The story is set in 1979 small town Ohio and stars 14ish year old kids. And these kids are kids. They talk like kids, mess around like kids, and really do a great job. They don’t look like they are acting. This is important when the whole movie is based on kid character driven story.
The kid actors are all pretty much newcomers, Elle Fanning (Dakota’s younger sister) has been in some stuff, but not too much. The adult actors are mostly no-namers, aside from Kyle Chandler (TV’s Friday Night Lights and Early Edition). The absence of the “Star” quality actor really helps make this film work. (Unlike the similar situation in 10,000 BC.) No performance overshadows the other, yet all really work for the film.
These particular kids are into movie making. They are making a Zombie film for an amateur film festival when they witness the derailment of an Air Force train. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but it was very well written. J.J. Abrams wrote and directed this film with Steven Spielberg as a producer. It was the best original screenplay I’ve seen since Inception. It was emotional, entertaining, funny, and sci-fi-y.
The cinematography in this film was also very good. Similar to the film’s marketing scheme, the way J.J. Abrams doesn’t let you see what is going on all the time really adds to the intrigue and awesomeness of this film. He and the actors really put their hearts into this film and it shows. It isn’t the throwaway, CGI-packed 3D hunk of crap a lot of movies are lately. Sure, they use CGI to create the awesome explosions and the stuff I won’t spoil for you, but the actors and the story really drive this film. Plus Simon from 7th Heaven plays a stoner, who is quite entertaining.
Super 8 runs 112 minutes and is rated PG-13. For the most part this film is pretty family oriented, though there is a little language (and drug references) at times. Kids under 9 probably don’t need to see it. I was thoroughly entertained and was not let down. I give it 10 ramheads out of 10.