(12A) 112mins

Tuesday, 9th August 2011, 2:43 pm

Director: JJ Abrams

Starring: Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths

YOU’D hope that a movie written and directed by JJ Abrams and co-produced by Steve Spielberg would live up to expectations - thankfully, this most certainly does.

There’s plenty of similarities to early Spielberg films (an alien with a decent role as in ET; kids combating thrills and spills as in The Goonies) but Super 8 stands on its own as a fine piece of work.

The story involves a bunch of teenagers producing their own movie for a competition (filming in Super 8 format).

However, while doing a late night scene at a rail station they get too close to a military train crash which unleashes something from another world.

The armed forces wan’t to keep it quiet but that’s a bit difficult when mysterious and unexplained things start to happen in the nearby town.

The crash is one of the most dramatic you’ll see in a while and the special effects are very impressive.

But the film’s strengths are the script and the actors.

There’s plenty of real comic moments from a talented cast.

Although there are no A-list stars, there are plenty of good actors who have paid their dues in supporting roles, such as Noah Emmerich as the miltary commander and Kyle Chandler as the deputy sheriff.

It’s the youngsters, though who carry the responsibility of the major roles and do it with amazing ease.

Elle Fanning has already made enough appearances on the big screen (Benjamin Button, Somewhere) to prove her worth, but others such as Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths seem totally at ease in front of the camera.

And by the way, stick around for the credits to see the finished ‘film’ by the kids.

A film that actually leaves you entertained and feeling good.

five out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley