That this is Joel Courtney's first and only IMdB credit is difficult
to believe. Along with the far more experienced Elle Fanning, these
two remarkable actors carry on an adolescent romance so touching and
softly modulated, you almost forget you're watching — a monster
movie! But as in Cloverfield, the little-seen monster is the
MacGuffin; it's its effect on the characters that drives the movie.
Love blossoms, friendships are tested, fathers reunite with their
children, and ultimately, the unknown Enemy proves to be benign. In
the movie A.I., Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick were as two
mirrors facing each other: the contradictions stretched (literally)
into infinity, with Stanley's brain just barely winning out over
Steven's heart. (Still, it was a thrilling combination.) Here, the
affinities of Spielberg and J. J. Abrams are more in sync; they're
both drunk on moviemaking and having a ball. So much love for this
band of smart, decent, slightly nerdy pals and the excitement they
share making their first little (but surprisingly adept) flick. You
can watch Super 8 as a film about the creative process, or at least a
warmly remembered account of a director's coming of artistic age. But
mostly, it's just insanely entertaining. Advisory: if you want to know
the name of anyone in the credits, better check IMdB, because you'll
be too busy watching the movie the kids finally come up with, in its
entirety. Brilliant! — Jeff Schultz

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