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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1977
Drama
Sci-fi
2h 18m
A line worker, after a encounter with UFO's, feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. (imdb)
Your probable score
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1977
Drama
Sci-fi
2h 18m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 60.8% from 7252 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(7252)
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Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
44th
This is the film in which Spielberg portrays his own inner conflict through the character played by Dreyfuss: fantasising himself as a misunderstood artist, he is in fact a pathological conformist. Hence, after a set of conspiracy-type scenes in which he is pursued by apparently unscrupulous authorities, not only do they turn out to be benign, but Dreyfuss dons a patriotic uniform and becomes a kind of vanguard representative of the government. It is, in a sense, Spielberg's TANNHÄUSER.
Rated 04 Jan 2011
85
86th
Dreyfuss's character is one of the biggest assholes in movie history. He just ABANDONS his 3 kids and wife to go play in space and who knows how long he'll be gone. the little boy was gone for a few few days, then the pilots were gone for 30+ IT'S selfish and what do the government say to his family if anything "Oh he um died". Let's just say he comes back after the 30 years, his wife will be dead and his kids will be all messed up and broken, but he'll come back all: "AW NEAT YOU GUYS."
Rated 24 Jan 2007
93
97th
It's not a brilliant or insightful story, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and it's kinda corny. But it so perfectly awakens that childlike sense of awe and marvel. And the fact that the film manages to completely ignore the aliens for over an hour in the middle and yet still command your attention is a testament to Spielberg's storytelling skills (when he's working with the right material). After Raiders of the Lost Ark, it's perhaps his most captivating creation.
Rated 31 Dec 2013
82
91st
There's an alternate version of this movie where he just genuinely loves mashed potatoes.
Rated 10 Nov 2007
7
57th
While watching this film, I was struck by this feeling of mystery and discovery, which makes Close Encounters a more heartfelt movie than other sci-fi classics such as Kubrick's 2001. The movie does lack a good ending, but the rest of film makes up for it. Spielberg brings you closer to ufo's and aliens than any other director who has attempted to do the same, a fair reason why he's still one of the best in the business.
Rated 22 Jun 2021
70
38th
As the quintessential Boomer filmmaker, Spielberg understood both 50's sci-fi & the space race era's optimism. Here, he made a film that shows extraterrestrials not as invaders, but rather a benevolent force. The Oscar-winning cinematography lifts the drama, creating a visual story that's compelling even on mute. The psychological mystery is a little weak. And the hero returning at the end to a galactic ascension is saccharine. But if the latter is your jam you'll dig this picture.
Rated 17 Jan 2008
79
70th
It leaves you with far more questions than answers and so many things are simply left unexplained. The special effects are honestly somewhat dated now but the movie completely succeeds in it's goal of creating a giant sense of child-like awe from the audience. Some say there's some Christian influence in the film but I honestly don't see any of it, even Spielberg himself said if it's in there it's not intentional as he is Jewish. It's a great film that invokes a genuine sense of curiousness.
Rated 13 Mar 2011
4
70th
Portrays a sense of awe and wonderment beautifully. Spielberg's themes of nonverbal communication mesh perfectly with the film's story, as nobody can quite explain the how or what of the situation but instead communicate with music, images and symbols. It's no wonder, then, that the two most awe-struck characters are Barry and the child-like Roy, who abandons his family for the mysterious extraterrestrials. Great thoughtful popcorn entertainment.
Rated 25 Dec 2009
1
12th
I'm really having trouble trying to find something I liked about this movie. It's painfully boring and has a slow build that grows into one of the worst climaxes in cinematic history. Seriously, that was a really gay climax. Too many plot holes and continuity errors for me. Features one of the worst kiss scenes I've ever seen too. So unneeded an out of place. Gross. Also I love Truffaut but there was no reason he should've been in this movie. Incredibly overrated and frustrating.
Rated 11 Feb 2010
97
98th
In the 70's aliens wanted to be our friends. Now they just wanna either disintegrate us, eat us or probe us. Disco be damned, I miss the 70's.
