User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 693 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 693

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  1. 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.
  2. 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:
    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!
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  3. Jul 2, 2014
    8
    Consensus: Super 8 is a fantastic sci-fi thriller that has terrific performaces, engaging characters and a terrifying creature, though I have to admit that is a bit forgettable. 83/100 [B+]

    In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual
    disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth - something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined. Super 8 doesn't blew my mind at all, but it's a very well made sci-fi flick, i love it because all the children are so damn likable and inocent. Though Elle Fanning's character is a bit cliché and the backstory between the characters is a bit cliché as well. Super 8 compensates its flaws with a very scary creature, fast-paced action, smart dialogue and violence. Kyle Chandler is one of the most talented actors here and i really enjoyed his performance.

    I like the horror elements that Abrams includes here. The character development is beautiful and sad. I really felt the pain of these characters, Super 8 is at times a very emotional and deep film. All the children are hilarious and likable. The title of the film is refreshing and inspiring. The train crash scene is a bit surreal but still entertaining and some parts in this scene are very important for the film, so pay attention here. The musical score is fantastic and also it's enjoyable to see these little children making their own film, completely adorable. Super 8 is a fantastic sci-fi film that has terrific performances, engaging characters and a terrifying creature, though I have to admit that is a bit forgettable. [B+] Visit my blog: www.memobosque.blogspot.mx Twitter: @MemoBosque
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  4. 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.
  5. 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" story elements mixed together into a disaster. I would not recommend this film. Expand
  6. 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. Definitely a let down. Expand
  7. 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
    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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  8. 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 Abrams could make great movies if he chose a story with more meaning and less shine. Expand
  9. 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.
  10. 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, 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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  11. 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.
  12. 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 definitely very entertaining, felt original and fresh, and had good acting and development. Expand
  13. 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 "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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Apr 23, 2013
    7
    The Blu-ray release of "Super 8" is, like many big-budget movies from the major studios, an excellent release from a technical standpoint… The transfer is as it should be: a perfect representation of what was shown in theaters (perhaps even better because HD home theaters are starting to become terrific showcases for films than actual theaters nowadays). As the director’s commentary notes, the actual filming was done mostly with 35mm stock and the RED camera system (for later retakes, pick-ups, inserts) but also utilized Super-8 film, of course… the actual movie within the movie the kids are shooting is created on the genuine film stock Kodak put out in box-like cartridges (yes, you can still buy them). It all looks seamless, and the Blu-ray maintains an accurate visual quality with deep blacks that leave in the shadowy details some transfers might otherwise crush into dark mud, consistent grain balance, excellent reproduction of flesh tones (as they were in the theatrical release) and deep color reproduction with no bleeds. Overall it is a great transfer, perhaps the best of 2011 (not counting re-issues/restorations). It offers a tight and crisp picture along with a downright impressive level of sharp detail and no noticeable edge enhancement or apparent DNR (the only image softness I saw was what Larry Fong intended and captured as he switched apertures due to set lighting issues or blew out the background when changing focal lengths). Of course, like most top-notch Blu-ray releases these days it’s hard to tell how good the quality may actually be as there is so much post-production digital tinkering going on in contemporary movies before they hit the theater screen, but when compared to the the DVD disc (Disc 2 of the 2-disc package that also includes the now ubiquitous digital transfer for iTunes/Windows Media Player) and you can immediately see the difference in the level of detail, color saturation, and black levels. Expand
  18. 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 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
  19. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    Really good movie! Great story, action, and characters. The one thing I didn't like was the over use of language, really shouldn't have been that much, other than that nothing else was bad. 9 out of 10!
  20. Mar 24, 2013
    1
    As interesting as a carton of milk.
  21. 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 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
  22. 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!
  23. 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.
  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 also just amazing. Overall a stand-out film from 2011 and one of my favourites for this genre. Expand
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Dec 8, 2012
    2
    1. Take The Goonies, Stand by Me, E.T., Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and Close Encounter of the Third Kind
    2. Stir, don't shake
    Voilà! Don't complain if you get sick with that very bad drink.
  30. 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.
    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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  31. 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 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
  32. Nov 12, 2012
    9
    A glorious film, excellently acted and with a intreguing story. The train crash is probably the most spectacular explosion in cinema history. Let down slightly by it's ending, but I heartily recomend this as Sci-Fi classic.
  33. 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.
  34. 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".
  35. Sep 22, 2012
    7
    Super 8 is the collaboration of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg. It takes for its medium a sci-fi drama/mystery/thriller, but the story is one of childhood innocence. It centers around six middle-school children and their surprising display of maturity in a world full of cranky adults. The sci-fi plot takes a back seat to the complicated lives of these kids, but in the end offers a resolution that may not have been without it.

    The first two-thirds of Super 8 are absolutely fantastic. I was surprised by how involved I became in the unfolding of the tragedy. Joe likes Alice. Alice maybe likes Joe. Joe's father (the deputy sheriff) is going through a very rough time, and he hates Alice's dad, for reasons that are unclear. So Joe's father - quite unreasonably - does not permit him to see Alice, and Alice's father does the same. Both children have already-strained relationships with their fathers, and now it seems the rift is complete. So begins a lot of sneaking out to film a movie, and the movie becomes the center of the lives of these young children.

    The film manages to maintain a light heart throughout. Where there are children, there is humor, including one intentionally blatant message: "Drugs are SO bad!" I must say that a lot of it is quite witty - I enjoyed it, and I often do not. When **** starts to go down in the town, it peaks the curiosity of the children, while the adults remain oblivious, before eventually turning to panic (skipping the curious stage altogether). The event spurs companionship between the kids; where before they were friends they are now a tight circle of trust, old friends who have been through a lot together, although they are in fact still young. It also further peaks their interest in finishing Charles' movie, which in turn develops young love and one slightly strained relationship. The film takes its children through a range of adult experiences, and we see them handled quite well, in comparison to Joe's father, who has very much trouble moving on and blames it on his own son.

    The first 70-ish minutes of the film are incredibly innocent and honest. Nothing feels over-the-top, and the story develops at an appropriately slow pace, giving time for the characters to grow through their experiences. The final 40 minutes, however, are almost disastrous to the film. All of that stuff stops being important, and suddenly we have a sci-fi movie, full of cliches and obvious twists and spelling out every little thoroughly expected detail for the viewer. Suddenly it goes over the top, and it loses sight of its original mission.

    The film concludes in the way that it should, by which I mean the characters are all left in places where we thought they would end up. There is a definite sense of resolution. But the arrival of that conclusion does not feel like it belongs in the same movie as the first 2/3 of Super 8. It lacks the wit and charm of its better portion.

    In a movie whose primary cast is a bunch of young kids, one doesn't expect to be wowed by acting. That being said, these kids form a relatively unyielding ensemble. The least believable character, sadly, is the lead, played by Joel Courtney. Kyle Chandler suffers as well; some of the kids are better. Mad props to Elle Fanning. Seriously great child-acting.

    Had the film kept its original course during its final 40 minutes, this would easily be an 8, possibly a 9. I wish it had, so that I could have made a cheesy joke about it being a Super 8.

    For a much more lengthy and in-depth review, see my blog at kofdrops.blogspot.com.
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  36. 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 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
  37. 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. 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
  38. 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.
  39. Jul 21, 2012
    8
    Right from the beginning watching the movie, "ET" flashed in my mind. I loved watching ET and I think there are some similarities in this movie. Most of the films of Steven Spielberg have "substance" and a "message" often a moral one that we all can learn from. The effects of the movie of course were also fantastic. A great movie, fun to watch and some good lessons to learn as well.
  40. 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.
  41. 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 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
  42. 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
    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 Expand
  43. 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.
  44. 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 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 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.
  48. 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, 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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  49. 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.
  50. 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!
  51. 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% 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
  52. 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
  53. 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%.
  54. 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 overall outstanding quality of the movie. Expand
  55. Dec 29, 2011
    8
    An adult movie about children, this movie effectively delivers its message even though the story slides through some corny moments. Easy to grip and fun to watch, definitely worth it.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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 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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  59. Dec 26, 2011
    8
    Beautiful performances from the entire child cast, along with well placed set pieces and action sequences help this movie over the hurdle of being more than just an 80's cliche. Several surprisingly funny bits of dialogue along with some delicately handled emotional conversations also add substance to this well rounded blast from the past. Great to have on Blu Ray.
  60. 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.
  61. 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'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
  62. Dec 14, 2011
    9
    A wonderful trip back in time to a time when movies had some heart and soul and were more about the characters than the special effects and spectacle. It makes me sad that most of the negative comments below seem to be from people upset that it wasnt another Transformers-esque CGI fest with square jawed marines taking on giant monsters. Unfortunately I guess that is exactly the reason movies like this arent made any more. But thank you JJ, for a modern Amblin classic. Expand
  63. 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, welcome to Super 8 Expand
  64. 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?
  65. 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!
  66. 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
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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 amazing movie to see. Expand
  70. 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.
  71. 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) 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
  72. 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.
  73. Nov 5, 2011
    0
    awfull movie!!! don;t look it! there is nothing interesting..exept u are ten yars old!
    2 hours under cat's tail! u better watch breaking bad all seasons again..
  74. Oct 24, 2011
    0
    Godawful ! The monster was stolen from Cloverfield. I stopped caring when the train crashed, and that was at the very beginning of the movie. No way either one of those kids could have survived that mess, but miraculously, they all escape completely unharmed. Spielberg should stop making movies, it just gets embarrassing. This was a cheap attempt to revive the E.T. saga from the 80's. The fat kid should have been the first to be eaten by the monster, clearly every parent's worst nightmare. Expand
  75. 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 young actors. It's not your usual alien film, it's a heck of a lot better! Expand
  76. 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 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
  77. 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 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
  78. Sep 15, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. â Expand
  79. 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, 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
  80. Sep 5, 2011
    7
    this is an homage to Steven Spielberg and a love letter to the Amblin Entertainment produced films. if you like J.J. and 80's Spielberg you should watch this movie. it's fun, rewarding and enjoyable and i would recommend it. my only gripe is that parts of it you can tell it's a j.j. script because all the kids are talking like j.j. in some of the scenes.
  81. 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
  82. Sep 1, 2011
    10
    Brilliant. That's all I would write if I was allowed but thats to short.The movie is great, the actors are great( especially Elle Fanning).Everything about this movie I liked. That should be enough "characters" to submit this review.
  83. Aug 31, 2011
    9
    nice little film this and was pretty much a typical affair from the producer that brought us Cloverfield. It reeks of a bad boy ET towards the later part but for a summer movie its a great piece of entertainment that will try and succeed in making you jump on several occasions. Its just a shame that it gets a little OTT towards the end but overall its defiantly worth a watch and discussion afterwards. The effects btw are very nicely put together and the cold war vibe present throughout is great at drawing atmosphere out of what is a rather small setting. Expand
  84. 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
    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!
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  85. 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, 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
  86. 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.
  87. 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 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
  88. 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 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
  89. 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 heart strings once or twice, ruining the experience, But on the whole - brilliant. Expand
  90. Aug 21, 2011
    7
    Take Goonies, ET, war of the worlds and a touch of close encounters and there you get Super 8. A movie that is Spielberg written all over it. Not that it is a bad thing, but still had the need to get something more out of it. Were missing some JJ Abrams touches which could have made this movie more a must see.
  91. 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.
  92. BeK
    Aug 19, 2011
    10
    Well, Super 8. One of the best movies I've seen so far, and definitely the best one I've seen this year. Filled with a great cast of young actors, an impressive story-line and a lot of mystery, Super 8 manages to keep you at your seat from the beginning till the end. A masterpiece movie of our times, in my opinion, having all the resources necessary to making it a blockbuster. A little too young, the main characters in our story, but still, they their job just fine. Special effects, really show you that people did put in some good money as well in this movie. Not many flaws, and in general a movie worth seeing, at least twice. I definitely recommend it to all tastes and to people of all ages. Not as scary as when you read about it. See it, rate it, maybe love it, but definitely give it a shot cause in my opinion you won't regret it. Expand
  93. Aug 19, 2011
    9
    Very well thought movie, nicely directed and a story that has Spielberg all over it. It is a Sy-Fi movie but with the spirit of the Five, therefore an adventure. Most important, it is not exaggerated or to much Americanized. Excellent acting by all kids. It is a very fine movie.
  94. 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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  95. Aug 17, 2011
    2
    Disappointed +++. I took my wife to watch this movie based solely on Metacritic reviews. The user reviews I can still understand, given that almost anyone nowadays has access to the net. But how on God's earth do serious reviewers, journalists, for F***s sake give this film such a high rating. This is not a good film, at least not for an adult. I think that it probably deserves a 4 but am giving it less with the hope of reducing the average and hopefully saving some poor schmuck from parting with his or her cash. Oh, have I mentioned...do not watch this movie, at least not in the cinema with no remote or easy escape. Expand
  96. Aug 17, 2011
    8
    Super 8, JJ Abrams' first film since Star Trek, acts like a love letter to Steven Spielberg from a kid who grew up on a diet of E.T and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and rightfully so. It's a tale of innocence being stolen from a group of kids making an amateur zombie-horror on their Super 8 camera and witnessing something they shouldn't have seen. This is a clever and entertaining film from a screenplay by Abrams, and like Spielberg, Abrams revels in using the everyman and the innocent as our point-of-view into this world, in this case a bunch of children.

