Universal acclaim - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: After an encounter with UFOs, an electrical line worker feels inexplicably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where he believes something spectacular is about to happen.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Jun 10, 2013
    Years ahead of it's time in terms of SFX, it's a masterpiece of wide-eyed whimsy.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 10, 2013
    It's one of the great moviegoing experiences.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 10, 2013
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind is unquestionably a great movie.
  4. Reviewed by: Vincent Canby
    Jun 10, 2013
    Steven Spielberg's giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third the best—the most elaborate—1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.
  5. Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Jun 10, 2013
    It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survives its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle. [14 Dec 1977, p.D1]
  6. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Jun 10, 2013
    A genuine work of the popular imagination. It's the first true populist science-fiction film, a blend of the most startling, far-out special effects with the most ordinary human material of the American Heartland. [21 Nov 1977, p.88]
  7. Reviewed by: A.D. Murphy
    Jun 10, 2013
    Steven Spielberg's film climaxes in final 35 minutes with an almost ethereal confrontation with life forms from another world; the first 100 minutes, however, are somewhat redundant in exposition and irritating in tone.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. May 12, 2014
    " If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones."

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind is marvelous piece of
    Science fiction wonder, and is my second favorite sci-fi film of all time right behind 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is for sure one of Steven Spielberg greatest film making achievements. Having two feature films under his belt before making Close Encounters one being "The Sugarland Express" a crime/comedy movie and the other "Jaws" a thriller/horror film. Having done this film a sci-fi/drama it shows that even then a young Spielberg was showing off his directing talents.

    The films follows Roy Neary(Richard Dreyfuss) a normal guy with a family living a normal life and while on a drive to investigate a blackout occurring around his town and nearby towns. He stops to find out where he is and this is when strange things start to happen around him the mailboxes on the side of the road by him start shaking back and forth, his flashlight turns off, and his car stops working. He even gets burned on one side of his face by the rays of light shinning down on him from the UFO.

    From here we see him struggle with what has happened to him as it takes a tole on him and his family to a point to were he might be losing his mind so his wife takes their kids and leaves him. Ill be honest here and say that this does slow the movie down but without leaving a negative effect on it. It is essential to see the breakdown as he tries to figure out what the extraterrestrials left in his mind and why he cant get the shape of a mountain out of his head. Richard Dreyfuss did an amazing performance and i just realized that him and Spielberg have done quite a bit of films together.

    The special effects looked stunning and still to this day all the little lights on the UFO's are a wonder to look at. I love that we got different shapes for the UFO and not just the same typical flying saucer type. Some look like cones, some like spheres, and some that look like a little dot also the mothership had a whole city within it i don't think that was done before this but im not 100% on that. Whats even better is that the amazing score by John Williams ties into the special effects especially there at the end were no matter what i always sit in amazement despite having seen it many of times.

    Also another great thing that was cool about the movie is that while Dreyfuss is dealing with figuring out the where to go and what to do we see strange things happening around the world like the old planes of flight 19 showing up in the Sonoran Desert and the lost ship the SS Cotopaxi showing up in the Gobi Desert.

    Overall i give it a solid 10 Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a Science Fiction masterpiece and is not to be missed by anyone with a ounce of love for its genre or for films in general.
  2. May 22, 2014
    Close Enncounters is one of the most ambitious science fiction films ever done. It's special effects were years ahead of their time, the characters react believably to their situations, and Spielberg's direction is perfect. Expand
  3. Jul 1, 2014
    A truly great achievement. The special effects are absolutely stunning, they are extravagent and perfectly executed. It is amazing to think this film came out in 1977 with effects like these. In terms of special effects, it is hard to think of too many films that have better ones than Close Encounters of the Third Kind does. On top of that, the film is extremely fun and thrilling to watch. Around every turn is another thrill ride that does not stop until the film is over. The sense of wonder as you watch what unfolds and then the sense of wonder in all of the characters makes this a truly magical experience. With this one, Spielberg truly proves his skill when it comes to science fiction, as well as making his films a ton of fun. His direction of this one is impeccable and I am still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that this film is almost 40 years old with effects like these. A true cinematic achievement. Expand

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