Super 8

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 766 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 766

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 10, 2011
    7
    Closer to "Goonies" than to "E.T.". I enjoyed this movie but in watching it, even though there is a sense of wonder and nostalgia that is generally missing in movies these days, you realize quickly how rare a talent Steven Spielberg is. Here is what Spielberg did right and some of what is lacking in "Super 8". First, the villain is not flushed out. In E.T., the villain really isn't aCloser to "Goonies" than to "E.T.". I enjoyed this movie but in watching it, even though there is a sense of wonder and nostalgia that is generally missing in movies these days, you realize quickly how rare a talent Steven Spielberg is. Here is what Spielberg did right and some of what is lacking in "Super 8". First, the villain is not flushed out. In E.T., the villain really isn't a villain except in the eyes of the protagonists. "Keys" as he is known in E.T. believed what he was doing was for the greater good. He longed for an experience like Elliot. Unfortunately, he failed to see what the children saw all along, that E.T. was a living being with his own needs and desires. In "Super 8", the villainous Nelec was completely two dimensional and malevolent. The story would have been stronger had the motives been clear for his behavior and especially if his judgment was complex â Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    This movie was perfect till the end. A glowing front story accompanied by a compelling back story. It was well acted, well filmed, well casted, and the script was flawless. It is 100% worth seeing, and expect a solid conclusion, even if it is lacking.
  9. 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
  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, 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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  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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".
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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 tooWell, 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
  19. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    Original. Superb acting (and yes, they're just kids!) - but this adult has nothing but admiration for the casting, pacing, direction, and whatever else goes with film making - yes, "super 8"! I'm not sure why some are trying to compare this with "ET"? This adult (ok old man), thinks this is more along the lines of "Goonies" - yes, that other classic, sprinkled with more thrill/suspense.Original. Superb acting (and yes, they're just kids!) - but this adult has nothing but admiration for the casting, pacing, direction, and whatever else goes with film making - yes, "super 8"! I'm not sure why some are trying to compare this with "ET"? This adult (ok old man), thinks this is more along the lines of "Goonies" - yes, that other classic, sprinkled with more thrill/suspense. Excellent mix of action and comedy - never cheesy nor "forced" - something most more "mature" films should learn how to do - I think we've all suffered through one or two lines in some movie that just try "too hard".

    Unsure what the "kid meter" for this film is. It should be great for the entire family - but again, this is not "ET" - it has more suspense and action in it and the underlying theme isn't as "wholesome".
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  20. 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.
  21. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    Amazing movie! A big heart classic sci-fi monster thriller!
    Well, think Et meets Goonies meets Close Encounter meets Stand by me meets Jaws... As references, of course!
    And Abrams and Spielberg uses these references as the veins from this body, but the body have tremendous and unique heart of its own!
    Must see of the summer and many summers!
  22. Jun 24, 2011
    10
    I was very disappointed, Expected much more from Spielberg/Abrams. Lots of contrived suspense with very little pay-off. There is simply no emotional investment in the "character" at the end. If you need one character to TELL you how another character or creature thinks/feels ("when I touched it") it's because the script is poor and you didn't make the viewer care! Rent ET and save theI was very disappointed, Expected much more from Spielberg/Abrams. Lots of contrived suspense with very little pay-off. There is simply no emotional investment in the "character" at the end. If you need one character to TELL you how another character or creature thinks/feels ("when I touched it") it's because the script is poor and you didn't make the viewer care! Rent ET and save the money. At the very least, rent it later. Expand
  23. 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.
  24. Jul 8, 2011
    10
    Really, Steven Spielberg, what were you thinking? This movie reminded me of a nightmare I had as a child. I was running from death and I would wake up in a cold sweat every time. To have these children running from death in the entire movie was a little much. And the train wreck. It wasn't just a train wreck. It was a colossal train wreck. That part I liked. But what I am angryReally, Steven Spielberg, what were you thinking? This movie reminded me of a nightmare I had as a child. I was running from death and I would wake up in a cold sweat every time. To have these children running from death in the entire movie was a little much. And the train wreck. It wasn't just a train wreck. It was a colossal train wreck. That part I liked. But what I am angry about is the last scene where tthe alien is gathering all the metal to reconstruct. To take the child's only remembrance of his mother. I thought that was extremely selfish of the alien. Yes all the microwaves, all the bikes, all the scrap metal, but no, not the necklace! Really! Expand
  25. 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
  26. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Super 8 is exactly what you would want in a summer sci-fi action film. The casting and acting is top notch and the special effects are unbelievable! Without spoiling anything I will tell you that the plot is rich with many twists and turns while following a very believable yet fantastic story line. The early 80's were recreated so well in the towns and homes of a small Ohio town. YouSuper 8 is exactly what you would want in a summer sci-fi action film. The casting and acting is top notch and the special effects are unbelievable! Without spoiling anything I will tell you that the plot is rich with many twists and turns while following a very believable yet fantastic story line. The early 80's were recreated so well in the towns and homes of a small Ohio town. You really start to believe in the recreation of the time period which pulls you further into the story. Great story, acting, casting and special effects. What more could we ask for? This is what this movie genre has been been missing for some time now. GO SEE IT! Expand
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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.
  30. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    Awesome!

    Best movie of the year!!!

    Truly a heart pounded sci-fi coming of age adventure!
    Why they don't make more movies like this???

    Must SEE!!!!
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.