Super 8 Reviews
Loving, playful, and spectacularly well made, Super 8 is easily the best summer movie of the year -- of many years. And I make that declaration with full knowledge that the season has just begun.
Attempts the difficult feat of balancing self-consciousness about the olden days with wide-eyed, headlong, present-tense fun. For about an hour it succeeds marvelously. The modest letdown that follows exposes the limitations of Mr. Abrams's imagination.
This sci-fi thriller has an engrossing plot and a strong cast of fully drawn characters. There's even a sweet youthful love story. In other words, it's a summer blockbuster firing on all cylinders.
"Super 8" knows what it wants to be, but like the earnest super-8 amateur flick its young heroes labor over, the movie skips some steps to achieve an effect. The result is an almost-great valentine to Gen-X genre milestones.
For pretty much the first half of the new movie from writer-director J.J. Abrams, Super 8 isn't really even an alien thriller; it's a sad-sweet tale of loss and coming-of-age set in the golden-gone days of the late '70s.
Super 8 is 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.
Abrams brings so much affection to the project the results reveal both the film geek he surely was as a Spielberg-lovin' kid, and the hard-charging populist he has become.
Writer-director J.J. Abrams overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder.