Where: Small town anywhere, U.S.A.
Who: Bunch of kids on summer holidays (and some key adult characters)
What happens: ...
A group of (slightly socially outcast) friends are making a movie with a super 8 camera when they witness a train de-railment whilst filming. They soon discover the de-railment was no accident and confronts the culprit at the scene who offers up a stern warning about keeping quiet or dying. What ensues involves U.S. military, some local deputies, a couple of dads, a bunch of missing dogs, unexplained thefts and (SPOILER ALERT) an alien. The innocent fun of summer break turns to custard in no uncertain terms as our heroes struggle with life, love and grumpy alien life and a broken camera.
J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg have done a fantastic job of taking us back to the days of E.T., Close Encounters, Stand by Me and The Goonies. This movie is funny, at times suspenseful, has wonderful characters, a bossy director type, ever loyal friend type, slightly mental pyromanic type, dreams of stardom type, wrong side of the tracks type etc., great effects, a (young crush) love story and brings with it a peasant nostalgia that I really appreciated.
There is absolutely nothing new or groundbreaking about this movie, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and the young actors do a spectacular job. Each and everyone of them successfully brought to life the character they were playing and it has to be said Elle Fanning (Dakota's little sister) who plays Alice has some particularly amazing moments. That Fanning family have some incredible talent. New comer Joel Courtney who plays Joe Lamb (the male lead) produces a stella performance and should be in the acting game a bit longer after this, and the rest of the cast really complete this movie.
This movie probably won't cause any life changing epiphanies but it's a bloody good wee watch! I rate it higher than I rate ya mum, 4 choctops for this cracker. And, I'd go see it again. But then I was 6 when I went to see E.T. at the movies.