Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Steven Spielberg followed Jaws (1975), his first major box-office success, with this epic science fiction adventure about a disparate group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: November 15, 1977
DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Close Encounters' most iconic bits (the theme, the mashed-potato sculpture, etc.) 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.

Arthur Knight
Hollywood Reporter

To get to the bottom line with minimum delay, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a terrific movie, with every possibility of equaling the box office popularity of Star Wars.

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Gary Arnold
Washington Post

It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survive its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle.

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Peter Bradshaw

Time for another encounter.

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Tom Huddleston
Time Out

Spielberg's greatest work.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

One of the great moviegoing experiences.

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David Jenkins
Little White Lies

It's a big ol' mess of a movie, but an extremely lovable one.

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Frank Rich
TIME Magazine

[Spielberg's] new movie is richer and more ambitious than Jaws, and it reaches the viewer at a far more profound level than Star Wars.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

This is dopey Hollywood mysticism all right, but thanks to considerable craft and showmanship, it packs an undeniable punch.

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Clancy Sigel
The Spectator

Obviously [Spielberg] had a ball with Close Encounters, and his pleasure in tinkertoying it together makes it enjoyable, mildly funny and -- in one sequence -- even credible.

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Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Jens S.
Spielberg's classic UFO film is the blueprint for the barely used naive, optimistic alien encounter genre. The reason why very few movies after this one… More
Graham Jones
Though I understand how groundbreaking this film was for it's time, viewing it now had always been a little dull to me. The conclusion though is a… More
Letitia Lew
This sci-fi classic has aged well, the graphics still look great by today's standards. But the story was slow and the characters unmemorable.
Kevin M. Williams
A man's life, indeed the whole world (even the French!), is changed when strange lights start appearing out in the desert. Spielberg's update on the… More
Carlos Magalhães
An enchanting film with great special effects, yet I feel reluctant to regard the aliens as peaceful and awe-inspiring since they do abduct people, even… More
Daniel Perry
I think this film is more known for introducing us to what would become Spielberg's style: foggy lighting and space-age stories. I found it to be rather… More