing the tone from horror to magical. Moving on, Super 8 is entertaining, and that's the most important part of this review. It's the first good film of the summer and one of the first summer blockbusters I've liked in years. Expand
  51. Aug 10, 2012
    8
    Something of a genre mash-up between E.T. and a midnight creature-feature, this film successfully walks the tight rope well by providing us with empathetic, three dimensional characters.
  52. Nov 29, 2011
    9
    Full of wonder, excitement, feeling, tension, first love, doing the right thing, opposing our parents and everything that goes with the imagination we had as children. It's great to see that some adults still have it and can share it with us. Thanks team!
  53. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    Super 8 is brilliant, it's just so good! How could anyone not like it, it's got a spectacular, interesting and thought out well plot, good acting, good character building, cool and different aliens and really exciting and tense action sequences. Why have so many people given this movie a five or lower, I just don't get it. It's very original and it's very clever and well made. I trulySuper 8 is brilliant, it's just so good! How could anyone not like it, it's got a spectacular, interesting and thought out well plot, good acting, good character building, cool and different aliens and really exciting and tense action sequences. Why have so many people given this movie a five or lower, I just don't get it. It's very original and it's very clever and well made. I truly recommend this film to you if you haven't seen it already. I had a choice out of getting transformers: dark of the moon on DVD or this, and I chose this, what a wise choice I made. Expand
  54. Aug 16, 2011
    8
    I suppose it couldnt live up to the hype but I still enjoyed it. You would have to be at least 25 appreciate it though and able to remember a time before the internet. A time where kids go out and "play". If you have seen previous JJ Abrams (Lost and Cloverfield) and Steven Spielberg (E.T and Close Encounters) will also help you appreciate it. Think of this as more a love letter to a timeI suppose it couldnt live up to the hype but I still enjoyed it. You would have to be at least 25 appreciate it though and able to remember a time before the internet. A time where kids go out and "play". If you have seen previous JJ Abrams (Lost and Cloverfield) and Steven Spielberg (E.T and Close Encounters) will also help you appreciate it. Think of this as more a love letter to a time and movies that we all have a soft spot for than a summer blockbuster. Expand
  55. Jul 2, 2012
    8
    "Super 8" is a sweet and thoughtful love letter to the art of filmmaking, but its advertisements has cunningly disguised it as a monster-infested thriller. Though elements of a sci-fi movie are found here, "Super 8" shines the most when its settles down for simple storytelling, which has unfortunately become an uncommon service from big-budgeted, modern-day Hollywood.
    It is summer break
    "Super 8" is a sweet and thoughtful love letter to the art of filmmaking, but its advertisements has cunningly disguised it as a monster-infested thriller. Though elements of a sci-fi movie are found here, "Super 8" shines the most when its settles down for simple storytelling, which has unfortunately become an uncommon service from big-budgeted, modern-day Hollywood.
    It is summer break for the students of the small town of Lillian, Ohio, and a pack of youngsters set out to make a zombie movie of their own. The director is a brisk and lively Charles, who commands his cast and crew as if he's paying them in return for their cooperation. But Charles' allowance isn't what these kids want. For Cary, he
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  56. Feb 11, 2013
    7
    Of the JJ Abrahms films I have seen to date this is by far his best. Ok I'm not a fan, but this was ok. I enjoyed it. A little of (producer) Steven Speilberg's classic juxtaposition of the domestic-suburban with the supernatural. Kinda two movies smooshed into one, but still an enjoyable watch.
