Super 8

First slide

Writer-director J.J. Abrams ably blends nostalgia, drama and sci-fi thrills as he travels back to 1979 Ohio where a half-dozen youthful film enthusiasts (most prominently Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths) use the local railroad station as a set for the endearingly amateur zombie flick they hope to enter in a local festival. But things take an unexpected turn when they witness - and their camera captures - a mysterious train accident. Though the military arrives in force, trying to conceal the truth about the incident, the wreck sets in motion a series of odd and ominous events that one of the moviemaker's dads, the town's deputy sheriff (Kyle Chandler), is determined to investigate. Gently handled themes of loss, first love and family reconciliation add depth to this wry horror homage. But, while the romantic elements are kept enjoyably innocent, the onscreen teens' vocabulary makes this unsuitable viewing for their real-world contemporaries.

Watch out for: Much action violence with some gore, drug use and references, several instances of profanity, at least one rough and many crude terms.

Rated: A-III; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2011