    What started out as an innocent piece of movie-making by budding director, Charles Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths), turns into something much more sinister when the group witness a terrifying train crash when a pick-up truck drives onto the tracks causing a derailment. Amidst the horror of the crash, the kids find lots of white cubes scattered around the place, they find their biology teacher, Dr. Woodward, behind the wheel of the pick-up, who warns them to never speak of what they saw or 'they' will kill them and their family. Soon, the U.S. Air Force arrive, led by Colonel Nelec (Noah Emmerich) to recover the site, not noticing the kids fleeing the scene.

    The townspeople begin to report a whole host of strange occurences, every dog runs for the hills, microwaves, car engines and people disappear. It soon falls down to local deputy, Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) to try and calm the situation, and at the same time try and figure out what the hell is going on.

    The film is beautifully presented, much of which is down to the cinematography of Larry Fong, whose eye gives the polish a film of this calibre so deserves. The second mention must go to Michael Giacchino for his haunting, but memorable score. Considering it is such a young cast that holds a quite complex (at times) storyline together, Abrams has done remarkably well in not only being able to extract some brilliant performances from these kids, but also recreate the tension and atmosphere that so many movies of this kind (many from his co-collaborator Spielberg) that the seventies and eighties were so memorable for.

    The effects in this film are used subtlely. They are intergrated into the storyline and really are used to propel the story along rather than distract from it. There are moments when watching Super 8 where Abrams seems to have taken great pleasure in apeing Spielberg's techniques, even down to the long, drawn-out scenes designed to make us jump, but it doesn't matter, it's still JJ's film, the fact he mimics one of Hollywood's true storytelling masters, whilst inputting his flair on this intriguing tale is a crime easily forgiven.

    Whilst I felt slightly cheated with the ending resolving itself too quickly, I was still satisfied with the outcome.

    So, overall, Super 8 is a far from perfect film, but it has masses of entertainment value, and if you're a fan of Abrams, or Spielberg, or just good, old-fashioned storytelling that doesn't try to confuse you for the sake of it, then I can highly recommend it.
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  97. 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 time and movies that we all have a soft spot for than a summer blockbuster. Expand
  98. 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
  99. Aug 9, 2011
    7
    Creator of original TV series like Alias and Lost, writer and director J.J. Abrams creates an all-too-familiar monster movie that resembles too much of Spielberg (one of the producers) as an auteur. Not necessarily a bad thing however. The influence of Spielberg makes Super 8 both suspenseful and a spectacle, but it lacks the convoluted plot twists and character driven drama Abrams is known for. Super 8 is like a 21st Century 'Goonies' meets-a-more-scary 'E.T.'. It centres on a group of kids in a small town who witness a train derailment, which is ensued by an extra-terrestrial investigation, mixed in with strained personal relationships and mystery. Classic Spielberg blockbuster formula really. Troubled family life juxtaposed with suspense, mystery and awesome action sequences.

    The train derailment sequence is one of the best pieces of action I've seen. Truly awesome to behold. And the performances from the young cast really outshine the adults by miles, in particular Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney. Super 8 builds up and develops character well, and holds out suspense to keep the viewer on edge. It's not until the third act that we see the 'monster'. Again, reminiscent of Spielberg's Jaws.

    Some parts of the film were unnecessary though. Like the white cubes were never explained and a fuller back story for the 'monster's' experimentation would have been helpful. Also, the over use of intentional lens flare just got distracting.

    Overall though, Super 8 is a great family film that delivers on many levels reminiscent of Spielberg's classics.
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  100. Aug 8, 2011
    10
    Super 8 is a full movie. This film develops themes about family, friends, besides being funny and entertaining. An excellent story and stunning special effects. Simply the best movie of the summer.
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.