  57. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    This movie's story is absolutely brilliant, the characters are played so well, and the atmosphere is so overwhelming that it sucks you into the movie, making sure not to let you go until the end
  58. Jun 21, 2011
    10
    Super 8 was probably my most anticipated movie of the summer, and it didn't dissapoint one bit. Super 8 is simply.....amazing. Like many people, I grew up with classic Spielberg movies, so having that nostalgia come back was a great feeling. JJ Abrams is one of the best directors out there right now. He does a phenomal job with the action and visuals, but knows to push those in the theSuper 8 was probably my most anticipated movie of the summer, and it didn't dissapoint one bit. Super 8 is simply.....amazing. Like many people, I grew up with classic Spielberg movies, so having that nostalgia come back was a great feeling. JJ Abrams is one of the best directors out there right now. He does a phenomal job with the action and visuals, but knows to push those in the the background so the characters, story, and emotion are the main focus. Surprisingly, the kids were my favorite part of the movie. They were great, funny, and did a great job with the emotional scenes. My favorites would have to be Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. The suspense JJ Abrams creates, especially in the last 1/2 hour, is so intense to the point where I could've had a heart attack. Lastly, the characters are so well developed and the whole movie is very touching. So overall, Super 8 is my favorite movie of the year, so great, if you haven't, see it right now. Expand
  59. Aug 26, 2012
    7
    Super 8 feels like a bit of a mixed bag. While it's never boring, most of it isn't as interesting as it should have been. The scenes involving the monster are well crafted and tense, while the scenes involving the human characters never really soar that much. All of the performances are fine, but it would have been nice if the film focused more on the dilemma that the small town is goingSuper 8 feels like a bit of a mixed bag. While it's never boring, most of it isn't as interesting as it should have been. The scenes involving the monster are well crafted and tense, while the scenes involving the human characters never really soar that much. All of the performances are fine, but it would have been nice if the film focused more on the dilemma that the small town is going through rather than the small dilemmas that the kids were going through. It's a fine movie, but not as good as I expected. Expand
  60. Jul 26, 2015
    8
    It moves fast at first, keeping the viewer enthralled and guessing, but looses some of that momentum to a predictable and cheesy ending. However the movie is still for the most part intelligent and fun enough to make it higher end summer entertainment
  61. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    If you haven't seen Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or any CG monster movie you will like this movie. If you have seen any of those you will know it is a 2nd rate retread of those movies; down it the characters, the editing, the lighting. What is so surprizing is that there is so little original in this movie. It was almost as if they needed another product to get out the doorIf you haven't seen Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or any CG monster movie you will like this movie. If you have seen any of those you will know it is a 2nd rate retread of those movies; down it the characters, the editing, the lighting. What is so surprizing is that there is so little original in this movie. It was almost as if they needed another product to get out the door until the real movie they want to do is ready for production. There were times I seriously considered getting up and walking out because it became just too slow, draggy, and predictable. Expand
  62. May 8, 2015
    9
    We need to talk about Steven. You might consider it grossly unfair to compare any director to one of the medium’s greatest exponents, but J. J. Abrams is asking for it. Not only has he persuaded Steven Spielberg to serve as producer on his latest film — encouragingly neither sequel, prequel, nor attempt to deodorise a stale franchise — but the very film the tenderfoot filmmaker has writtenWe need to talk about Steven. You might consider it grossly unfair to compare any director to one of the medium’s greatest exponents, but J. J. Abrams is asking for it. Not only has he persuaded Steven Spielberg to serve as producer on his latest film — encouragingly neither sequel, prequel, nor attempt to deodorise a stale franchise — but the very film the tenderfoot filmmaker has written and directed is a fan letter to the spirit of early Spielberg. The kind of cinematic telepathy, touching hearts and minds, that gave us Jaws, Close Encounters and E. T.. This is less covering The Beatles than growing a mop top, strapping on a Hofner bass and channelling an irresistibly catchy synthesis of R&B, rock ’n’ roll and Liverpudlian charisma.

    Over the next 112 minutes, a motherless boy and his staunch gang of misshapen buddies (a Bash Street arrangement of cute, thin, fat, clever and pyromaniac) will face the great questions of life: how to talk to girls, how to get production values on your DIY zombie flick, and what to do when a despondent alien is deposited, care of an elaborate derailment, in your backyard. As set in 1979, an age crystallised as Spielberg’s imaginary playground. Fathers will struggle to fathom their mooncalf offspring, while confused townsfolk are shipped off in school buses amid a faceless military lockdown. There’s even a POV shot from the creature’s perspective, parting bushes to gaze upon the small-town setting, its jewelled streetlights flaring fetchingly in the lens. Prosecution rests.

    To cut the film a significant break — and it’s a strong movie — if you’re going to homage, why not follow in the sneaker-steps of the master? A faithfully rearticulated sense of wonder coats Super 8 like varnish — an old-fashioned need to strike emotional chords over the modern urge to plunge headlong into excitement at all costs. A personal blockbuster in honour of the greatest of all personal blockbustermakers.

