Super 8 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Super 8 Reviews

Top Critic
Leah Rozen
TheWrap
October 7, 2011
Super 8 is accomplished commercial filmmaking.
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
August 3, 2011
A diverting but rather pointless affair, undermined by its obsessive and clinical commitment to recreating past glories.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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David Denby
New Yorker
June 27, 2011
Spielberg and Abrams are the unwitting targets of their own irony.
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Leonard Maltin
indieWIRE
June 10, 2011
If you're wondering what's missing from so many big-budget, effects-driven Hollywood movies, the answer lies in J.J. Abrams' Super 8: heart and passion. What's happening onscreen really matters to...
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
June 10, 2011
A love letter to a cinematic era, before 'blockbuster' became a synonym for 'franchise' or 'tent pole.'
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 10, 2011
Remember the good old days? This is the movie you went to see on a Saturday afternoon in the good old days.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 10, 2011
There's much to like in this story of a group of young movie-makers who stumble upon an event right out of, well, the movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 10, 2011
If Abrams had stuck with the kids and cut way back on all the sci-fi hoo-ha, his film might have stood a fighting chance of being charming. Big is not always better, even when it comes to fantasies.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 10, 2011
Abrams remembers the simple rule that a majority of his contemporaries have forgotten: action and mayhem have meaning only when an audience cares about the people trapped within the maelstrom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
June 10, 2011
This may not be a children's classic that will last for generations, but it will make for a rollicking afternoon at the multiplex for kids around Joe's age.
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
June 9, 2011
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.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 9, 2011
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 9, 2011
This sci-fi thriller has an engrossing plot and a strong cast of fully drawn characters. There's even a sweet youthful love story. In other words, it's a summer blockbuster firing on all cylinders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 9, 2011
The result is a sci-fi monster movie that keeps its sense of fun and humanity. It's a valentine to a classically American genre -- the B-movie -- and a nostalgic look back on a more innocent time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 9, 2011
This new film isn't perfect, and may not be a world-changer, but it's certainly a world-pleaser.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 9, 2011
It's the child actors, heroic indeed, who rescue Super 8 from the blockbuster grip of its adult makers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
June 9, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 9, 2011
The worst that can be said about the film is that the characters are far more compelling than the mystery they solve.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
June 9, 2011
Its pleasures are borrowed, but durable.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 9, 2011
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.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
June 9, 2011
Has moments of greatness, but the ending is a slight disappointment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 9, 2011
Breathing new life into these old forms is a next-to-impossible mission, but if the skeletons in your closet are made of celluloid, "Super 8" will be more of a treat than a trick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
June 9, 2011
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.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 9, 2011
A retro monster mash with a child's heart, a prodigy's unstoppable imagination and FX dazzle to spare.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 9, 2011
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
June 9, 2011
There is a lot to like about Super 8, but little that's new.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 9, 2011
"Super 8'' is a curious thing indeed: A good movie that makes you want to go home and re-watch a great one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 9, 2011
Abrams ... delivers a phenomenal pop-art experience, dazzling the senses while aiming straight for the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 9, 2011
All too often the plot feels calculated rather than organic, the result of a time-tested formula rather than genuine innovation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 9, 2011
It's as full of rich characters as it is smart popcorn-movie scares.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 9, 2011
This melding of two cinematic sensibilities, though effective at moments, is finally not as exciting or involving as it we'd like it to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 9, 2011
"Super 8" is more like a mannered impression of a great '70s summer movie than the real thing, but that makes it just about perfect for our age of simulated sincerity.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 9, 2011
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."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 9, 2011
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 8, 2011
Super 8 is a wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of filmmaking, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 8, 2011
Super 8 is a loving, heartfelt but hollow pastiche.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 8, 2011
Loving, playful, and spectacularly well made, Super 8 is easily the best summer movie of the year -- of many years. And I make that declaration with full knowledge that the season has just begun.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 8, 2011
Abrams brings so much affection to the project the results reveal both the film geek he surely was as a Spielberg-lovin' kid, and the hard-charging populist he has become.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
June 8, 2011
The reasons you'll remember the movie will be all about quieter, moving intimacy created by its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 8, 2011
It's not a perfect film - the ending couldn't possibly live up to the build-up, for instance - but it is just a tremendous amount of fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
June 8, 2011
"Super 8" displays the transition from Spielberg the man to Spielberg the noun. (As in: Abrams has pulled a Spielberg.) But it's far from perfect.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 8, 2011
Sorry to dash your hopes, but it's just more of the same junk. Junk for children, with an estimated $45-million budget. There oughta be a law.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
June 8, 2011
Budding teen romance, menacing military men and not one but two dysfunctional dads are checked off like a how-to Spielberg kit with a depressing lack of intellectual heft.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
June 7, 2011
Named for an obsolete cinema technology, Super 8 is involving enough to create its own reality.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 7, 2011
All you're left with is ... story. And strong performances. And well-developed characters. And a believable emotional arc. And genuine thrills.
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
June 6, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
June 6, 2011
An engaging return trip to Steven Spielberg's youthful world of wonder courtesy of J.J. Abrams.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 6, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 2, 2011
The year's most thrilling, feeling mainstream movie.