Super 8 Movie Review: The Way a Summer Blockbuster Should Be

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Are you as confused about the Super 8 mystery as everyone else?  Well don't let that deter you from seeing this spectacular film.  Super 8 provides a breath of fresh air to an otherwise superhero saturated summer.

Don't get me wrong, the superhero movies are fun and entertaining, but director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg bring film making to a whole new level with this sci-fi about a mysterious train crash.

Hollywood is in desperate need of originality and epic blockbusters -- and Super 8 delivers on both fronts.

The Kids See The Super 8 Mystery

The story of a group of middle-school kids making a film during their summer vacation is the kind of adolescent innocence we can all relate to and it's featured extraordinarily well in this film.

The kids have decided to make a film about zombies using a Super 8 camera for a film festival coming up.  They sneak out one night to film scenes at a train station when they witness a devastating train crash.  The film leaves you guessing right from the beginning.  Why are all the dogs running away?  What's trying to get out of the train?  And why are there military agents on an apparent secret operation trying to dispose of the evidence?

What's Going On?

The questions are endless and you just want to keep watching to find out what the heck is going to happen next.

Abrams does a terrific job of integrating the kids and adults into the film.  The kids are treated with equal sophistication as the adults in the film and they are just as important, if not, more important to the plot.

The performances from these young actors are astounding and even though the plot is intense and action-packed, the kids are hilarious!  All relative newcomers to the scene, they each deliver their lines with a brilliant ease and every conversation is so completely natural, you feel like you're eavesdropping on their summer adventures.

Arguing With the Military

Among the standouts is 15-year-old Joel Courtney, who brings a both a sweetness and heroic determination to the screen.  Similar to Spielberg's other masterpiece E.T., the kids are the stars and Courtney leads the pack with a maturity that is not common among first-timers. 

Elle Fanning also holds her own as the only girl in a group of rowdy young boys.  She has already displayed tremendous talent growing up on the big screen and this film is no different.

Abrams, co-creator of Lost, brings the same thrills and edge-of-your-seat mystery as he did to the very popular television series and there's a reason people were so in love with Lost.  Although aggravating at times, the mystery would bring you back over and over, providing a great platform for a scripted serial television show.

Super 8 Star Joel Courtney

But back to the film...

The cinematographic technique in Super 8 of a movie within a movie could be confusing and just too much, but that is not the case with this film. The layers give the film another element that makes it even better than if it were one story.  The kids' attempts to get this movie done creates much-needed comic relief and provides another brilliant element to this great film.

Even with the layered storylines, the film has a simplicity that is charming and appropriate for the summer vacation vibe. It doesn't force any opinion or ideas on the audiences, it simply provides a great story.

The special effects are like no-other.  The train crash scene brings the audience on an unbelievable journey from the first cart exploding to the final disaster scene that just engulfs the kids in its magnificence and epic landscape.

Elle Fanning as Alice in Super 8

Super 8 is not just an action movie -- it is a beautifully scripted drama with real character development and heart.  It just also happens to have amazing special effects and a mystery you won't want to miss.

Super 8 Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

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Super 8 Quotes

Louis Dainard: "I saw it. No one believes me!"
Joe Lamb: "I believe you."

"Nine people missing. Property damage. Theft. But there are things happening around here that I can't explain."

Jack Lamb

Super 8 Review

Are you as confused about the Super 8 mystery as everyone else?  Well don't let that deter you from seeing this spectacular film.  Super...

Read Review Editor Rating
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (28 Votes)