Director J.J. Abrams’s spot-on remake of Steven Spielberg’s ’80s ode to the feeling of childhood, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. It’s all there: the broken home, the mysterious Visitor (more frightening this time, but as in Abrams’s Cloverfield, still somewhat beside the point), the looming shadow of grown-up authority. What is new is the emphasis on moviemaking as a way of engaging with that youthful feeling, and with the world in general. As our junior filmmaker attests, “It’s on TV, so it’s real.” 2011.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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