Super 8 is a 2011 American science-fiction thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle Chandler and tells the story of a group of young teenagers who are filming their own Super 8 movie when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town. The film was shot in Weirton, West Virginia and surrounding areas.
Super 8 was released on June 10, 2011, in conventional and IMAX theaters in the United States. The film was well received, with critics praising the film for its nostalgic elements, visual effects, musical score, and for the performances of the cast, in particular, both Fanning and newcomer Courtney's acting was cited, while also being compared to such thematically similar films as E.T., Stand by Me, and The Goonies. Super 8 was also a commercial success, grossing over $260 million against a $50 million budget. The film received several awards and nominations, primarily in technical and special effects categories, Giacchino's musical score, as well as for Courtney and Fanning's performances.