Total Film reviews "Super 8"

From Total Film:

The kids, mind, are faultless. Unlike the silicon-soul LA brats who inhabit most modern movies (though Elle Fanning, terrific as the cool older girl who Joe and Charles moon over, is exactly that), this terrific troupe recall not just early Spielberg but ’80s favourites Stand By Me and The Monster Squad.

It’s there in the gap-toothed grins, fleshy frames, oversized spectacles and bowl haircuts, and it’s there also in the insouciant banter spiked with colourful lingo (“Holy shit, that’s mint!”; “Dude, that’s bitchin’!”; “This is insane!”).
Maybe the kids feel real because JJ had friends just like them, or maybe it’s because they’re borrowed from movies where they felt real the first time round, and are here presented with sincerity.

Whatever the reason, they’re a riot to hang out with, and their heartache – Joe’s mom has just died, all of them are outsiders – feels genuine, though it never wrenches like Elliott’s absent father or Gordie LaChance’s dead older brother.

Joel Courtney