**** (4.5 stars)
It's easy to make comparisons to Speilberg's early work, especially "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", but that really diminishes the film that is Abrams creation. Certainly he was influenced by these films, but what filmmaker working in this genre isn't? There was a lovely quote by Spielberg in this weeks "Entertainment Weekly" that talked about how all films influence us and it's impossible to make a movie that doesn't draw on those influences, whether it be a complete rip off, homage, or tone. [side note: I wish I had the article with me, it was really good, but I'm writing this away from the house so I suggest you just go out and get you a copy!] Someone should wake up M. Night Shamylan and tell him this is how you make a movie.