It had a freakin story – A lot of people who didn’t like the movie expected it to be some kind of action movie with fights and such. It is not a movie like that, it really is more of a drama. It was really refreshing to have a movie without 30 minute fight/action scenes.
The kid actors – Fantastic acting all around in the film, but all of the youths in the movie really shine. The movie hinges on whether or not you like or believe the main characters. I was really impressed with their performances.
It reminded me of E.T. and The Goonies – J.J. Abrams was the writer and director of the film, but you could definitely see a huge influence from Speilberg throughout. It reminded me of young Speilberg.
Pacing – Unlike almost every movie I have seen in recent months the film did not drag in the middle. Dialogue was direct and straight forward which kept the movie from lagging down.
Things I didn’t like
Just a bit more relationship development – (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) I think my one huge gripe about the movie was how some of the parent/child relationships didn’t develop enough. The main character and his father have a very rocky relationship and I felt like its a linchpin of the film. However, it came across a bit rushed and almost noncommittal. It was not the fault of the actors it just seemed like Abrams was worried about too much dialogue so he cut some out.
The ending – I won’t give it away, but it does have a somewhat punchout feel to it. You really see where it is going before it happens and even though it’s really an “Awwww” moment it comes across a bit corny.
Overall it’s a great movie and I definitely recommend it.