The summer-movie season is dealt a disappointing blow by this well-intentioned clunker from writer-director J.J. Abrams (who put together the extremely entertaining Star Trek reboot). The movie follows a bunch of kids in the ’70s who like to make Super 8 movies. The film tries to be a coming-of-age story, a teen romance, a father-son parable and a monster movie all at once. Abrams’ love for Steven Spielberg (who produced the movie) is screamingly obvious, as the film rips off Jaws, Close Encounters and especially E.T. The alien/monster element is strangely secondary, with the beastie getting very little screen time. Abrams strains to wrap the film up in a pretty little bow with an emotional payoff. It’s time for him to make another Star Trek film.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Guy Riedel
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, AJ Michalka, Glynn Turman, Richard Jones, Brett Rice, Bruce Greenwood, Dale Dickey, Dan Castellaneta, Jack Axelrod and Michael Hitchcock