Several middle-school friends (Joel Courtney, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Riley Griffiths and Elle Fanning) witness a mysterious train crash while trying to make a student film. The kids then begin noticing strange things happening in their small town. As they investigate the unusual activity, they uncover a military cover-up and possibly aliens. Also with Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard and Amanda Michalka. Directed by J.J. Abrams. [1:52]
SEX/NUDITY 2 - A girl appears to lightly kiss a boy's neck and we see a small outline of lipstick on his neck. A boy and a girl hug. A boy and a girl hold hands.
► A teenage boy tells a boy to tell his "hot sister" hello. A boy tells a girl that he is going to "go to first base" once he gets a driver's license.
► On two occasions we see a teenage girl wearing an abdomen exposing top and extremely short shorts (her parents point out that they are inappropriate). A boy is momentary seen sitting in a bathtub (no nudity is visible). We briefly see a man in the background, blurred, and his bare chest is visible.
VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - An unseen monster/alien smashes into the side of a bus occupied by three men and four boys (they are held inside a cage at the back of the bus), the bus swerves on the road, one of the windows shatters, a tentacle reaches into the bus and grabs a man, one of the two remaining men begs for help as the boys scream, the bus flips on its side and we see a man's lifeless body lying on top of the bus (a small amount of blood is visible on his torso and head); the tentacle then grabs one of the remaining men inside the bus and crushes him while the boys escape unharmed, and the remaining man on the bus loads a gun, the monster/alien is about to attack, he fires rapidly, we see a flash of the man's head being slammed against a window and blood covers the window, implying that the man had been killed.
► We see a man standing over a hospital bed where another man with bloody, crusted facial wounds is lying; the injured man has bandages on his ears and we see blood on his shirt, a third man injects an unknown solution into his IV, we see his body shake violently (he knocks over a glass jar and it shatters on the ground) and we hear his heart monitor stop, implying that the man died.
► A monster/alien grabs a man standing with a group of two boys, a girl, and a woman, then the monster/alien grabs the woman as the boys and girl scream and run and hide, and the monster/alien proceeds to also grab one of the boys, lift him up and examine him; the boy calmly tells the monster to put him down, the monster does so and the boy is unharmed.
► Two boys discover an underground lair where they see multiple people hanging upside down from the ceiling and the boys panic when they see an alien/monster grab one of the bodies and presumably eat it (we see no blood but one of the boys says the body is being eaten); the boys discover a man and pull him down, he awakens unharmed, they then pull down a girl and a woman is seen staggering around, dazed but unharmed.
► A girl approaches a mangled truck, we see a man slumped over the steering wheel with blood is on his head, deep cuts on his forehead and blood splattered on the wreckage; the man regains consciousness and reaches for the girl and we later see the man lying on a hospital gurney with his cuts beginning to scab over.
► A teenage boy runs for cover in a gas station store after seeing a glimpse of a monster/alien (we see the monster/alien's legs as it chases the boy); the windows of the store blow out and we see the teenage boy being dragged out of the store, screaming. A man is surprised when he sees a trash dumpster fly past his car, we hear a crashing noise and see a portion of a monster/alien's legs as the man's car lifts up and slams back to the ground; a teenage boy discovers the vehicle completely smashed and the man missing (the man is later discovered dazed but unharmed). An oven is thrown through the air and lands very close to a man's truck, and he is seen on a cherry picker that stalls when he tries to lower it; a loud crash is heard in the woods next to him, and we see a flash of the man being grabbed from the cherry picker and the windshield of the truck being smashed. A man shouts as he watches his daughter in the rearview mirror of his car as an unseen monster/alien lifts the girl up and we hear her screaming (the girl is later found dazed but unharmed).
► Several boys watch black and white footage of scientists investigating an airplane; we hear a man's voice narrating that a monster/alien had been tortured, and we see footage of one of the scientists being lifted up by a long tentacle, swung through the air and then dropped unharmed on the ground.
► A man drives a car down a street chasing his daughter, he runs a stop sign and smashes into a parked car, his body lurches forward and he then stumbles from the car with a bloody cut on his forehead, blood on his shirt and face and a cut on his cheek; he is later seen with dried blood on his shirt and a small amount of dried blood smeared over his face.
► A truck drives head-on into a fast-moving train, we see the train collapse on impact and jump off the track and a series of small explosions follow; then a massive fireball engulfs some of the train cars, an explosion throws parts of train cars through the air and they narrowly avoid hitting a boy when they crash to the ground.
► Four boys hide inside a house: a wall the boys are standing next to explodes, we see dust and hear one boy screaming, and a second boy says that he can see another boy's bone sticking out of his leg (we do not see it); all four boys are later seen unharmed.
► A man with bloody cuts on his face and blood visible on his shirt, shouts at four boys and a girl, waves a gun at them and threatens that they and their families will be killed; the children run in panic.
► A soldier shouts into a walkie-talkie that explosions are "out of control" as we see (presumably unmanned) tanks driving through city streets and small explosions striking empty houses and parked cars; four boys race through a series of yards to avoid being hit by stray explosives. A fuel tanker explodes and flames narrowly miss three boys that are walking through the rubble of a train wreck.
► We see a man staring at a gas tanker and moments later the tanker explodes into a fireball, implying that the man had fired a gun at the tanker, causing it to blow up; we see military personnel dive out of the way to avoid being struck by the flames. Several soldiers, two boys and a girl gather on a street, and they watch as windows blow out of a building and a magnetic force lifts a man holding a gun off the ground; the man releases the gun and falls to the ground, unharmed. A water tower crashes to the ground and men scatter to avoid being struck; everyone is unharmed.
