Critic Review - New Yorker

Spielberg and Abrams are the unwitting targets of their own irony.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (46)
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Go FukURslf

Go FuckYourSelf

I've worked at a movie theatre for quite a long time and when you see so many movies every week and the reactions of everyday people, you start to understand the buz or the general consensus on whether a movie is any good and for what reasons. This movie was well made and nine out of ten people who have seen it enjoyed it very much. Do not take this mans critique seriously he is pretentious and self-asserting, what do you expect from someone at the new yorker.

Jun 27 - 09:15 AM

Cinematic Method

You are so very right. I watched this movie and was hoping it would never end. You hate to see people tearing down great movies so that they can different from everyone else.

Jul 7 - 01:07 PM


Abby normal

I was hoping it wouldn't end either... because the ending we were given was so inane. I was hoping for something more to make it all make sense. First 30 minutes was terrific. From there, the one-note plot went nowhere. I can see why younger viewers might like it but for those of us who grew up with sci-fi classics that placed story and characters above special effects, this one was just ho-hum.

Jul 10 - 10:04 AM


James Goldstein

>LOLZ. The whole point of the movie was to revive the purity and honesty of movies we felt when we adults were young. J.J Abrams is a cheater because he writes and directs scripts and movies that are rip-offs from the original. But hey, guess what; he DOES place character and story above the special effects. That's why his movies don't fail to appeal to audiences.

Sep 7 - 04:38 PM


Barry Anderson appropriate. Illiterate jackass

Sep 28 - 04:28 PM

J S.

J Sullivan

Writing 101: The story ends when the "life changing event" that kickstarted the whole journey has been rebalanced. The life changing event was not the alien, it was the death of the wife/mother at the beginning of the movie, and how that death affected these two families.
Once peace had been made, and the father and son were able to forgive and let go of their pain (something they did literally by letting go of the necklace), the movie was resolved.

The ending was perfect.

May 23 - 12:22 PM

Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black

@GO FukURslf - you clearly state that there is a small percentage of viewers who don't "enjoy it very much" and then criticize a reviewer who represents this minority ? Nice logic, kid.

Oct 12 - 05:35 AM

Cheyne Legris

Cheyne Legris

what with all the alien science fiction flicks coming out lately, i'm just waiting for someone to come up with some truly unique human and extraterrestrial interaction. while "super 8" is an entertaining film, no doubt, the alien featured here might as well have been the same one from 'starship troopers' or 'cowboys and aliens'. the ending is overly sentimental but just might have worked if the film's violence hadn't been so brutal and graphic right up until then. for a film aimed at a younger audience, the intensity of some sequences, including a steadily climbing death toll, i found the innocence of things quickly dwindling away. this film tries to be edgy, and it shows, but Abrams was never one to be lacking in style. nevertheless, it's basically recycled ideas and themes from the hey-day of children caper films. with a producer credit to Spielberg, 'super 8's reminiscence of his older films is uncanny. i feel that Abrams had a great opportunity here to recreate the child caper genre but instead resorted to tried and true methods instead. so, mission accomplished, he created a film he knew would work, and it does, but from such a talented filmmaker like Abrams I know he could take some chances and get away with them. much like Abrams 'star trek', 'super 8' is glossy and gorgeous with amazing action choreography and commendable direction, but 'super 8' reminds us of other films more than leave a strong, new lasting impression. the technical dazzle here overwhelms any chance of the deeper heart here coming through in full force.

Mar 7 - 03:40 PM

J S.

J Sullivan

I didn't find the violence any more shocking than we saw in movies like Goonies (where Mouth almost had his tongue cut out), or Monster Squad, where kids were literally shooting and staking monsters left and right.

May 23 - 12:25 PM


Ray Stark

The same "everyday people" you speak of gave thumbs up to Pearl Harbor, Wild Hogs, Signs, The Bodyguard and a host of other crappy films. Sorry bub, I'll trust the critics over joe schmo moviegoer ANY day.

