© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH 

Super 8
U.S.A. 2011

Opening 4 Aug 2011

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Writing credits: J.J. Abrams
Principal actors: Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee

The innocence of Lillian, Ohio, in 1979, and the cataclysmic events that ensue as summer vacation begins, is captured through the eyes of five 12-year-olds. Set on winning a Super-8 competition with his zombie-horror movie, Charles (Riley Griffiths) directs a dedicated team that includes Joe (Joel Courtney), whose mom died four months earlier. Joe and his Deputy Sheriff dad Jackson (Kyle Chandler) are struggling to find a common bond.

Charles adds a female lead to strengthen his story and finagles imperious 14-year-old Alice (Elle Fanning) to play the part. One midnight they sneak out to film at an old train station; just as they capture the big take, a passing train devastatingly crashes. Only Joe has seen a truck drive onto the tracks. Only his dad grasps that Air Force Colonel Nelec (Noah Emmerich), leading the accident investigation, is withholding evidence.

Director/writer J.J. Abrams skillfully exudes now-producer Steven Spielberg’s storytelling prowess. Abrams cleverly frightens us and with impeccable timing releases information while tossing out spellbinding new clues. Super 8 is suspenseful and heartfelt and, if you want to see the kids’ final version of The Case, sit through the end credits. (Marinell Haegelin)

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