► A man punches another man in the face, and then grabs his gun and uses the butt to knock the man out (he falls to the ground). We hear two men shouting, and the sound of a scuffle followed by a slamming door and we see a police officer dragging a man out of a house; he shoves the man against his police cruiser while handcuffing him and then drives off with him in the backseat. A boy slaps a girl in order to wake her up; she appears unharmed. A man angrily shoves past his son as he walks past him. A boy slaps away another boy's hand when he tries to cover the boy's mouth.
► Many soldiers surround a police officer, a voice is heard demanding that the officer put down his weapon, and we later see the officer being lead down a hallway by soldiers and shoved into a room. Several soldiers rush into a room where boys are sitting; the soldiers shout at the boys and we then see the boys being pulled out of the room and forced onto a bus.
► A man and a woman are seen examining the wreckage of a gas station; we see a mangled police cruiser and broken windows on the station shop, and an elderly man offers that he thinks the wreckage was due to a bear attack. Four boys and a girl investigate train wreckage and one of the boys remarks he has a scratch on his hand (we see a faint scratch).
► A boy shouts at his parents. A girl shouts at a boy. A man shouts at a boy. A man shouts at his son and the son shouts back. A boy and a girl shout after being scared by a flying metal cube that punches a hole through the wall as it zooms through the air. A man shouts at his daughter, she runs out of the house and he runs after her shouting. Several boys shout nervously, saying they are upset from witnessing a train crash. A boy begins to panic and he shouts at three other boys seated in the back of a bus in what appears to be a cage; one of the boys says that he thinks they are going to be killed and another boy says he feels like he is going to cry and vomit. Several boys shout when they think a missing girl is dead and one of the boys says he is not going to look for the missing girl because he wants to stay alive. Four boys discuss how a woman had possibly died and one of them explains that the woman had been crushed by a steel beam; the four boys then discuss what they think her body might look like and one makes a remark that they should not be eating while talking about it. A boy tells a girl, "It was bad" about how his mother had died. A man tells another man that a fire that was endangering a city had been set on purpose. Several boys, with a girl listening, discuss how they think it is possible that a man had caused a giant train wreck because he was trying to kill himself; one of the boys says he could have jumped off a building or taken pills instead. A girl vaguely describes to a boy how the boy's mother had died while at work; she then says that she occasionally thinks that her father should have died instead, and that he also wishes the same. A script being read by a girl says that she is nervous about murders in a town. A police officer jokes to his son that he would like a boy more if he would "stop setting stuff on fire." A boy tells another boy that he and his mother are concerned about the boy's obsession with firecrackers. We overhear a television reporter announcing that there is an impending "meltdown at Three Mile Island." A television reporter announces that a man was in "critical condition" after falling asleep at the wheel and driving his truck into a train, causing a massive accident. Two boys ask if they can blow up another boy's model train and a girl tells a boy to not allow another boy to blow up his model train.
► We hear tornado sirens and see crowds of people pushing through a street; two boys discuss how a town is being evacuated due to a wildfire that is close to a chemical plant and we see smoke rising from a tree ridge in the distance.
► We see multiple outtakes of a film made by several boys, that includes scenes of a boy holding a fake gun to another boy's neck, and then grabbing the boy by the shoulders and shoving him against a wall; it is implied that the boy's head is supposedly impaled on three nails and we then see stage blood pouring from the boy's mouth. We see an outtake of a model train being blown up with M-80s and we see a boy fire multiple fake shots at another boy dressed as a zombie (we see a "wound" with fake blood appear on his shirt). A group of boys discover wreckage from a train wreck and panic when they see blood, until they realize that it is stage blood.
► On two occasions we hear the sound of retching and then see a boy vomiting; vomit is seen leaving his mouth as two boys watch him. A man shouts through a door that he has to urinate; he then makes a crude remark that he could urinate on the floor of the room.
► A young boy repeatedly hits a table with a broom handle until a woman tells him to stop. We see a boy fall off a bed. A boy stumbles on an unseen object; he is unharmed. Two boys forcefully throw their shoulders against a door as they attempt to open it. A boy looks up and sees lights flashing through a garage door window and we hear a loud crashing noise.
► A boy throws licorice at another boy, and the boy shouts and asks if he had thrown a rock at him. A man throws a package of candy at a teenage boy's head to get his attention.
PROFANITY 5 - At least 1 F-word, 44 scatological terms (1 mouthed and not enunciated), 7 anatomical terms, 25 mild obscenities, name-calling (impossible, flake, old man, irresponsible, selfish, smartian, fat, lifeless ghoul, no soul, scary, bossy, dumb, Mr. Attitude, middle age), exclamations (shut up, oh gosh, bogus), 33 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A teenage boy is seen smoking a marijuana cigarette and then acting extremely affected after driving under the influence, a boy remarks that a teenage boy is passed out and "drugs are bad," and a teenage boy offers to sell another boy marijuana (he turns him down). A man seems inebriated and we see a bottle of liquor in front of him, a man is seen driving and throwing a bottle of liquor into the back seat of the car, and a girl implies to a boy that her father has a drinking problem and that he drinks until he is unable to work. Throughout the movie we see men and women smoking cigarettes.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Super 8 cameras, aliens, monsters, friendship, loyalty, military cover-ups, soviet invasions, paranormal activities, torture, independent film contests, losing a parent, alcoholism, responsibility.
MESSAGE - Being able to experience things with your friends makes it all the more special.