Box art for Super 8

Super 8

sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers


Acclaimed filmmakers Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams join forces in this extraordinary tale of friendship, mystery, and adventure.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    82%
  • Audience Score
    75%

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Teens save town in action-heavy sci-fi film with retro feel.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this exciting, 1979-set sci-fi drama -- which follows a group of young teens who witness a horrific train accident while making a homemade movie and get caught up in a military cover-up involving a mysterious and dangerous beast -- has some intense action violence, especially the truly terrifying train wreck. There's some blood and weapons use, and some scenes may make you jump out of your seat, but gore is minimal. Also expect some drinking/drug content (including someone trying to sell the kids pot) and swearing (including one use of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "a--hole," and more). Director J.J. Abrams manages to perfectly capture the feeling of similar movies from the period, largely by drawing shamelessly from the works of producer Steven Spielberg.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about communication and peaceful negotiation. How does the movie's violence tie in to this message?
  • For those familiar with Spielberg's movies -- how is this an obvious homage to his films? What elements of Spielberg's movies are evident in the heroes, the story, the cinematography, the music?
  • How would this movie have been different if it was set in the present day? How does Abrams include '70s technology in the storyline?
  • Why are the kids so devoted to making Super 8 movies? What purpose does the activity serve? Do kids these days get to indulge in creative pursuits like these in the same way?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    82%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Super 8 reviews
  • Audience

    75%

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Super 8 is an exciting and touching Sci-Fi adventure film that serves as great Summer fare as well as being a throwback to classic Spielberg films.

- fb100002535597619, Monday, July 23, 2012

4 stars

Super 8 is a film that shows director/writer J.J. Abrams' talents blossoming at their maximum effect. What he has achieved here is a tremendous sci-fi film which is actually much more a film about love, loss and a second chance, than any special effects or mayhem. Super 8 is a great film full of nostalgia and excitment that also understands to make us in the audience to care of it's characters. It would be definetly wrong to categorise Super 8 only as a pure sci-fi. At it's core it is so much more than that. As i pointed earlier, it is a film that also deals with themes of loss, grief and friendship. There is also wonderfully concieved plot between father and his son. You could say that Super 8 is much more a film about it's perfectly written characters than special effects or action. At it's core it's a character study and a touching story about forgivness and a second chance. Much has been said about Abrams and him being a new Spielberg, but in my opinion he has different kind of cinematic language of his own. Sure, there are few neat echoes and trademarks from Spielberg's films, most notably from War of the Worlds, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but overall his pacing and stylistic approach is quite different. He is an artist with his own strong voice. With stylish use of his innovative camerawork and strong screenplay, this film is far from your average entertainment. It definetly is entertaining film to sit through, but at the same time it makes viewer ask some serious questions and forces them to use their own heads. Super 8 came out with a huge mystery wrapped around it and that has always been one of the Abrams' genius touches. He also has this wonderful ability to promote his films and here he nearly lives up to expectations he has set to himself. Abrams has always understood that very often less is more and here he uses that technique better than ever. Super 8 has many similarities to television show Lost and monster-film Cloverfield, both projects which he produced. And like with those creations, he wisely do not show too much to a viewer. What keeps us on the edge of our seat is the disturbing glimpses of something very creepy that has gone loose in the small Ohio town. For those who think that this is the new E.T. i can just say that they could not be more wrong. Sure we see the film mostly through it's young main characters, like in E.T, but Abrams makes them go through quite a ordeal emotionally and physically before the film ends. There are no easy way out here for anyone. I would say that Super 8 is much darker film that many has expected. If it resembles Spielberg-film, then it's closest cousin would be War of the Worlds, which is ultimately Spielberg's best film to date. It has painful and emotionally involving father/son realtionship in it, which is played out brilliantly by young Joel Courtney and Kyle Chandler. Actually there is this huge dysfunctional family theme underneath it's whole surface. Abrams defintely knows how to make us care about his characters and their fate in the middle of all the chaos and destruction. When it comes to technical aspects of this film, Super 8 is pure tour de force and a work of art. Larry Fong's creative work as a lenser is flawless and Michael Giacchino has certainly composed one of his best scores ever for this film. Super 8 also works as a great throwback to 70's and 80's sci-fi and adventure films. It borrows something old and turns it into something unique and new. Super 8 is clearly labour of love for J.J. Abrams and his passion to this film is evident in every frame. There is still one flaw in this film and it comes in the form of the film's main mystery. When finally this mystery is shown to the viewer, it comes a bit disappointment. You almost hope that Abrams' would have had the balls to not even show the whole mystery at all for us. This is still one of the rare examples of a film which is full of thrilling moments of suspense and more emotionally engaging moments that actually touches the heart. It is edge of your seat ride and heartbreakingly beautiful film at the same time. It is alive in a way that few films are.

- emilkakko, Saturday, July 14, 2012

3 stars

Interesting sci-fi installment. Thought it would be more epic though. A bit hyped-out.

- Raajay, Saturday, July 14, 2012