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Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich ... see more see more... , Ron Eldard , Riley Griffiths , Ryan Lee , Zach Mills , Amanda Michalka , Katie Lowes , Jessica Tuck , Joel McKinnon Miller , Andrew Miller , Jakob Miller , Jade Griffiths , Britt Flatmo , Glynn E. Turman , David Gallagher , Richard T. Jones , Amanda Foreman , Michael Giacchino , Bruce Greenwood , Dale Dickey , Jack Axelrod , Dan Castellaneta , Ben Gavin , Jay Scully , Michael Hitchcock , James Hebert , Thomas F. Duffy , Teri Clark Linden , Tom Quinn , Katherine Yerves , Caitriona Balfe , Koa Melvin , Bingo O'Malley , Brett Rice , Beau Knapp , Tony Guma , Marco Sanchez , Jonathan Dixon , Tim Griffin , Patrick St. Esprit , Tom Williams , Emerson Brooks , Robert B. Quiroz , Greg Grunberg

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 disa... read more read more...ppearances 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. -- (C) Official Site

Flixster Users

75% liked it

131,750 ratings


82% liked it

270 critics

DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011

Stats: 18,506 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (18,506)

  • July 3, 2011
    Amazing fun right out of the 70's. An excellent cast with top quality young and old creating one of the best movies ive seen in a long time. Like most reviews have said this is a loving homage to the Goonies, Stand By Me, ET all of the above. Just a wonderful movie with a few jum... read moreps, a few laughs and ton of good old fashion summer movie fun!
  • June 3, 2013
    J.J. Abrams' most boring project. There's hardly even any aliens/monsters on screen to justify it as an Abrams-Spielberg film. A profound let-down for fans of these two giants.
  • May 18, 2013
    A decent throwback to 50's-style monster flicks with the nostalgic look and feel of a classic Spielberg flick such as E.T. Aside from its very good visual effects, Super 8 shines with its good all-around cast. Everybody is good in their role, especially the kids. I love how th... read moree film uses suspense and shows very little of the monster until the end. Solid entertainment despite a clumsy third act that stumbles in the emotional resonance department.
  • April 6, 2013
    A group of kid filmmakers witness a train crash that leads to a battle with an extraterrestrial.
    There is a fine line between plagiarism and homage, but I guess getting the person whom he's plagiarizing to produce his film saves J.J. Abrams from any charges and raises Super 8 to ... read morethe level of homage. Super 8 is E.T. and The Goonies all rolled into one, but it's not just the character types and the plot that are reminiscent of Spielberg; the kid characters emerge from broken families, the adults fail to understand their children's intelligence, there are numerous shots of people looking, and even the score is similar to something John Williams would pen -- all trademarks of early Spielberg. While it could be said that Abrams's film never rises too far above imitation, that doesn't mean that the film isn't thoroughly entertaining. Even the emotional moments -- the love story between Alice and Joe, Charles's third act revelation, Joe's speech to the alien, and the third act bit with the necklace -- are all compelling and delicately handled; indeed, Abrams handles pathos with a more practiced hand than early Spielberg, whose emotional moments reeked of sentimentality.
    While Joel Courtney is quite good, Elle Fanning gives the one exceptional performance; everyone else is adequate.
    Overall, this is a fantastic, human, compelling science fiction film that will surely remind you of times when science fiction was about more than just explosions and special effects.
  • April 3, 2013
    A group of high school geeks with an obsession with zombie movies witness a train wreck that contains a secret the military are desperate to cover up. Super 8 self-consciously harks back to the classic family sci-fi movies of the late 70s and early 80s and it comes as no surprise... read more that Steven Spielberg's name is attached to the project. He's clearly a very hands-on producer as Super 8 reeks of his influence and has the kind of family friendly charm that he's always been so good at. The story is essentially The Goonies meet E.T., if E.T. were huge and very pissed off! The cast of youngsters are very impressive indeed and far from the usual irritating brats that populate Hollywood blockbusters, with Ellie Fanning in particular putting in very watchable performance as the reluctant heroine. The special effects are unsurprisingly first rate, the train crash itself being surely the most spectacular yet filmed but it never gets bogged down with irrelevant set pieces, instead concentrating on creating likeable characters that you want to root for. My one complaint would be that the ending was a bit of an anti-climax and I would have liked to have seen the creature more fully explored and explained, but as a whole it successfully captures the feel of classic sci-fi of the type Spielberg himself was one of the greatest exponents.
  • February 17, 2013
    This is the kind of cinematic telepathy, touching hearts and minds, that gave us Steven Spielberg's E.T., Jaws, and Close Encounters of Third Kind.
    Thankfully to the kids are more than alright. They're fabulous; yearingly fresh-faced and infantile. The boys stand in tremulous awe... read more of Elle Fanning's Alice, who has agreed to co-star in their Zombie movie. She's also a precious commodity for J.J. Abrams: the budding romance between Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice gives the film its heartbeat.
    For all its flickers of feeling, Super 8 never relinquishes its movieness. Where Spielberg mingled the extraordinary with a verifiable suburbia, Abrams works at one remove, locating the extraordinary in Spielbergia. The magic comes lovingly pre-packaged and idealised.
    Abrams admits that the coming-of-age and coming-of-alien storylines were separate ideas, melded together. This bi-part origin is always palpable, unaided by Abrams' drip-feed approach turning into a cascade. Sci-fi eventually floods the town - and this film - washing away mystery and much of the charm.
    Convention also rears its ugly head. Apart from a sketchy rescue mission, the kids are bystanders in a plot that has crash-landed from a different movie. No matter how much CG-alien action rolls out, we miss just watching these kids grow up. In this, at least, Abrams is true to his mentor. The humans here are the most awesome special effect.
  • fb1019018362
    December 3, 2012
    nice story and character. the adventure of kids and alien. nice sci-fi movie for kids.
  • October 29, 2012
    Give J.J. Abrams access to Industrial Light & Magic, and what does he do? He out-Spielbergs Spielberg! Beautiful homage, a love letter to Spielberg that, as executive producer, the legend admittedly paid for himself, but the result is a film that's not nearly as narcissistic as t... read morehat sounds. E.T., The Goonies and Close Encounters all kind of meet in the middle in this story of a gang of kids who plan to spend their summer making a movie but get caught up in some weirdness around a strange accident - government conspiracy? extra-terrestrial activity? - but also in the realities of being young teenagers, things like standing up to bullies and falling in love and learning that your parents are fallible... and forgiveable. A beautiful movie that hits you right in the heart, ambitious and charming and both strange and familiar. Spielberg might have been throwing batting practice for Abrams, but it doesn't mean the neophyte didn't hit it out of the park. One of the best Hollywood movies of the last few years, and an instant classic. I loved it.
  • September 5, 2012
    A beautiful ode to filmmaking, and especially to Steven Spielberg, Super 8 is a childish delight and yet a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong, much of this is a fangirl's wet dream, but some of the more distinguishable flaws are so bittersweet that it's hard to get behind the e... read morevident care and concern that went into this film. The story is that of a group of kids who deal with aliens in the midst of shooting their zombie film on super 8 film. The kids themselves are a bit indistinguishable from one another except for the two main friends who either sound like misanthropic drunks in a film noir or epithet obsessed narcissists, which is at least partially true of most kids anyway. The premise of the alien invasion is sound, and the visuals for this film are ingenious. It was thrilling through most of the first half with a large mystery surrounding it from the very beginning. Still, the alien itself is something mangled and large. It doesn't seem to matter what the filmmaker would choose for the monster's outward appearance anyway, because we barely learn anything about it, its origins, and we don't care for that matter. Most of this film isn't about originality but more on the nuances and mimicry of former films from the childhood of Generation X. Director J.J. Abrams' only mark on the film seems to be an increased use of lens flair and using the still new but impressively talented Elle Fanning. A lovely film, something easily digestible, and fun for most ages, yet too obviously an ode to make a mark for itself.
  • August 5, 2012
    I had heard about this film for almost a year, and wasn't very convinced from what I've seen from the trailers. However, I felt a little less confident after hearing the main cast was full of children. However, my view of the film went in the other direction after watching this c... read moreomplete work of genius.