    So we also need to talk about J. J.. Super 8 is to a degree autobiographical (about the whole alien visitation thing, he remains tight-lipped). He was that junior filmmaker with a chunky Super 8, brought up on Spielberg and Lucas, just as you know these kids have gobbled up Star Wars and Close Encounters (and snuck into a few Romeros). He transplants his New Jersey youth to a blue-collar Ohio town named Lillian significantly on the down (a chime of modern concerns), where Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) still struggles with the death of his adoring mother in a mill accident. His father, the town’s stoic deputy (Kyle Chandler), is faring worse, flinching from his son’s grief. A familiar refrain for anyone who caught Lost and Star Trek (or E. T.) — the legacy of the absentee parent.

    Thankfully, the kids are more than alright. They’re fabulous: yearningly fresh-faced and infantile, effortlessly colliding with the Brownian motion of a boyhood of in-jokes, flash sulks and bike-rides through the balmy sunlight of possibility (a mood as much redolent of Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me as Spielberg). En masse, they stand in tremulous awe at Elle Fanning’s Alice (spookily reminiscent of Erika Eleniak in E. T.), who has agreed to co-star in their endeavours, revealing a startling ability to, like, act. She’s also a precious commodity for Abrams: the budding romance between Joe and Alice gives the film its heartbeat. Both are caught in the slipstream of wounded fathers, Joel’s tragedy movingly intertwined with Alice’s fragmenting family.

    Is it significant that Super 8 is a film without mothers? Nothing here carries the emotional wallop of E. T.’s Dee Wallace finding a literal alien in her home, her reaction overwhelmingly human — to wrench her son away from the unknown. To protect. We are yanked beyond the bounds of science-fiction by the force of maternal instinct. Super 8 never relinquishes its movieness. Where Spielberg mingled the extraordinary with a verifiable suburbia, Abrams works at one remove, locating the extraordinary in Spielbergia. The magic comes lovingly pre-packaged. Idealised. We obediently bask in its glow, but nothing startles us.

    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.
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  63. Dec 15, 2011
    7
    Besides the fact that this might be one of Abrams' weaker films, "Super 8" is a highly entertaining sci-fi adventure. One of its biggest strengths is what it chooses to focus on. Instead of focusing on the alien itself or the massive destruction the creature causes, Abrams chooses to center in on his main characters; a rag tag group of film making teens who get caught up in their town'sBesides the fact that this might be one of Abrams' weaker films, "Super 8" is a highly entertaining sci-fi adventure. One of its biggest strengths is what it chooses to focus on. Instead of focusing on the alien itself or the massive destruction the creature causes, Abrams chooses to center in on his main characters; a rag tag group of film making teens who get caught up in their town's hysteria. It's in these characters where "Super 8" stands above most alien invasion movies. And while the action isn't the main focus, it certainly is impressive. The train sequence at the beginning is an amazing special effects achievement, and it's definitely one of the most exhilarating sequences so far this year. For those of you who don't know, this movie was made as a way of honoring the work of Steven Spielberg. It feels like a Spielberg movie from the alien invading plot to the way it focuses on the kids' experiences in frightful times. It's kind of a mix between E.T. and Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, "Super 8" isn't nearly as strong as those films, but it's satisfying nonetheless. The flaws are mostly minor as the movie shifts its tone a few too many times, and the ending doesn't fit with the rest of the movie. There's also moments where the movie feels a little too familiar. We have the father and son who are dealing with the grief of a dead wife/mother in a conflicting way, as well as the secret government army intent on keeping a lid over the whole situation. Abrams just isn't quite able to make it feel fresh enough to surprise us. But overall, if you're wanting to see a movie that's worth the 8 dollar ticket stub, this is definitely the way to go. Expand
  64. Feb 6, 2012
    8
    Super 8 immediately remembered me to the brilliant adventure movies from my childhood like The Goonies or Stand By Me. JJ Abrams did what I thought never would be back again - wounderful adventure movies for the whole family. They were missing for almost 10 years and I hope he opened the gate for more films like this. Thank you Mr. Abrams!
  65. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    This film has more heart than any film could ever wish for. J.J. Abrams has proved yet again why he is the next Spielberg. You won't see another movie like this in a very long time, a film like this with a story so well structured should be praised forever.
  66. Dec 27, 2011
    9
    Never really had high expectations with Super 8. Ever since I saw the trailer I have almost decided not to watch it thinking that it would just be another blockbuster and quality-deficient. However, I saw the movie this morning and realized how bad my early impressions about it were. The movie had something to offer that I nearly missed. The sound, the visual effects, the story, and ofNever really had high expectations with Super 8. Ever since I saw the trailer I have almost decided not to watch it thinking that it would just be another blockbuster and quality-deficient. However, I saw the movie this morning and realized how bad my early impressions about it were. The movie had something to offer that I nearly missed. The sound, the visual effects, the story, and of course; the kids! They were just amazing! Must see for kids and kids at heart. Had a Good Time!

    movienotesbook.blogspot.com
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  67. Aug 29, 2011
    8
    I loved this film ... and I am old enough to remember watching The Goonies when a youngster. This is Goonies for the modern generation but more visceral, surreal and serious. If I ignore the somewhat generic references and existence of an alien being, the actual character development and interaction is what appealed to me far more.
    And it was the kids whose acting made this film an intense
    I loved this film ... and I am old enough to remember watching The Goonies when a youngster. This is Goonies for the modern generation but more visceral, surreal and serious. If I ignore the somewhat generic references and existence of an alien being, the actual character development and interaction is what appealed to me far more.
    And it was the kids whose acting made this film an intense watch, whilst all adult acting seemed to be purposefully dumbed down, or just truly lethargic and wooden in comparison.
    Elle Fanning is every bit as good a young actress as her sister Dakota, and really shone for me. As did the youngsters - Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths. I sincerely hope that all 3 grow to become mainstays of future cinema like Michael Cera, Ellen Page, Freddie Highmore etc.
    All in all - a greatly entertaining film with possibly the MOST frightening and visceral sound design and FX I have ever heard at a cinema. One seen specifically took my breath away and actually instilled a sense of nervousness within me!
    Expand
  68. Jun 19, 2011
    7
    I thought this movie was incredible. Easily one of the best this year. J.J Abrams does a good job of keeping the mysterious thing hidden until the end of the movie. At the end you will understand what Spielberg had to do with the film
  69. Jul 12, 2011
    9
    Are you bored and looking for a good movie this summer? Then pay for tickets for Super 8, an amazing movie that seems like a semi-sequel to E.T. The characters are memorable, and the special effects and acting are top-notch.
  70. Oct 18, 2011
    8
    Another masterpiece from one of the best directors of all time. Super 8 is a great movie filled with suspense. This movie should appeal to a lot of people, as it fits into different genres. There's some scary parts, some funny parts, and some action filled parts. On the whole, the movie is to be taken seriously. It's a film I recommend to any movie lover and is played well by the youngAnother masterpiece from one of the best directors of all time. Super 8 is a great movie filled with suspense. This movie should appeal to a lot of people, as it fits into different genres. There's some scary parts, some funny parts, and some action filled parts. On the whole, the movie is to be taken seriously. It's a film I recommend to any movie lover and is played well by the young actors. It's not your usual alien film, it's a heck of a lot better! Expand
  71. Jun 12, 2011
    7
    This movie was certainly entertaining. The cast was the main ingredient in keeping it together. The revealing of the mysterious factors of the movie really ruined it for me though. Overall, it was a great movie nonetheless.
  72. Jun 16, 2011
    9
    I really enjoyed this movie. I went into this film not expecting much, not very many good movies have come out recently, and this movie is great. It reminds me of the classic movies from my child hood.
  73. Jun 24, 2011
    8
    A great summer blockbuster. It took elements of many of Steven Spielberg's older movies (maybe a little heavy on the E.T. there, Stevie) and it ended making another classic on his part. It was entertaining, but still had depth in character development and plot, as well as a great script.The only complaints I have here are a bit of an over the top train crash and a cheesy "he just wants toA great summer blockbuster. It took elements of many of Steven Spielberg's older movies (maybe a little heavy on the E.T. there, Stevie) and it ended making another classic on his part. It was entertaining, but still had depth in character development and plot, as well as a great script.The only complaints I have here are a bit of an over the top train crash and a cheesy "he just wants to go home" speech by the main character. Definitely the movie to go see right now. Expand
  74. Jun 13, 2011
    9
    Fantastic film. Has everything for everyone. Humor, Thrills, Family, etc. The characters are relatable and full of life. It is not too concentrated with any film elements. An almost perfect film.
