Writer-director J.J. Abrams (who did the 2009 Star Trek reboot) overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder. In a small Ohio burg during the summer of 1979, five middle-school boys and a female classmate collaborate on an amateur Super-8 zombie movie; while filming late one night at the town's railroad depot, they witness a spectacular train derailment, then find mysterious geometric cubes among the wreckage of a secret military shipment. Soon the community is plagued by power surges, ominous noises behind rustling leaves, and unexplained disappearances; when the escaped extraterrestrial insect finally appears, it looks like something assembled from that old children's game Cootie. With Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, and Joel Courtney.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Guy Riedel
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, AJ Michalka, Glynn Turman, Richard Jones, Brett Rice, Bruce Greenwood, Dale Dickey, Dan Castellaneta, Jack Axelrod and Michael Hitchcock