    The film is based around children making a film for a competition who then witness some sort of attack on a train, only to learn that it was containing some unknown creature that causes destruction within the town. Some of the key strengths about this film are its visual effects and tension building. The effects on the train wreck and the creature make them seem so realistic, along with the sound effects can make the audience feel like their having the same experience as the film actors. At the same time, the method of building up tension is one if the films greatest achievements, as everyone in the cinema kept jumping at very scare moment. However, the shock scenes may not get to movie goers who are used to moments like this.

    There are some flaws to this film that can make it quite disappointing. The first is that the train attack was quite exaggerated, I don't expect the destruction of a train cargo to be OTT. The second flaw that there is a lack of imagination with the creature, as it looks like a mutated spider with scales. The biggest problem with this film was its ending, it felt short and unsatisfying. There could've been better ways, but it all ends with the ship taking off and slowly fading out.

    Overall, Super 8 is a fantastic sci-fi with some unnoticable flaws. However, the film was too extreme for a 12A and definately isn't for young children. This film has some laughs, emotional moments and truly intense scenes that will satisfy most science-fiction movie lovers.

Critic Reviews

Leah Rozen
October 7, 2011
Leah Rozen, TheWrap

Super 8 is accomplished commercial filmmaking. Full Review

Tom Huddleston
August 3, 2011
Tom Huddleston, Time Out

A diverting but rather pointless affair, undermined by its obsessive and clinical commitment to recreating past glories. Full Review

David Denby
June 27, 2011
David Denby, New Yorker

Spielberg and Abrams are the unwitting targets of their own irony. Full Review

Christopher Orr
June 10, 2011
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

A love letter to a cinematic era, before 'blockbuster' became a synonym for 'franchise' or 'tent pole.' Full Review

Tom Long
June 10, 2011
Tom Long, Detroit News

Remember the good old days? This is the movie you went to see on a Saturday afternoon in the good old days. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
June 10, 2011
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

There's much to like in this story of a group of young movie-makers who stumble upon an event right out of, well, the movies. Full Review

Peter Rainer
June 10, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

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. Full Review

James Berardinelli
June 10, 2011
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Abrams remembers the simple rule that a majority of his contemporaries have forgotten: action and mayhem have meaning only when an audience cares about the people trapped within the maelstrom. Full Review

Dana Stevens
June 10, 2011
Dana Stevens, Slate

This may not be a children's classic that will last for generations, but it will make for a rollicking afternoon at the multiplex for kids around Joe's age. Full Review

Tom Charity
June 9, 2011
Tom Charity,

Abrams' imitation is a shade too reverent for my taste. He lacks the subversive edge that allowed Joe Dante to bite his producer's hand and bring Gremlins to life, for example, and Abrams seems unsure... Full Review

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    • Preston: Oh man... I don't want to die
    • Charles: Asshole could you stop blowing shit up for two seconds and deal with the camera?
    • Martin: I told you not to call me Smartin!
    • Cary: I'm sorry, Smartin. Why don't you just go cry about it?
    • Cooper: Lets hug before the monster comes back!
    • Charles: [trying to escape the train derailment] I don't want to die!
    • Joe Lamb: Donny hey Donny wake up.
    • Cary: He's too stoned.
    • Martin: Drugs are soo bad.

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