  75. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    This movie was alot of fun! if youve seen E.T, The Sandlot, and aliens. Just MIX them all together and you get SUPER 8 a witty, fun movie that has its share of action! this movie made me feel like i was in the 80's. it took me back and it was so AMAZING! i loved it. the cast, the direction, the story, it was a bit cheesy towards the end. but still really great MOVIE! and i cant wait tillThis movie was alot of fun! if youve seen E.T, The Sandlot, and aliens. Just MIX them all together and you get SUPER 8 a witty, fun movie that has its share of action! this movie made me feel like i was in the 80's. it took me back and it was so AMAZING! i loved it. the cast, the direction, the story, it was a bit cheesy towards the end. but still really great MOVIE! and i cant wait till it comes out on blu-ray. Expand
  76. Jun 11, 2011
    8
    A monster movie that focuses more on character development than hammering the audience with visual spectacle. J.J. Abrams has taken great care into building a teen angst story that you can empathize with. Yes, it's a tribute to the Spielberg films of old, but it works on its own as an engaging and heartwarming tale of forgiveness. It's an imaginative tale that will delight your inner child.
  77. 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 elementsSuper 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. Expand
  78. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    Put Goonies, Cloverfield, and E.T. in a blender, mix gently, and out pops Super 8. There's so much magic going on in this film that even an IMAX screen could barely contain all the action. I just loved the nostalgia that coats so many frames of Super 8. If you love movies, you will at least like this one. If you are expecting a sci-fi extravaganza, that's not the point here. This onePut Goonies, Cloverfield, and E.T. in a blender, mix gently, and out pops Super 8. There's so much magic going on in this film that even an IMAX screen could barely contain all the action. I just loved the nostalgia that coats so many frames of Super 8. If you love movies, you will at least like this one. If you are expecting a sci-fi extravaganza, that's not the point here. This one is all about youth and adventure. Stick around for the closing credits. I hope you put Super 8 high up on your summer viewing list. A full price evening admission wouldn't even deter me from seeing this one. Highly recommended! Expand
  79. Aug 23, 2011
    8
    A super fun time at the movies, suspenseful. and fine performances. Super 8 pulls you in with it's action and it's kid stars. But Super 8 lacks story, plus I wasn't emotionally attached to it like I was to the other Spielberg films it was trying to be. Overall a great time at the movies, but it was trying too hard to be a classic Spielberg film. I didn't care for the alien at all. And itA super fun time at the movies, suspenseful. and fine performances. Super 8 pulls you in with it's action and it's kid stars. But Super 8 lacks story, plus I wasn't emotionally attached to it like I was to the other Spielberg films it was trying to be. Overall a great time at the movies, but it was trying too hard to be a classic Spielberg film. I didn't care for the alien at all. And it was a bit cheesy, but it was a lot of fun. J.J has done better though. "Super 8" gets just an 8. Not a super 8. Expand
  80. Jul 2, 2011
    10
    A simple perfect summer movie with a very interesting story. Suitable for all age groups go for it. The main thing is its theme like 70's retro classic movie. Simply superb.
  81. Jul 17, 2011
    9
    Well-cast, well-written, fast-paced, well-directed, exciting, fun, believably unbelievable. A great effort, well worth a $9 ticket. The Air Force 'bad guys' get their come-uppance, fathers become closer to their children, young heroes discover their strengths. What's not to like?
  82. Oct 10, 2012
    8
    Super 8 is another blockbuster from director JJ Abrams (Star Trek), and does deliver with funny characters, great special affects, and slick set pieces. An overall fun and enjoyable movie about the world we live(d) in, and the veil of secrecy/transparency that so often tries to cloak it.
  83. Jun 13, 2011
    9
    This is a sweet, entertaining, enjoyable movie. Plenty of action but also a good story line and enough development of the characters to make you interested in them. The young actors did a great job, and so did the adult actors. There were a couple of glitches that I caught in the action sequences but nothing that looked sloppy and ruined the movie. All in all, very good.
  84. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    Two years ago, J.J. Abrams gave us the breathtaking film, Star Trek. Two years later, Abrams gives us the best original film in a long time. The acting in this film is brilliant, especially the kids! The story in this film is very simple and put together well. The visuals in this film were stunning and the direction this film went in was very well done. This is the best movie of 2011 thusTwo years ago, J.J. Abrams gave us the breathtaking film, Star Trek. Two years later, Abrams gives us the best original film in a long time. The acting in this film is brilliant, especially the kids! The story in this film is very simple and put together well. The visuals in this film were stunning and the direction this film went in was very well done. This is the best movie of 2011 thus far as of June 12th, 2011. Expand
  85. Jul 5, 2011
    8
    Only through movies like Super 8 can we glimpse the limitless imagination of script writers, directors and all those who make movies like this happen. The exploration of certain themes and personality types allowed viewers believe in and relate to the characters. Though not without it's stereotypes the script breathed life into each of the characters and filled them with genuine humanOnly through movies like Super 8 can we glimpse the limitless imagination of script writers, directors and all those who make movies like this happen. The exploration of certain themes and personality types allowed viewers believe in and relate to the characters. Though not without it's stereotypes the script breathed life into each of the characters and filled them with genuine human emotions and humor. The mix of teenage romance and mystery perfectly blended and did not overwhelm the plot. With of perfect mix of themes, character types, witty humor mystery and suspense Super 8 is a film to be enjoyed by all. Expand
  86. Jul 13, 2011
    9
    Everything about this movie was delightful. The young kid actors are really great and the way the movie unfolds is really engaging. There is a sense of wonder in the narrative and also great emotional depth in our protagonist. His sense of loss and journey to move on at the end really seals the film in a satisfying way. J.J Abrams knows how to tell a story with great care and affection forEverything about this movie was delightful. The young kid actors are really great and the way the movie unfolds is really engaging. There is a sense of wonder in the narrative and also great emotional depth in our protagonist. His sense of loss and journey to move on at the end really seals the film in a satisfying way. J.J Abrams knows how to tell a story with great care and affection for the characters. This film is more than just a nostalgic adventure of the past but a modern classic. Expand
  87. Jul 23, 2011
    8
    Though it wasn't much of a movie to watch with friends, it still had some pretty cool scenes. watching this with family though would be much more suitable as it accomplishes that sense of loss while maintaining a sense of adventure.
  88. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    This is one of only 3 movies that wasn't a total disaster, the other 2 being X-Men and Green Lantern. This is the most human. The child actors here do a better job than most seasoned adults. They bring a since of wonder, amazement and humor to a monster film. This movie is Goonies meets E.T. both are great films but now this will stand the test of time to show it is another classic. TheThis is one of only 3 movies that wasn't a total disaster, the other 2 being X-Men and Green Lantern. This is the most human. The child actors here do a better job than most seasoned adults. They bring a since of wonder, amazement and humor to a monster film. This movie is Goonies meets E.T. both are great films but now this will stand the test of time to show it is another classic. The adventure story is great and is visually fantastic but it is the human story of a boy who lost his mother that makes this movie worth watching. The thrills, and laughs never end, it is just fantastic. Expand
  89. Nov 26, 2011
    8
    If you watch movies to get lost in another world, to smile and to be entertained, Super 8 is a perfect movie. It's got precocious kids, non-stop action, comedy, romance, sci-fi. I had no idea what to expect when I hit play, but I was so pleasantly surprised that I watched this show two nights running. Well done.
  90. Nov 7, 2013
    10
    My favorite movie of all time, "Super 8" is a perfect coming-of-age film with a science fiction twist. I identified with all of the characters, especially the alien Cooper, who is also my favorite character of all time. If anyone said something about this movie to me, I would hurt them terribly.