Rated 19 Oct 2017
75
60th
Of Spielberg's earlier works, this is probably the most difficult to watch today. It just doesn't hold up well to repeat viewings. I still enjoy Jaws and E.T. because they get the human elements right. It's the journey of their discovery that makes them special. Not so much here. The protagonist, who is a complete jerk-off, is not someone you'd root for. Also, I do wish they'd have gone with a more menacing spaceship; the colorful goofy-looking saucers screamed kid's movie.
Rated 30 Jan 2009
60
46th
probably the most overrated spielberg film. the special effects and the cinematography are exceptionally good for its day, but the story seems to drag on for an eternity, and doesn't avail to anything satisfying in the end. except for the fact that extra-terrestials were into groovy jazz and gangsta signs.
Rated 01 Apr 2018
6
86th
we're introduced to dreyfuss extolling the virtues of PETER PAN to his agnostic family. soon, that family is long forgotten as he leaps into (or invents) an adventure that could only be the product of the silver screen (no coincidence that the triggers for this obsession are audiovisual). it plays as subversively in the jaded, ironic '10s as i imagine it did in the cynical, paranoid '70s, earnestly locating the face of god in the process of creating and consuming art.
Rated 08 Jul 2011
85
88th
If it is not his most accomplished and polished film, it is probably the one that people will look back on as quintessential vintage Spielberg. The Magic, the aliens, the broken homes, the distant fathers, and the gripping scenes of suspence. One particular effective scene is when the mother comes to the terrible realisation that her house is under alien attack, and her child commands his playmates to "Come in through the door!". This is for better or worse the godfather of 'The X-Files'.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
90th
Spielberg, please make more films like this.
Rated 10 Sep 2008
70
53rd
The same joy and wonder directed toward the innocent child and the UFOs is shockingly absent in most of our human characters. I have always been distressed and sad after watching this film - Spielberg turns Drefyuss into a Real Boy by whisking him away, an escapism with hints of celestial suicide.
Rated 28 Oct 2010
70
69th
Generation X with flying saucers. More than anything, I always thought this film was about the breakup of a family. Why is Richard Dreyfuss so willing to completely abandon his wife and three kids? Because he has nothing else to live for? He wants more than a nice family, a house in suburbia and a comfy job working for the city? What does that say about the world he lives in? Maybe I'm over-thinking a fun popcorn flick, but I find it quite sad.
Rated 04 Mar 2012
40
32nd
I loved this when it came out, but stepping back and revisiting it makes me wonder what I thought was so great about it. I thought it was engaging when I saw it some 30 years ago but it just does not hold up. There are a lot of perplexing events and many pot holes that hurt the suspension of disbelief. The acting is good and the theme engaging, but so much about this movie really should have been better.
Rated 23 Feb 2013
64
48th
Spielberg challenges Demme and Scorsese. It's not one of the great concert movies, but Spielberg's "Yanni in concert" is undoubtedly visually impressive.
Rated 11 Mar 2007
8
80th
When I watch this I'm a kid again. Jurispathic, you're such a buzz-kill.
Rated 28 Aug 2016
18
51st
Yo that dude has a wife and kids
Rated 17 Aug 2008
25
10th
One of the lamest alien films ever. And the ending sucks so much... well but that's actually Spielberg's trademark.
Rated 27 May 2014
45
16th
The most overrated film of all times!
Rated 17 Feb 2014
85
94th
Ultimately a reflection on mankind's eternal curiosity, Close Encounters takes the meditative nature of late 60's/early 70's sci-fi but gives it a flair the Spielberg of this era was known for. Dreyfuss's character IS selfish, but I can understand, and in a way, empathize. I liked this quite a lot.
Rated 05 Sep 2008
94
95th
The pacing of the film's first hour has occasionally been criticized, but I believe the pacing is perfect in order to adequately experience the frustrating tension and eventual awe that the film's final act delivers. Truffaut is a pleasant addition to a strong cast that adequately conveys the bizarre mix of emotions to be experienced in truly extraordinary circumstances. This, combined with Douglas Trumbull's amazing effects, ultimately creates one of the most hopeful films I have ever seen.
