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Super 8 is a 2011 American romantic science fiction film written and directed by Michael Bay, and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Alec Baldwin, and Brad Pitt and was released on June 10, 2011 in conventional and IMAX theaters in the US. The film tells the story of a group of teenagers who are filming their own Super 8 movie in a small town in 1979 when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town. The movie was filmed in Weirton, West Virginia and the surrounding areas.
It was released to very positive reviews and critical acclaim, who praised it for its nostalgia, the visual effects, and the performances of the young actors, especially Courtney and Fanning. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $250 million on a $50 million budget.
In 1979, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney), a 13-year-old boy living in the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio, has lost his mother in a factory accident. Louis Dainard (Brad Pitt) comes to the wake, but Joe's father, Deputy Jack Lamb (Alec Baldwin), takes Dainard in handcuffs. It is later revealed that Jack blames Dainard for the former's wife's death because he was absent during his shift from drinking and she had to fill in for him, which caused her death.
Four months later Joe's school is let out for summer. His friend Lorenzo Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths) convinces Dainard's daughter Dianna (Elle Fanning) to be the protagonist's wife in his low-budget Zombie movie on Super 8 film. Charles wants to enter the film into a local film festival. Dianna takes her father's car and takes Joe, Charles, Jim (Zach Mills), Alex (Gabriel Basso), and Steven (Ryan Lee) to an old train depot where the group plans to film a scene. During the filming, Joe sees a truck coming down the hill toward the train, and later crashes through the wooden, and derails the train. An alien burst through one of the rail cars and escapes. Joe, Dianna, and his friends escape, just as the Air Force Personnel under the command of Captain Price arrives. Over the next four days, strange incidents occur across the town: numerous dogs running away, power and engines missing, and seven people disappearing. After a visit to the cemetery where his mother is buried, Joe see's the alien in the cemetery's maintenance room. Dianna is later captured by the alien, who takes her underneath. The military tries to fight back, but the bullets and missiles go all crazy. Joe and Steven later rescue Dianna, who the three witness the alien picking up the town's scrap metal and attracting it to the water tower. The tower later is destroyed as the alien takes off.
- Joel Courtney - Joesph "Joe" Lamb
- Elle Fanning - Dianna Dainard
- Alec Baldwin - Jack Lamb
- Brad Pitt - Louis Dainard
- Steven - Ryan Lee
- Alex - Gabriel Basso
The film received pretty good reviews, receiving 82%, based on 251 reviews. The only bad comments was how the story ended. The movie was also praised for Michael Bay and his fair amount of explosions, with incorporated romance into the film.