The degree of appreciation (or lack thereof) you have for the film Super 8 probably is at least somewhat dependent upon what generation you're from. Not that everyone can't appreciate a well-crafted, effects laden SF film. But as the film is both set in and an homage to the late 70s / early 80s, those solidly in Gen X are apt to react most favorably.
Writer/Director J.J. Abrams, is an 'X-er' himself, and it's obvious that he's taken some of the best parts of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T., with a soupçon of Predator and combined them with the lessons learned in producing Cloverfield, in order to produce a story with a government conspiracy and an alien force that is both sympathetic and menacing at the same time.
The movie's biggest problem lies in the usual alien-technology-as-magic phenomenon, whereby alien tech doesn't need to follow any rules (for example a giant magnet that pulls a tiny locket and automobiles, but doesn't affect a large metal bicycle lying nearby) because... it's just alien technology, O.K.? And, the overly sappy interaction of major characters putting aside years-long differences (this happens more than once). But then, both of these flaws are also hallmarks of 80s films of the genre, so it can probably be excused a little by attributing it to slavish genre loyalty.
It's a summer popcorn movie that's an homage to Spielberg, and while never as good as most of what Spielberg himself has done, it's not as bad as some of Spielberg's poorer efforts either. Enjoy it - it's better than a lot of the of the other Transformers level excuses for big budget sci-fi.