Rated 10 Jul 2007
3
45th
In a broad sense, it portrays the events in a very believable way. The atmosphere of unsettlement (as opposed to outright hysteria) drives the movie really well. On the other hand, the individual characters are all easy to sympathize with. Richard Dreyfuss is awesome. Spielberg is also really good at building curiosity and a sense of wonder.
Rated 05 Nov 2008
70
16th
I think I fell asleep watching this.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
36
6th
About the point at which Spielberg turned to syrupy goop.
Rated 15 Oct 2020
93
67th
Close Encounters is an excellent film.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
87th
That tall skinny alien near the end used to scare me nearly to death. It still weirds me out.
Rated 11 Jul 2019
7
63rd
"This means something. This is important." There's this incredibly compelling sense of mystery and discovery, yearning and wonder throughout the film; it's got the nuts and bolts scenes of typical sci-fi investigation but there's a wholly human element here too, as evidenced by Roy's tragic arc (it was just tragic-a gross negligence, really-that the film ultimately didn't paint it as such; that certainly would've added some fascinating nuance to the triumphant final scene). Wonderful camerawork.
Rated 04 May 2009
82
59th
It has a bunch of cool ideas but like most everything Spielberg does it feels too commercial and doesn't really amount to anything other than a fun movie, like Independence Day. It's slow to start and long though which really hampers it even being an awesome fun movie, it's lost between being hard sci-fi and a summer blockbuster.
Rated 22 Aug 2007
80
79th
Some cheesy moments (particularly the early UFO scenes) but enjoyable overall.
Rated 13 Mar 2024
75
79th
There’s a lot of dated behavior to gnaw through that puts the movie on thin ice, but once it gets more serious a very strong feeling of wonder and intrigue takes over. And unlike the poor attempts at comedy, that feeling of wonder is heartfelt. The alien communication scene is fantastic in visuals and sound, and that spaceship? Now THATS an alien spaceship!! This is also one of the best John Williams scores i’ve heard
Rated 21 Sep 2011
80
85th
Spielberg is neither the subtlest nor the most intelligent of filmmakers, but he is undoubtably a master of his craft, as he demonstrates in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", a surprisingly slow-burn and understated alien film that manages to fill you up with awe whether you're a child or not. Spielberg's impressive direction, the innovative visuals, Williams' iconic theme and the resonant story compose a memorable, fully enjoyable and astounding piece of pop entertainment.
Rated 22 May 2019
70
76th
Director's Cut. The soundtrack was amazing. The movie's atmosphere was dreamlike toward the end. The use of light fluctuated between wonder and annoying. Barry was very frustrating. I feel like this movie leaves me with more questions than answers...that the mythology could have been explored more. Strong start, lags in middle. Scary at times. Alien design was a clunker. Fav scene: the ending, which was quite flawed but still very stylized. I guess I just had different hopes for first contact.
Rated 04 May 2010
88
81st
Still just as awe-inspiring, terrifying, and moving as it was when I was twelve.
Rated 28 Feb 2021
60
44th
Too long
Rated 04 Feb 2015
66
26th
Like Interstellar, its cinematics are awe-inspiring, with visual effects and cinematography that are perhaps timelessly impressive on a jaw-dropping out-of-this-world scale. And like Interstellar, the characters have taken a back-seat to this, with the confusingly created character of Roy Neary making me feel incredibly uncomfortable during his bat-shit scenes. Yes, Spielberg, it was wrong for him to ditch his family so he could hang out with aliens. And I hated that kid.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
64th
I remember when I was little my grandma yelled at me for making a mountain out of my mashed patatos. I just wanted to be like Richard Dreyfuss! My grandma was kind of a bitch
Rated 25 Sep 2010
73
88th
One of my favorite science fiction films as it deals with real people. No action heroes or far away worlds.
Rated 11 Jun 2012
1
0th
Okay, so what if it's 30 minutes of plot stretched out to two hours, or it has a terrible kiss scene, or its boring and corny as hell, or if the climax was rubbish, or if the aliens are bizarrely prone to groovin', because that spaceship was all like woah soooooo awesome duuuuude. Overrated. Score is not a grade.
