Super 8: Movie Review

Jun 13, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Books & Tales, Lorie Lewis Ham, Movies

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.

Super 8 is a Sci-Fi, thriller, mystery, coming of age story, and family drama all rolled up into one movie.

The story begins with young Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) whose mother has just been killed in a steel mill accident. His father is a deputy in their small Ohio town and doesn’t know how to be a single father. Feeling lost without his mom, Joe tries to focus on his friends and the film that his friend Charles is making for a short film competition. Joe loves horror films and has taught himself how to do movie monster makeup. They bring in Alice (Elle Fanning), whose father Joe’s father blames for his wife’s accident, to play a female role in the film, causing extra problems with Joe’s dad when he finds out. Both Joe and Charles end up having a crush on her causing some momentary tension between the boys.

While filming a scene for the movie the kids witness a horrible train wreck and find that their science teacher caused the accident. When they go to check on him, he gives them a very cryptic warning to not get involved and keep their mouths shut.

The military descends upon the community but refuses to give any answers to Joe’s father, Jackson Lamb, played by one of my favorites, Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights and Early Edition. People and dogs begin disappearing in town and both Joe and his father are trying to find out what is really going on.

Typically I’m not a big fan of movies where kids are the primary stars but I’d have to say that this group of relatively unknown teens and preteens did a really good job. They were realistic and believable, yet interesting, kids.

This was a good movie, and much more family friendly than I would have guessed from the previews. Not really all that scary, though perhaps not suited for little ones. I liked the late 1970’s feel the movie had not just in costumes and the setting but the filming itself seemed to have that sort of feel to it. It felt like a nice old fashioned monster/alien/Sci-Fi movie from the 70’s or 80’s. I have to admit it took my son to tell me what the title had to do with anything, but I’ll let you see if you can figure that one out for yourself.


Super 8 truly is all of the things I said before rolled up into one movie. There was plenty of action, suspense and Sci-Fi, the special effects for the train wreck were awesome, yet it’s a nice feel good type of story as well. I especially liked the relationship side of things between father and son, and among the kids themselves. I also enjoyed seeing how the father changes and takes on a bit of the role of hero as the movie goes along; I always enjoy a story that shows how we all have it in us to be heroes. This is a good movie well worth seeing, but what else would you expect from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg.

Super 8 is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.

Print this coupon and enjoy a special discount for Kings River Life readers only!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


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