Jun 28 - 03:49 PM


Gustavo H. Razera

Uhm, your mentioning SIGNS together with those other films makes zero sense.

Jun 29 - 06:37 PM

Jared T.

Jared Turner

Signs is one of my favorites

Jul 1 - 05:08 AM


Rob Alicea

Signs was a half-good movie. It started off as a good brooding small-town scifi thriller, and then it brought in the cheesy provincial nonsense and it imploded.

Jul 13 - 02:55 PM

Levi M.

Levi Miller

Signs was garbage. Not as bad as "The Happening" but still terrible.

Sep 16 - 04:22 PM


Barry Anderson

To each his/her own. I found signs to be a classic "B" movie, with sole, and the required goofy ending.

Sep 28 - 04:30 PM

Cinematic Method

You need to watch this movie for yourself and decide how good it is. This movie is the best I've seen so far this year. But then again Signs is a great movie so maybe you are just out of your mind.

Jul 7 - 01:10 PM


Mister Vile

Or maybe you cannot process that fact that there are other point of views other than your own. And probably better ones.

Jul 12 - 07:53 AM

Amir B.

Amir B

Wow ! that was the best movie you saw this year !

It was BADONG, many scenes didn't make sense (like when the military shoots in random directions without a reason), it had other GNODAB scenes as well.

The characters are good developed (close to perfection) but the story, the background, how they get from one place to another, make no sense most of the time.

Jul 18 - 06:11 AM

Mike Rosborough

Mike Rosborough

It explains why the military was shooting in random directions? The radio operator claimed that it's chaos all of our weapons are misfiring at random.

Nov 14 - 09:41 PM


Jamie Flow

The critic's approval rating of Signs and Super 8 is higher the audience's approval rating.

Sep 27 - 06:10 PM

Jaho K.

Jaho Koo

True true

Jul 5 - 02:49 AM


Michael C

If there is any irony it's of your review. The movie has been well accepted, wildly popular, and rating over 80% on the tomato meter. That's irony if I've ever seen it.

Jul 7 - 02:41 PM


Mister Vile

Fan boy talk. The reviewer is entirely correct in pointing out Spielberg's self-serving personification of his older movies shown in this Super 8. It is a valid criticism.

I liked the movie to a point, but this was a fault i had as well.

Jul 12 - 07:56 AM


Will Oliver

Le Gasp! How DARE this guy have an opinion that differs from my own! Doesn't he know that what I say goes? :O

Jul 8 - 09:29 PM

Tyler Trapp

Tyler Trapp

People may have an opinion but there is no reason to insult the director of the movie, i doubt this guy could make a 5 minute youtube video let alone a movie.

Jul 29 - 05:55 PM

Hoppy MacSpudbuck

Hoppy MacSpudbuck

This movie was engrossing.. I downed a whole bag of baby carrutz without blinking!

Sep 4 - 03:44 AM


Stephen Stephens

Too bad you cant spell "carrots". I bet your eyesight is perfect, though!

Dec 20 - 05:04 PM

Nikolas Zografos

Nikolas Zografos

I agree with this guy's review entirely. This movie was actually... bad. It's unfortunate because I really wanted to love it. I went in, sat down, and wanted to pee with anticipation.

Oct 15 - 12:07 AM


Stephen Stephens

Next time bring an empty jar with you.

Dec 20 - 05:05 PM

Sunoo Bertsch

Sunoo Bertsch

It seems like you only post a comment to say something negative. Go back to your cave troll. I don't understand people like you. My parents never told me they loved me either, but I find more productive ways to process through it then talk down on people who will never see you in real life.

Dec 24 - 09:06 PM

Sunoo Bertsch

Sunoo Bertsch

Oh and before you correct my grammar and try to act like a smartass, that "you" should be a "me" in that last sentence. I find it ridiculous that I have to point that out just because you passed high school English and think that entitles you to critique everyone.

Dec 24 - 09:10 PM


Barry Anderson


Nov 24 - 03:17 PM

Connor Johnson

Connor Johnson

Sounds like someone wasn't actually paying attention to the movie. Most of your plot-hole gripes are explained.

Funnily enough, there are actually some minor plot holes in this movie... It's still hella good, though.

Nov 24 - 09:04 PM

J S.

J Sullivan

Film Critics in general are the proprietors of the most unnecessary job on the planet. There are billions of people in the world with millions upon millions of varying forms of taste when it comes to movies. No one will ever be able to dictate whether a movie is enjoyable or whether it serves its purpose or not, that is up to the individual viewer. Personal experiences, hobbies, joys, hatred, biases, culture, religion (or lack thereof), and upbringing all have a say in how different people will perceive a film when they watch it.
We all have our guilty pleasures, too; movies we've seen and loved, but are embarrassed to admit we like in public. All of that aside, however, I really enjoyed 'Super 8'. It reminded me of movies from my youth like; 'Goonies', 'Monster Squad', E.T., etc. J.J. Abrams isn't really the most "original" writer/director/producer out there, but if you're going to emulate a style, especially when directing a movie like 'Super 8', then copying the style of Steven Spielburg isn't a bad choice.
In short, don't let anyone dictate a movie for you. If you're interested by the trailer, then watch the movie, if you're not, then don't. Just my 2 cents.

Nov 24 - 09:24 PM


Melissa Smith

That truly isn't the point to criticism at all.

Jan 21 - 11:05 PM


In Your Dreams

This guy reads like a robot wrote his post. I don't believe for a second this is your real opinion, plant-job.

Jan 24 - 12:31 AM

J S.

J Sullivan

Luckily my life isn't swayed by your beliefs, wATvelength.

May 23 - 12:32 PM

Blake Beverly

Blake Beverly

Pretentious critics like this "guy" never get laid.

Nov 30 - 04:25 PM


Stephen Stephens

Oh yeah? I bet he gets more than "Frank Sinatry"!

Dec 20 - 05:08 PM


Stephen Stephens

@Barry "To each his/her own. I found signs to be a classic "B" movie, with sole, and the required goofy ending". Sole? As in fish or as in foot?

Dec 20 - 04:37 PM


Stephen Stephens

@Barry Oh and by the way. Learn proper grammar skills before you call somebody an "illiterate jackass"...otherwise you resemble that remark, trolling fool.

Dec 20 - 04:40 PM

Daniel M.

Daniel Morawitz

it's a shame that a movie like super 8 which brings back memories from the 80 or even earlier gets 82% and a movie like Thor (which was good) gets somthing like 91%

Jan 4 - 09:35 AM

Harold Jewell

Harold Jewell

No. No. A thousand times no. I just got around to renting it and kept falling asleep, when not being annoyed by this overwrought, largely boring flick. I didn't count the number of times one or more of the kids cried "Oh my God!", but it must have been around fifty. A waste of time.

Jan 4 - 01:13 PM

Michael B.

Michael Both

I read Denbys review and I thought that he is basically right. The monster is nothing extraordinary at all - they should have never fully shown it in the film. And the scene where the train crashes is simply over the top. I liked the film, but sometimes the special effects worked against the 70´s nostalgia feeling and the end felt kind of uneven. It is still a charming movie and that is exactly what Denby says in his review. I hate Rotten Tomatoes for all the jerks on here who can not accept any opinion that differs from their own. I said it before - bunch of Nazis on here...

Feb 6 - 04:13 PM

Jon Martin

Jon Martin

I tend to somewhat agree with him. Although the effects were amazing, it's the story that bored me. It reminded me too much of E.T., but the alien was more hostile. Some actors were great while others I found less entertaining. Some of the scene were over the top and unnecessary. (like the train wreck, I thought it was too much carnage for what should have happen)
I just think the movie was over hyped just because it was Spielberg & Abrams. I like Spielberg's "Warhorse" way more entertaining than this movie.
It's my opinion, if you guys liked "Super 8", then the movie was for you, it was not for me.

Jun 4 - 04:45 PM

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