Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 14, 2011

To Sir, with love

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 11:30 pm

October 14, 2011

Cast: Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich

Director: JJ Abrams

Set in the late 70s, Super 8 is a gripping thriller from Lost creator JJ Abrams, that follows a bunch of school-going friends who accidentally capture footage of a major train crash while shooting a low-budget zombie film. Something escapes from the wrecked train, and pretty soon the army is crawling all over town. Then the plot goes all E.T. on us.

Its title referring to the old film format used by home-movie enthusiasts, this nostalgia-soaked adventure is evocative of the film’s producer Steven Spielberg’s early hits, particularly Close Encounters of the Third Kind, whose visual style it emulates. Like Gremlins and Goonies (which he also produced) and E.T. itself, Super 8 is above all things, a tale of youth and friendship. The kids here not only have a great sci-fi adventure to solve, but also tackle a heap of prickly emotional issues – everything from the death of a parent, to young love – that make the movie surprisingly heartfelt.

The three protagonists that stand out in the film are Riley Griffiths, who plays Charlie, the excitable director of this home-made movie; Joel Courtney as Joe, the make-up genius in this motley crew, who’s at odds with his cop father; and particularly Elle Fanning as the brazen school beauty who has her own domestic troubles. This young cast is the emotional core of Super 8, and the reason the film remains grounded even when the plot occasionally teeters on the brink of sheer cheesiness.

It’s a good old-fashioned entertainer that delivers nifty special effects and gimmicks, but doesn’t let them get in the way of a solid, moving story. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Super 8. Make sure you stay till the end credits for a clever surprise!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. when it comes to the name Steven Speilberg than its a must watch movie….big fan of him

    Comment by harsh — October 15, 2011 @ 1:45 am

  2. Two Thumbs up!!!

    Comment by Paramveer — October 15, 2011 @ 3:47 am

  3. I find “Attack the Block” better!

    Comment by Mihir — October 15, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  4. It is one of the good sci fi movies.and first time i agree with your rating 🙂

    Comment by jaimin patel — October 23, 2011 @ 10:41 am

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