The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Abrams' imitation is a shade too reverent for my taste. He lacks the subversive edge that allowed Joe Dante to bite his producer's hand and bring Gremlins to life, for example, and Abrams seems unsure just how scary he wants things to get.
Abrams fashions Super 8 in such a calculating manner, with every element weighed both for maximum nostalgia value and ironic hipster cred, that it has an artificial feel to it. It's like a birthday cake made of spun glass.
For pretty much the first half of the new movie from writer-director J.J. Abrams, Super 8 isn't really even an alien thriller; it's a sad-sweet tale of loss and coming-of-age set in the golden-gone days of the late '70s.
Attempts the difficult feat of balancing self-consciousness about the olden days with wide-eyed, headlong, present-tense fun. For about an hour it succeeds marvelously. The modest letdown that follows exposes the limitations of Mr. Abrams's imagination.
Writer-director J.J. Abrams overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder.
"Super 8" knows what it wants to be, but like the earnest super-8 amateur flick its young heroes labor over, the movie skips some steps to achieve an effect. The result is an almost-great valentine to Gen-X genre milestones.
Put "The Goonies," "E.T.," "Close Encounters" and "War of the Worlds" in that blender from "Gremlins" -- and transport the mixture back to 1979 in the "Back to the Future" DeLorean -- and you get J.J. Abrams' "Super 8."
Abrams and executive producer Steven Spielberg are reprising a few of their own greatest hits, and creating the kind of Saturday-matinee adventure that kids of a bygone era would have raced to the neighborhood movie house to see.
Sadly, the helmer seems too smitten working with Steven Spielberg to recognize that his idol-turned-champion created the very paradigm that limits his passion project, forcing this modest nostalgia trip to function as a blockbuster.
It would be easy to dismiss as 100 percent ersatz if it didn't rekindle at least some of the old excitement -- and if the magic of Spielberg's older movies didn't filter through, like light from a distant galaxy.