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Generally favorable reviews- based on 693 Ratings

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

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  1. Aug 27, 2014
    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
    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!
  3. Jul 2, 2014
    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: Twitter: @MemoBosque
  4. Apr 23, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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
  8. Jan 13, 2014
    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
    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
    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.
  11. Jul 18, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    As interesting as a carton of milk.
  21. Feb 22, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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!

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
    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
    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
    Super 8 is in many ways a perfect summer movie: smart, exciting, heartfelt, and suffused with nostalgia.