Super 8 (2011)
starring Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle Chandler
directed by J.J. Abrams
written by J.J. Abrams
Say what you want about J.J. Abrams, the man knows how to tell a story. Super 8 is a work of quality cinema for thatvery reason: it tells a story well. As my mother said, the movie is like a mix of Stand by Me and E.T. The story is that of a young group of boys working on a zombie movie in their small town, when their world is rocked by a strange train accident with results in a series of supernatural occurrences. The movie does well balancing humor, drama, and suspense. Some moments the boyhood bickering will have you in stitches, and yet other moments the stunning cinematography will have your heart racing as you sit on the edge of your seat. Super 8 has many levels of emotional depth alongside its massive explosions; the characters develop thoroughly, and we get to experience the characters’ inner-growth, but also the development of the characters’ relationships. Despite their youth, the pubescent protagonists all display incredible skill as actors, showing realistic emotional range, notably Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney. Like the best science-fiction movies, the story does not revolve around the uncanniness of its supernatural elements, but rather on how the extreme circumstances amplify the characters’ emotions, giving us insight into their personalities and perspectives. Super 8 is a great movie conclusively for one real reason: it has range, without spreading itself too thin. It’s action-packed, humorous, suspenseful, and yet still builds relatable characters, with interesting relationships, which gives it such wide overall appeal.
Final Score: 4.2 out of 5