Remember when we were kids and we went to see E.T. and Goonies? Remember how awesome those movies were, for so many reasons, but mostly because they captured what it was really like to be kids? They talked like you and cared about the things you cared about, and had friends like your friends? You felt so akin to the kids in Goonies that you felt gypped you didn’t get your own awesome adventure like them!
That's what Super 8 is like! Joe and his friends are growing up in a small town in the 1970's. Joe's mom died a few months earlier in a work-related accident, and Joe and his dad are having a hard time connecting while they deal with their grief. Plus, Joe isn't exactly the coolest of kids. Luckily Joe has his friends. They're all very into movies and are making their own zombie movie on a super 8 camera. But one night, when they're filming, they witness, and narrowly escape, a train crash. The camera keeps running and they film the crash.
And then strange things start happening in their town. All the dogs in town run away. People have gone missing. I won't give anything way right here (see down below for the spoilers) except to say that the movie is fantastic. Easily the best movie I've seen this year, and even better than the buzz I'd heard all year. It's fun, funny, and full of adventure and excitement. There's a cool monster. Plus, the kids are all great in this movie, especially Elle Fanning, who's going to give big sister Dakota a run for her money in the acting department - she was fantastic. But all the kids were relatable and believable. See this movie! You will regret it if you don't. And, after the movie ends, stick around to watch the zombie movie the kids made. It's great!
If you don’t want to read any spoilers in this Super 8 movie review, stop reading now!
So, the Air Force/Army (they're never very clear but I'm guessing Army) was transporting an alien in the train. This alien crash-landed on this planet in the 1960's and they kept it prisoner, when all the alien wanted was to rebuild his ship and go home. One of the scientists who worked on the alien project deliberately crashes his truck into the train to help the alien escape. The alien is going through town collecting items that will help him rebuild his ship. Yes, some people do die, but that's not his goal. He just wants to go home. But he's also pissed that the military has kept him prisoner, so a little revenge is on the menu too. You don't really see the alien till the end, which is good. You get glimpses and see shadows and a reflection. So it keeps you wondering which is very fun. The alien himself looks very cool when you do finally see him.