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Super 8 (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  10 June 2011 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 262,146 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 822 user | 526 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jade Griffiths ...
Benji Kaznyk
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Peg Kaznyk
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Storyline

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 disappearances 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. Written by Official site

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It arrives.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 June 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Super 8  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$35,451,168 (USA) (10 June 2011)

Gross:

$126,975,169 (USA) (23 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During post-production, Judd Apatow was shown some completed footage, which he praised as "awesome". J.J. Abrams subsequently placed Apatow in the "special thanks" section of the credits. See more »

Goofs

When the bus overturns, the window is obviously breakaway candied glass, which breaks into large pieces and easily falls out of the frame (at around 1h 23 mins). Real vehicles use tempered safety glass, which shatters into tiny pea sized pieces but retains its general form. Although tempered glass was patented in 1900, it did not become federal mandate until 1977. Vehicles manufactured before that time may have in fact not had the same safety features known today. In addition, the relative cost of tempered glass instead of candied glass is prohibitive when shooting multiple takes of a movie. Even with its $50M budget, one has to assume that some lifelike replicas had to be made, rather than destroying actual vehicles and houses. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Kaznyk: I'm so worried for that boy.
Mr. Kaznyk: Joe's gonna be okay.
Mrs. Kaznyk: She was everything to him.
Mr. Kaznyk: Jack's gonna step up. He's a good man.
Mrs. Kaznyk: But he's never had to be a father before. I don't think he understands Joe.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Charles's completed zombie movie is shown during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes IV (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Freak
Written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers
Performed by Chic
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the great ones
9 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1979, in the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio, a preteen boy named Joe Lamb is trying to cope with the recent death of his mother, who was killed in a factory accident. Much to the frustration of his father, the town's deputy sheriff, Joe copes by immersing himself in a project lead by his best friend, Charles. That project is a horror film, shot on a SUPER 8 camera, and Charles has enlisted the help of not only Joe, but the rest of his misfit friends, and has surprised everyone by talking Alice Dainard, the prettiest girl in school, into playing the hero's wife. On the night of the first big shoot, the would be filmmaker witness a train crash. Pretty soon, the town of Lillian is swarmed by military men, who won't tell anybody what is going on. Abrams and Spielberg may be the only two people in Hollywood who still know how to keep a secret, so I won't spoil that by going into the plot too much further. But I will say that Super 8 lives up to every bit of hype and expectation surrounding it. This is a beautifully crafted, emotional, funny, scary, thrilling movie that enthralls an audience the ways Spielberg's 80s classics did. And this is coming from someone who has been accused of "worshipping" Spielberg. Abrams has recreated the look and feel of vintage Spielberg expertly, down to the last detail. For a Spielberg fan, it's an absolute joy to behold.

But Abrams somehow manages to do this without completely sacrificing his own unique voice as a filmmaker. It's got the twists and turns of Lost, the personality of his Star Trek, and, like most Abrams projects, a leading lady who propels the whole thing. In this case, it's young Elle Fanning, who, as Alice, projects such a genuine combination of childlike innocence and ahead of her years maturity, that you can't take her eyes off of her whenever she's on screen. The entire cast is terrific, especially Joel Courtney as Joe, and Riley Griffiths as Charles, but Fanning steals the movie. We become completely involved with these characters in a way we rarely do with adult Hollywood heroes. I found myself caring every bit as much about the budding romance between Alice and Joe as I did the more spectacular events of the film.

And it is spectacular. Abrams and Spielberg give us action/suspense scenes that evoke Spielberg's classics Jaws, Jurassic Park, and E.T. They also come as close to the emotion of E.T. as any film of this type has done since then. Super 8 is the kind of film for which the cliché "You''ll laugh, you'll cry" was invented. If you're a child of the 80s and complain that they don't make movies the way they did when you were a kid, well, Abrams and Spielberg have done exactly that.And Michael Giacchino further establishes himself as one of the best film composers to come along in years. His score soars with emotions and build suspense in the vein of (of course) John Williams.

I also have to take a moment, as former amateur child filmmaker, to talk about how well rendered that aspect of the story is. It certainly added an extra level of enjoyment for me that I vividly remember the days of trying to make my own blockbusters with nothing but a camera, a few friends, and wildly overactive imagination.

It's worth mentioning, by way of warning (especially to parents) that Super 8 is rated PG-13 for a reason, namely the intensity, and for an E.T./Goonies like tendency to have the kids swear. Most audiences will get past this, but certainly some will not, and I'm absolving myself of any complaints.

Movies like this are the reason I love movies. In an age when trailers give away everything, Super 8 unfolds before us, capturing us in its spell, and never letting go. It's an unforgettable movie experience. A film to be treasured,


186 of 355 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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