Written & Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Full credits at IMDb
[There's] something elementally conservative here: the bad guys are the military, the good guys are the small-town sheriffs—it's federal vs. local, a "state's rights" kind of thing. But while the movie might promote small government, it also has a levelheaded attitude toward foreign policy. Its sympathy for the "monster," the alien held captive and tortured by the Air Force, seemed like tacit support for Guantanamo detainees, and for The Other in general, as though Abrams were saying you can be nostalgic for an Eisenhower-esque America without being xenophobic. But there's also a parallel between the monster and the freaks n' geeks who make up our gang of little rascals, who are also outsiders (Joe wants to make 8mm zombie movies while his father urges him to go to baseball camp), and perhaps even the filmmakers: the alien feels stuck in a small town; all he wants to do is get the hell out of there, go somewhere lacking in suffocating provincialism, just as the film's budding, pre-adolescent cineastes surely grow up and move to California to get jobs working for Steven Spielberg, just like Abrams did!
Keep reading my conversation with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine
Watch the trailer: