One of the main reasons the film works so well, however, is the young cast.
Think back to the likes of “Stand By Me” or “The Goonies”, to give just a couple of examples, and you will get the sense of camaraderie which comes across on screen.
Joel Courtney plays Joe Lamb, a 13-year-old boy who has lost his mother in a factory accident and who is struggling to bond with his equally grief-stricken deputy sheriff father.
And rising star Elle Fanning plays Alice Dainard, the feisty young object of the boys’ attentions who agrees to star in their Super 8 movie.
Both manage to grab you from the off and are screen gold.
But the rest of the ensemble cast also add to the atmosphere, which will have you feeling like a big kid again.
From Deadline: "Sound Editors Give ‘Super 8′, ‘War Horse’, ‘Rise Of Planet Of Apes’ Most Nominations"
- Best Sound Editing: Music in a Feature Film
- Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film
- Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film
From 411 Mania:
J.J. Abrams accomplished the near-impossible with Super 8 and that was to make a film that pays loving homage to the 1980s Steven Spielberg films instead of being a cheap knock-off of them. Abrams' story of an alien let loose on a small Midwestern town provides a great backdrop for him to insert his characters, mostly a group of kids who end up caught in the mayhem that follows. Abrams takes his visual trademarks such as his love for lens flare and tones them down, overcoming the temptation that Zack Snyder failed to do with Sucker Punch. Nevertheless, it is clearly an Abrams film and the performances that he gets from his young cast of actors is exceptional. Elle Fanning shows that at her age she is miles ahead of where her sister Dakota was at the same age and Joel Courtney is great as the lead. The alien presence never feels like a cheat and even the needed but rote exposition in the center of the film moves by quickly and doesn't bore. Abrams continues his exceptional run as a filmmaker and comes out with another truly great genre film as a result.
According to The Daily Texan, "Super 8" is in the Top 5 Movies of 2011.
The film gets the coming-of-age story at its center so right that it’s impossible to leave off this list. Magnificent performances from Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney make for several wistful, heartwarming moments, and Abrams nails the awe-inspired Spielberg aesthetic that made many of the films he’s trying to emulate classics.