I dare you to say that you're not curious about Super 8, J.J. Abrams's 1979-set film about a group of kids who witness a spectacular train crash. The film has generated a lot of hype for what it doesn't show in trailers and promos, and it's the mystery that's the big draw. The previews do reveal that something escapes the crash and then stalks and terrorizes a small Midwestern town, which Abrams uses as a premise for a sentimental, nostalgia-filled portrait of a group of boys making a movie.
Joel Courtney leads the charge as Joe, a sensitive boy who has just lost his mother in an accident. He and his newly widowed father (Kyle Chandler) are figuring out how to get along with each other without the woman of the house while dealing with their grief. Joe's group of buds help distract him from his home life, as they fill their Summer vacation by making a movie for an amateur film festival. When they're filming a climactic scene near the train tracks, they watch — and film — an intense accident that has some pretty distressing repercussions. With Steven Spielberg on hand as producer, Super 8 often feels like one of his classic sci-fi standbys, but it's just not quite as memorable. However, it's still a fun, heart-pumping ride (the train crash is one of the best action sequences I've seen in a long time). To find out what else I thought, just read more