For the most part, I enjoyed Super 8. J.J. Abrams is an excellent visual director and he did a fantastic job directing the kids. For the most part, I was pretty impressed with the young performers. In fact, I think the material with the kids was some of the strongest stuff in the film. Also, I think it's important to support original ideas in film - so long as those original ideas don't star Kevin James.
I was less enamored with large aspects of the alien monster plot. In one scene, the creature smashes up a gas station and a police car with all the care of a toddler toppling his building blocks. Then, in another scene, we're shown that all the engines on a used car lot were taken right out of their automobiles - with no damage to the shell of the car at all.
Yeah, suddenly the violent, thrashing monster decided to gingerly remove engines from the cars and then carefully closed the hood to make his crime less obvious.
Space Monster Mechanics
Sketch by Josiah Patrow
I also don't quite get why the latter stages of the story seems to push the idea that the monster is misunderstood and that we should be rooting for him to get safely home. Look, I get that part of the point was that this alien was mistreated in captivity, but... he EATS at least two people right on screen! It's a little hard to treat him like a cuddly E.T. after that.
So I'm sure a lot of you saw the movie this weekend. What didn't work for you and why?