  91. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An outstanding and nostalgic piece of art. This film surely is the perfect merging of emotional appeal, suspense, a great history and amazing action. Expand
  92. Dec 13, 2011
    10
    Super 8 defined a generation, just like the Goonies did back in the 1980's. J.J. Abrams' vision of childhood dreams and growing up, along with the sci-fi touch from Steven Spielberg, made this movie what it was. The acting was good for their first film, the directing was incredible, and the story was touching. If you are looking for a movie with laughs, tears, action, and suspense, welcomeSuper 8 defined a generation, just like the Goonies did back in the 1980's. J.J. Abrams' vision of childhood dreams and growing up, along with the sci-fi touch from Steven Spielberg, made this movie what it was. The acting was good for their first film, the directing was incredible, and the story was touching. If you are looking for a movie with laughs, tears, action, and suspense, welcome to Super 8 Expand
  93. Jun 26, 2011
    8
    While this movie seemed to rely on the nostalgia factor to grab audiences I think that this film brought much more than a simple trip down memory lane to the table. I originally went to see this movie because I was curious about the alien creature and there was really a small amount of scenes involving the alien. What sold the movie for me was the characters. I really enjoyed watching theWhile this movie seemed to rely on the nostalgia factor to grab audiences I think that this film brought much more than a simple trip down memory lane to the table. I originally went to see this movie because I was curious about the alien creature and there was really a small amount of scenes involving the alien. What sold the movie for me was the characters. I really enjoyed watching the relationship between the kids and how they were tangled into an area 51 cover-up plot. The movie also has a lot of heart, well a lot for an action summer flick. The relationship between the main character and his dad is put to good use. The strenuous effect that the death of the main character's mother has on him and his father make for some complex character development that is greatly welcomed. My only gripe with the film is that it can feel like two movies, the alien and the supernatural events that happen don't quite mesh with the overall plot of the film. This movie did what it was supposed to do and then some, and is absolutely worthy of your time. I give this movie a SUPER 8! (get it?) Expand
  94. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    This movie is great. It is a mixture od The Goonies and E.T., but that's not a bad thing. A young boy and his friends who like to hang out with each other and shoot movies end up in a train wreck. They go on a long adventure and discover what is happening. They find out the government's trying to vanquish a giant alien who is starving and is trying to find food. They end up saving theirThis movie is great. It is a mixture od The Goonies and E.T., but that's not a bad thing. A young boy and his friends who like to hang out with each other and shoot movies end up in a train wreck. They go on a long adventure and discover what is happening. They find out the government's trying to vanquish a giant alien who is starving and is trying to find food. They end up saving their friends and getting the alien back home. The boy ends giving up a necklace that was her mother's, giving the story a happy ending and a great moral. This is one of my top 10 movies. 10/10 Expand
  95. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    Director J.J. Abrams and Producer Steven Spielberg team up to make "Super 8", a classic alien in a southern and middle of nowhere town movie. And the fact that the main characters are a group of kids who want to make a short film makes it even better. Some parts, like the little kid who keeps saying "mint", may get a little irritating, but that shouldn't detract from the overallDirector J.J. Abrams and Producer Steven Spielberg team up to make "Super 8", a classic alien in a southern and middle of nowhere town movie. And the fact that the main characters are a group of kids who want to make a short film makes it even better. Some parts, like the little kid who keeps saying "mint", may get a little irritating, but that shouldn't detract from the overall outstanding quality of the movie. Expand
  96. Jun 25, 2011
    7
    This movie was good but it could of had more potential. It had a boring love interest and too many stereotypes of a Spielberg film, but had some really cool characters and a good set of action and investigation type scenes to boot.
  97. Aug 20, 2011
    7
    Winner of the Spielberg Drinking Competition Movie Submission. I went because a my friend is in itabd I like Sci-fi but enjoyed it for the family friendly action movie it is.
  98. DME
    Jun 16, 2011
    8
    There are some plot-holes, cheesy parts, and over-dramatic scenes. But overall, Super 8 was a pretty good movie. I recommend seeing it.
  99. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    I loved everything about this movie. Great characters, great story, great visuals. And I know it sounds corny, but it really did remind me of the first time I watched ET when I was a kid. Definitely don't miss this one.
  100. Nov 24, 2011
    7
    Super 8 shines because of the action sequences (if that is your style) and the talent of the actors. However, it falters from the story or shall I say stories. They literally pushed like 3 mini stories into the movie. And of course, the one that takes center stage is probably the most absurd out of the three. Props to the actors for working with this story, it was still an amazingSuper 8 shines because of the action sequences (if that is your style) and the talent of the actors. However, it falters from the story or shall I say stories. They literally pushed like 3 mini stories into the movie. And of course, the one that takes center stage is probably the most absurd out of the three. Props to the actors for working with this story, it was still an amazing movie to see. 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.