Super 8

Super 8 is cracking entertainment – tense, stylish, snappy and extremely loud. Produced by Spielberg and directed by JJ Abrams, it’s a cinematic mash-up, pitching the kids from Stand by Me onto the set of Cloverfield. Set in small town Ohio in the early seventies, a group of nerdy kids shooting their own zombie movie witness a horrific train crash. Then, in the aftermath, as deadpan military folk start picking through the debris, things start disappearing from town – metal, dogs, the sheriff – and the kids realize they’ve captured something pretty astounding in the lens of their Super 8 camera.

Super 8 actually filmed in Weirton, West Virginia, and the State’s film office (hello Pam) has done a bang-up job of pulling together a behind-the-scenes site about the filming on location, with official pics, interviews with the crew, and photos showing the transformation of Weirton back to 1973.

So: setting aside the schmaltz of the dead-mom-estranged-dad-lonely-kid scenario, the movie is just about pitch perfect throughout and the kids, yes even the Fanning, yes perhaps especially the Fanning, are really great. It’s probably my must-see movie of the year.