Super 8

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Super 8Also available on Blu-Ray

JJ Abrams (Star Trek, TV's Lost) directs a typically mysterious sci-fi flick, produced by Steven Spielberg, recalling the vibe of The Goonies or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In the summer of 1979, a group of kids 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.

Directed by
J.J. Abrams ('Star Trek', 'Mission: Impossible III')

Produced by
Steven Spielberg

Written by
J.J. Abrams

(M) contains violence and fantasy horror | Science Fiction | USA | Official Website


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Average rating 4 Stars out of a possible 5 Stars

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4 Stars out of a possible 5 Stars

shot well. reasonable story which dimmed at the end. Good effects. great young actors. worth seeing

Reviewed by chris stringerc
3 Stars out of a possible 5 Stars

better than tv

Reviewed by ange
Cloverfield meets the Goonies and E.T
3 Stars out of a possible 5 Stars

Overall the film was pretty good, however pretty good is as good as it gets. This film had a subtle link to the film Cloverfield and could have explained where the creature in that film came from, but the link was never explored. The creature certainly looks like the Cloverfield monster and the film is by J.J. Abrams.

While the film is about kids filming with a super 8 camera, this isn't one of those 'found footage' type films (like Cloverfield or Blair witch). It's got a bit of the Goonies and E.T. in it. The ending was, for me a bit of a let down. See for yourself, but I would have preferred something with a little more punch to end the film. The film just seemed to be building up to something better.

Reviewed by bukster


Average rating 5 Stars out of a possible 5 Stars

A.V. Club (USA)

Its pleasures are borrowed, but durable.

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Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

A wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of filmmaking, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action.

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Hollywood Reporter

Like an old airplane (or spacecraft) jerry-rigged from scrap pieces and made air-worthy again, Super 8 has been patched together with 30-year-old spare parts to provide an enjoyable ride of its own.

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New York Times

Like his (Abrams) previous features, "Mission: Impossible III" and "Star Trek," Super 8 is an enticing package without much inside.

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NZ Herald (Russell Baillie)

Super 8 may be yet another mainstream monster movie from a couple of big Hollywood brands, but it's a wonderful one.

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Otago Daily Times (Christine Powley)

Super stuff...

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Total Film (UK)

A monster mash-up of '50s sci-fi, late-'70s / early '80s event movie and autobiography, Super 8 doesn’t possess the top-to-bottom greatness of the films it’s modelled on but, in shooting for the stars, leaves 90% of modern blockbusters in the gutter. Mint.

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TVNZ (Darren Bevan)

Super 8 is a great piece of winter entertainment with some beautifully played intimate human moments

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Variety (USA)

A relatively standard monster movie.

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Variety (USA)

A relatively standard monster movie.

Click to read full review. "Super 8" Movie Review rating

Andrew Hedley,

Drawing inspiration from suburban kid movies of the early ‘80s, this Spielbergian production has the sentiment of E.T. and the rascally camaraderie of The Goonies. But don’t expect it to appeal too much to adult nostalgia. Despite dabbling with the scares, it’s really for kids or young teens (who will love it) and everyone else might have the feeling they’ve seen it all before.

None of which negates the classy production value and clanging sound design, however. Super 8 is a highly polished outing with plenty of good bits, especially the action set pieces (a massive train pile-up early on is grandly over-the-top), the seamless effects and the music that strikes a balance between ominous and magical.

In true JJ Abrams form (his productions of Lost and Cloverfield kept people guessing for a long time), the reveal of the ‘thing’ that the plot revolves around is kept in shadow or obscured for most of the running time. No prizes for guessing what it turns out to be, although we could run a competition to guess why the film has such a title, given that the characters' home-made film is pretty superfluous to the plot.

A subplot of fractured family dynamics means that too much of the movie plays in heavy-handed sentimental moments, which, when carried by the child actors, are too trite for adults and potentially too morose for the younger ones. Super 8 is likeable, if a little standard, so it will remain open to you to classify it – throwback or retread?

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