411 Mania: Super 8 is Tops
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.