Rated 06 Oct 2020
83
70th
It's a mystery, as much as it is a sci-fi, maybe could have even worked better with a more loosely tied ending
Rated 17 May 2009
50
12th
boring... maybe it was a good film in the 70s
Rated 18 Dec 2008
60
6th
Just boring.
Rated 09 Mar 2009
0
3rd
movie was garbage
Rated 25 Jun 2014
70
86th
Wondrous and awe-inspiring, traits Spielberg has relied on for his whole career. The mystery and promise of the encounters sustain the entire movie, plus it's hard to beat the combination of Dreyfuss and Truffaut, early Spielberg, Douglas Trumbull, and John Williams. They make the film masterful even before the aliens arrive. Which is good, because the ending is far from perfect; see BillyShears' review for the biggest issue, and see ET for Spielberg getting it right the second time around.
Rated 28 Apr 2016
83
85th
Although nothing really happens here and the plot is extraordinarely thin, this film grabbed my attention and never let go because of the mystery it offers. This is some real storytelling.
Rated 01 May 2011
65
57th
Builds and builds and eventually gets there. That guy had a family, then he kissed another woman, and went up with the aliens. What happened to the family?
Rated 15 Nov 2012
95
91st
The movie retains a striking originality. Dreyfuss' performance (the key to the film) here is amazingly convincing and you can just feel the wonder and madness of his experience. Charming, gripping and awesome (in the literal sense).
Rated 24 Nov 2008
20
6th
I get why this movie is significant, but it also happens to be terribly boring.
Rated 15 Jun 2008
59
60th
Although Close Encounters of the Third Kind has gained a very high reputation over the years and has many iconic scenes, it is surprisingly lacking in some areas and is terribly slow paced. The shared idealologies, parallels and physical forms between the aliens and humans also seem a little too contrived under the context of a first contact. However the portrayal it paints and the way it goes about it has thrust it to a much higher level than any similar film has managed before or since.
Rated 06 Sep 2011
79
67th
I really got sucked in and was dying to find out what happened next. The great acting and music didn't hurt either.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
99th
One of the most enjoyable, watchable movies ever made, start to finish. Great, ordinary, believable characters in a believably extra-ordinary situation. That finale with the mothership singing along is one of the great payoffs in all cinema. Plus I love watching Teri Garr melt down.
Rated 06 Jul 2016
70
51st
Although I loved the first hour, I thought the movie got really, really slow about halfway through and never quite picked back up all the way again. The climax was just too damn long, and the payoff, though good, doesn't reach the same heights as the sheer weirdness, paranoia, and yet at the same time childlike wonder of the first hour. Also Richard Dreyfuss' character is AWFUL.
Rated 30 Aug 2010
70
44th
There's something curious about this film, and least of all it's the aliens. Maybe it's the pace or the characters, which is enjoyable but at other times seem a little off the mark.
Rated 25 Nov 2012
90
94th
Here's hoping real aliens are as cool as these dudes were.
Rated 26 Jul 2023
80
97th
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" demonstrates the ability of a film to create a captivating tale without violence. It's a movie that can draw you in repeatedly, yet the magic of the initial viewing is unrepeatable.
Rated 11 Apr 2010
46
22nd
there are a few scenes in this movie that are absolutely fantastic. The scene with dreyfuss stopped in his truck at the railroad tracks. The scene with the kid opening the door to extremely bright lights. the final scene of the movie is fairly solid even though it's drawn out for way too long. But i just felt that this movie didn't hold up through time. I just saw it and i can imagine it was a much different experience in 1977. I was dozing off though a good portion of it.
Rated 23 Jul 2011
60
22nd
Be a lot better if it made any sense. Humans are individually selected by the aliens to go to the mountain, and then when they get their the US Air Force is waiting for them?
Rated 19 Jun 2017
50
37th
I think this movie is bit overrated, probably revolutionary in its time but by todays standard's too naïve, and has lost the surprise effect. The action didn't make too much sense story wise, but it was entertaining.
Rated 05 Jan 2016
60
58th
Too many retards went full Dreyfuss after seeing this.
Rated 08 Apr 2011
95
96th
One of Spielberg's absolute best. Richard Dreyfuss gives a wonderfully manic performance, but Francois Truffaut and Bob Balaban somehow steal the show. This is one of those rare films that manage to deliver just about everything a person could ask for in a film. Wonder, excitement, terror, awe; Close Encounters is close to perfection.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
97th
The effects are pretty dated now, but it's still an amazing experience. Before Spielberg collaborated for Indiana Jones, this was his adventure. Make sure to take this ride.
Rated 02 Jun 2010
77
92nd
Good all family entertainment leading to spectacular audio-visual experience. It might be just me, but visual effect are way ahead of today CGI. One of the best SCI-FI movies, especially for those who longingly gaze at the stars.
Rated 19 Jun 2012
55
45th
Starts off quite promising, until one of the gayest Scifi endings I've ever seen. Really.. *spoiler* the ship and humans play music with eachother, and eventually some small aliens get out with sharp nails that just begged to be sunk into juicy human flesh. But no, instead another alien emerges and smiles to the people... Some of the dialogue really felt unnatural. The two likable characters were the French dude and his interpreter, but other than that I didn't really care.
Rated 24 Mar 2010
3
32nd
I'm such a fucking buzz-kill.
Rated 08 Feb 2009
50
2nd
I've tried to watch this multiple times, and I just can't make it
Rated 14 Dec 2009
38
11th
Plodding. 40 minutes of plot extended to over two hours. The final sequence is the best part.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
75
89th
Great film.
Rated 02 Sep 2017
44
31st
I came here for François, Vilmos, and Bob, and they did not disappoint. The rest of the film however is messy. The farther it went along, the more my interest waned. I knew it was a Spielberg film when the climax was a bunch of white dudes staring into a bright light. Also, why create such heavy familial stakes if Dreyfuss is just gonna abandon his? However, everything is far more interesting when viewed through Villeneuve's comment that the film is metaphorical for the labor of filmmaking.
Rated 24 Feb 2017
77
63rd
This film has some slow spots but also some very interesting moments. Richard Dreyfuss is really good in the lead role. There are a number of suspenseful moments in this film. Overall I would recommend this movie.
Rated 04 Aug 2017
85
94th
I like this one much more than E.T., which I suppose makes me odd. In any case, I love every minute of it, maybe that five-note leitmotif brainwashed me. It deserves its place among the one hundred cheers.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
58
61st
Far too drawn out for me to even consider slapping on the "masterpiece" tag. And, there will always be the personal trauma connected to this movie--my mom confiscated my electronic Casio keyboard a punishment for playing that gods-damned 5-note riff day and night.
Rated 08 Jul 2007
98
99th
Every time I see this movie, and I've been coming back to it more and more, my appreciation grows. Quite possibly the best film score ever written. Awe and ecstasy enshrined in every frame.
Rated 26 May 2009
40
71st
Spielberg surpasses all of his sci-fi forerunners in the only way he knows how: in material things. He has costlier, more spectacular special effects, including some really wonderful nighttime skies; he has bigger and brighter spaceships; he has louder sound effects and background music; and he has the largest number of world-renowned cinematographers ever assembled on one list of credits (six: Vilmos Zsigmond, William Fraker, Douglas Slocombe, Laszlo Kovacs, John Alonzo, and Frank Stanley).
Rated 12 Feb 2018
65
54th
Certainly has some very memorable images and novel ideas, none of which makes a lot of sense. I'm getting the vibe that Spielberg really wanted to make something deep and philosophical in the vein of 2001 but with really, really annoying kids instead of homicidal AIs.
Rated 30 Dec 2014
78
65th
Rough around the edges but lots of classic Spielberg. No depth at all to the plot which left me feeling bit empty after the slow plodding build ups, but still engaging. visually great. Found Richard Dreyfuss and his character incredibly irritating. Apparently there were no non-white people around in 1977 who weren't the 2 men collecting the bins.
