Released in 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was Steven Spielberg's next film after the runaway success of Jaws. The film was a critical and financial success and has found a lasting place in the history of American science fiction films. In 1978, Spielberg was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Director for the film. That same year he won two Saturn Awards for the film, for Best Director and Best Writing. In 2007, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was entered into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The movie follows three separate but related characters whose stories all converge at the climax. It opens with French scientist Claude Lacombe and his team investigating the appearance of a lost group of intact World War II aircraft in the Sonoran Desert and a lost freighter that suddenly appears in the Gobi desert. The film then shifts to Jillian Guiler, a single mother whose son Barry vanishes one night after a mysterious event at their house. Finally, the character of Roy Neary is introduced. Roy has an encounter with a UFO one night while working as an electrical lineman and his life slowly unravels because of this experience. The one thing all of these characters share is an obsession with finding answers; Claude is obsessed with solving the scientific mystery, Jillian is obsessed with finding Barry and Roy is obsessed with understanding what he experienced that night. This quest for understanding brings them all together for an encounter with extraterrestrials at Devils Tower. I think you know the place.
Since I want to have full transparency in these posts, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is not one of my favorite movies. It is a little bit of a slow burn for my tastes, but that does not mean it is a bad movie. It helped usher in a new era of science fiction movies because it was more grounded in reality than previous films in the genre. If I had to rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I would give it 3.5 stars. According to some reviewers, I am being overly generous.
Let's look at the stats. Close Encounters of the Third Kind has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon.com based off of 512 total reviews. There are 28 total 1-Star reviews. Eleven of these are for technical issues, e.g. disc wouldn't play, leaving seventeen people who are fully entitled to their opinion that this is a 1-Star movie. Let's see what they have to say.
I havnt seen the movie but it REALLY sounds like stephan kings tommyknocker like the sound of it made me think of that book right away. Its a movie I've only seen once to.
Is this a thing now? People are writing 1-Star movie reviews for films they haven't even seen?! I'm not okay with this.
It made no sense...
...I watched it at school, and everyone in my class was either sleeping or scratching their heads in confusion. I just don't understand why Spielberg made this movie...along the way, people started talking in random languages (pardon me for being vague, I don't remember WHICH languages) and, well...it was just weird. Why did they? I have no idea. The ending just baffled me...*spoiler* why did he walk onto the spaceship? HUH? Maybe I was just having a bad day, but it really made no sense to me. I was alternating between bored and frustrated at not understanding the 'plotline'.
Am I the only one that didn't get to watch actual movies when I was in school? All we got were educational film strips. Maybe this reviewer saw it at film school. Either way, I envy you for being able to experience a Spielberg movie for the first time as schoolwork. I also appreciate that you included a spoiler warning in your review. Thank you for that. As far as your confusion with the plot of the movie, I would recommend you try watching it again. Sometimes that helps.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
This movie is a bit overhyped, I am not going to argue the movie has
good acting and special effects,and that perhaps we may not be alone. I
really like the scene on the highway near the train tracks and The
chase,*SPOILER*but really "Roy" is such a jerk and leaves to join the
mothership? I would hope they torture him up there for being such a bad
father and husband. probe him good. I also dislike spielberg for
commenting "If we can communicate with beings from another planet
peacefully then why not The Reds during the Cold War?" something to that
effect. Spielberg must be one helluva naive person to state something
like that and believe it. I also believe that Aliens wouldn't come here,
Humans are too dumb,why bother. And if they did come they would
probably destroy us.
I would never want to have an encounter, The movie itself is not bad,but you go back to one place(India) then another (Muncie,Indiana) why not focus on One place and one plot? I prefer Signs to this. And the end of this movie totally killed it for me.See for yourself whether you agree or disagree with my review.it's not a bad movie but certainly could have been better.
All right, I was just being polite on the last review. It's really not necessary to give spoiler warnings for movies that came out thirty-five years ago. There's quite a bit going on in this review. They list the good qualities of the movie such as the acting and special effects and they say that there are memorable scenes. So why is this a 1-Star movie? Roy Neary is an unlikeable character and Spielberg thought that humans encountering extraterrestrials for the first time might make them question the value of the Cold War. The Roy issue comes up again so I'm not going to address it here. As far as Earth's first contact with aliens ending the Cold War, that seems like a pretty legitimate possibility to me. (Especially since the aliens made contact with AMERICA!! Take that, Reds!!) I think the issue here is that you were looking for a movie with pew pew laser aliens. Oh, and you prefer Signs to this? "Humans are too dumb,why bother." Well put.
GOOD RIDDANCE TO A TOAD OF A HUSBAND
If I had a husband that lost his job, didnt look for new work to support his family, trashes my kitchen, argues with me in front of our three kids, runs off to passionately kiss a single mom, then hops aboard a UFO, GOOD RIDDANCE!
There's the one I was talking about! Should I defend Roy here? I think I will. Roy suffered a traumatic experience and was trying to deal with that. Also, his wife left him because of his deepening obsession. She didn't really make any effort to help him other than yelling at him. Does making mashed potato sculptures of Devils Tower qualify you for husband and father of the year? Probably not, but the overall judgement of Roy might be a little harsh. I also think that if not liking the protagonist is justification to give the movie 1-Star, you're really shutting the door on a lot of quality movies.
Take out the "H" in "Third" and that's what you've got...
Who likes this movie? How could you possibly make sense of a film like
this? Steven Spielberg really messed up this time around, making a
movie about space and yet most of it takes place on earth. Duh...what
kind of science fiction movie takes place on Earth in the 1970s? This
one, I guess.
If you like to see movies about Richard Dreyfus playing with carbs, then you'll love Close Encounters. And special effects? I don't know why they're considered so revolutionary because they're not half as good as anything I saw in ID4 (that's what I call Independence Day) or MIB II (Men in Black II) or iRobot or even Wild Wild West. Apparently in Steven Spielberg's mind all space aliens are going to terrorize our planet after they arrive in a big Simon (complete with flashing colored lights and the annoying four musical notes)
The best thing about this movie is that it ends (sadly after 6 1/2 hours of people climbing on mountains and staring into the sky). Photosynthesis is more fun to watch than this movie. He's lost his skills since Star Wars.
Tird? I don't get it. Let me check off all the boxes in this review. Science fiction movies can take place on Earth or in the 1970's. They don't have to be in space or in the future. You didn't come up with calling Independence Day ID4. iRobot? Really? Did Apple make that movie? The aliens in the movie did not come to terrorize the planet. It's a five note sequence, not four. Do your research! "He's lost his skills since Star Wars." I don't even know what to do with that. Audible sigh...
Close Encounters of the TURD Kind
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It is long and boring.
The main character is so easy to hate which makes the movie even
harder to watch, when you wish he was dead. Not to mention the ending
left me with the taste of rotting fecal in my mouth.
Final Review ——————- -5,321 Spielburg Snacks
Ohhhh, now I get it! You were close to being the winner this week. Please accept a million Spielburg Snacks as your consolation prize!
Total Boredom and Confusion
It was to confusing and you never knew what was going on. I couldn't even tell what the plot line was. The acting is terrible and the production was weak. Most of all you never knew what was going on. Area 31(not 51?) sights a UFO. Five World War 2 warplanes appear out of nowhere after a sandstorm in the Arizonan Desert(none other than the ones that disappeared over the ever-infamous Bermuda Triangle). A freighter appears out of nowhere in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, after yet another "sandstorm". Some French guy gives a speech on mysterious "hand signals". Thousands of Hindus in Northern India(where else?)gather around and chant something bizarre which could pass for one of there religious chants[I mean no offence honestly to members of the Hindu religion]. A 6-yearold boy mysterously vanishes. Devil's Tower in Wyoming is declared "hazardous to your health".Andso on, and so on, and so on.The bottom line: you don't know what's going on. Just a bunch of thrown together scenes that up a boring alien encounter.This movie is way overated. There's a lot of better Sci-Fi movies out there(Star Wars,Star Trek,Alien,etc.,etc.,). This, like 2001:A Space Oddysy, was thrown together and had no plot and not much dialog between the "charecters". Only that movie,as boring as it was, the point somehow got threw.I don't hate C.E.O.A.T.H., but I found it a waste of time.
They should have used Area 51! Bermuda Triangle? Come on now! Ridiculous! One-Star!!! Seriously though, are people having that much trouble following the plot in this movie? I know it jumps around between characters that aren't initially occupying the same space, but it does gradually build the connection. As far as the ending being boring, I think you're missing the point of this movie. It isn't Independence Day, which I call ID4, or Battle: Los Angeles. It is NOT an alien invasion movie and I think that point is made pretty clear in the film. If you want that, you need a close encounter of the fourth kind which, as everyone knows, is laser fights. I would also like to point out that Hinduism is the world's third largest religion and that not all Hindus live in India.
Finally, I really don't want to be mean in these, but C.E.O.A.T.H.?! You're not even trying! It's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the "h" is not even next to the "k" on the keyboard.
What's this movie about?
Having heard a lot about this movie, after seeing it, I utterly fail to understand what people like about it. The story: guy has a hell of a row with his wife, leaves her and his nice kids, travels the country with another wife, and finally leaves the mess around him in a spaceship. If this is what happens when aliens come down, well, let them please stay where they belong.
All right, I give up. Sometimes I wonder if people are doing other things and just putting these movies on as background noise.
Here's this week's winner:
As ever,Spielberg stinks
What more need be said about this other than that it is a film by Spielberg, the insipid director who brought us such films as "Always" or "Hook", other than that he is the worst filmmaker since Bill Rebane? This early effort is even more idiotic than most of his more recent, half-hearted efforts. This film is an incredibly boring, almost plotless, overlong borefest that may well cure you of insomnia by boring you to death. Also, a special note to the manufacturers of this disk: This is the 21st century! We want more than just some sorry movie on the disk. If all we the public wanted was the movie we would gladly buy the VHS. For your next release, try putting some worthwhile extra features on the disk. At least then you might be able to trick the public into thinking they are getting something worth the money they paid.
The worst director since Bill Rebane? That may be a slight exaggeration, don't you think? I'm also a little confused. Are you saying that other than Always and Hook, Spielberg stinks? Or are you using those as examples of how bad he is? I hope you're using those as examples, because if you think Hook and Always are Spielberg's best movies, well, then your taste and mine disagree, I guess. This review was written in 2002, so some examples of Spielberg's "recent, half-hearted efforts" would be Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and A.I: Artificial Intelligence. Okay, I'll give you the last one.
1-Star Movie Reviews Archive: