Directed by: J.J. Abrams. You mean it isn’t directed by Steven Spielberg? This thing looks exactly like a Spielberg movie, it speaks the language of Spielberg, it’s made of that Spielbergian stuff. This thing looks more Spielberg than Spielberg these days, frankly. That’s because Abrams and co. had huge Spielberg hards-on throughout the entire thing. And because Spielberg was hanging around the set the whole time (that’s what “producing” is, right?). Basically, I describe it to people as a Goonies-meets-ET sort of thing, and not in a dismissive way. I really enjoyed this film. The reason I so flippantly compare this to a Spielberg joint is that it somehow manages to induce into an adult that feeling of childlike wonder, of syrup-heavy nostalgia for the wonderment and innocence of childhood that made audiences flip for Spielberg in the first place. I think that a teenager would be immune to this movie—too cynical—but nearly everyone else could find a connection with these characters. These kids acting in it (another knockout from Elle Fanning!) are the real deal. And Abrams and co. have managed to seamlessly blend the performances of these pro actors (good choice on not picking any “names”, just talent) with these children, most of whom had never acted before. This is a sentimental movie, yes, but one of real quality—like the Goonies. I’m glad that this generation of kids has something of that quality to keep with them.