Rated 14 Nov 2011
96
97th
One of the finest made movies about fanaticism and true belief. Also one of the most perfectly made films ever. I saw it as a kid and liked it. As an adult I realized it for the masterpiece it is.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
83
58th
Man was this a visual treat. The space crafts were just so perfect. But when it ended I was somehow just underwhelmed, but for no particular reason. It certainly deserves its iconic status though.
Rated 18 Jan 2009
94
68th
Steven Spielberg, please go back to making good films like this one. We know you have talent, it'd just be better if you used it once in a while.
Rated 30 Mar 2009
75
71st
Certainly one of the best in the genre. It is a novel experience, unique and magic in which we are immersed in a reality totally fantastic. A movie well directed and a very well built, with effects very well done.
Rated 10 Jul 2012
87
84th
Close Encounters' most iconic bits (the theme, the mashed-potato sculpture) have been so thoroughly absorbed into the culture that it's easy to forget that its treatment of aliens as peaceful beings rather than warmongering monsters was somewhat groundbreaking in 1977.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
92
89th
Spielberg proved he was great with Jaws, here he proved that he had range and depth and the expert eye of a cinematographer. Dryfuss is excellent once again. Garr is very good as well. The scenes in this movie individually have become classic, and the simple musical theme (do de do de dum) still resonates. Granted the special effects are dated now, but the movie is still an imaginative classic.
Rated 14 May 2015
8
71st
'Close Encounters' in an alien film that transcends UFOs and little grey men; it's tale of obsession and spirituality that uses iconic sci-fi visuals in a way that was groundbreaking at the time--and said visuals are still awe-inducing to this very day.
Rated 08 May 2011
82
79th
Masterful 1st act followed by a a pretty good 2nd and 3rd. Still has the power to awe.
Rated 27 Oct 2008
85
80th
Really well done cerebral Sci-fi
Rated 16 Jan 2012
70
67th
I really appreciated this take on the alien plotline, as it wasn't grandiose and full of action like Independence Day (1996) or whatever. It was more simple and slow, as well as having a sense of wonder and fantasy. It gave a much more personal and relatable view at the idea of the presence of alien lifeforms on our planet. I'd be amiss if I didn't mention the visual effects, which were fantastic and very impressive, without being over-the-top.
Rated 23 Mar 2013
70
77th
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a film that is largely unspectacular right up until its ending, but at that point, it comes alive and becomes a memorable, exciting, and engaging movie that's absolutely worth your time. It makes the previous two hours worthwhile because of how effectively it makes us feel awe, wonder, and almost everything that one can feel while watching a motion picture like this one.
Rated 10 Feb 2008
90
87th
sequel?
Rated 16 Dec 2006
85
69th
Grapples with a terrifying notion, that we must shed our social facades, perhaps even abandon our families, in order to find a higher truth. A very disturbing concept, especially when it comes from Steven Spielberg.
Rated 02 Jan 2014
86
55th
The sfx set-pieces are some of the best stuff I've seen from Spielberg. The slapstick domestic drama is some of the most irritating.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
70th
What a fascinating movie. Senor Speilbergo is at his best. Dreyfuss is a little annoying, but this movie is really cool (and sometimes scary).
Rated 27 Nov 2008
4
55th
Snoozetastic flick with great bookends
Rated 08 Oct 2023
90
84th
I really liked this movie. I liked how it caught me off guard at times - when Dryfuss' character went with the aliens, when he kissed the woman who wasn't his wife, and the whole scene with the dirt and trees through the window. I loved the innocence of the movie. The military seems to listen to reason. The three escapees are tranqued instead of shot. The aliens are being communicated with instead of attacked. These are things that we would never see in a modern alien movie. It's a treasure.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
86th
The humanity of the story might take a backseat to the technical aspects, but this is as fine a lyrical take on the beauty of space and its endless possibilities as there has been since Kubrick's 2001.
Rated 23 Jul 2009
70
59th
Wonderful effects.
Rated 28 Jan 2007
60
40th
Meandering alien flick with some interesting ideas, but what was going on with the flashy light show at the end? Extraterrestrials communicate via Laser Floyd, apparently.
Rated 25 Jan 2018
90
96th
Excellent.
Rated 16 Jan 2007
70
86th
yeah spielberg confessed he s from outher space

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