After experiencing a close encounter, a man is inexplicably drawn to
a mountain in Wyoming where scientists think the U.F.O. will land.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time and one of the crowning achievements of Steven Spielberg's career. Even now, the effects are breathtaking and the music is as iconic as ever. Spielberg was one of the first to attempt to make aliens that weren't intergalactic monsters, but beings who came to Earth with a message of peace. Without this film, it's very possible that sci-fi wouldn't have taken the many leaps and bounds that created hundreds of films we all know and love. This film sports a terrific cast and a simple but engaging plot that all leads up to one of the most spectacular climaxes in movie history.
Richard Dreyfuss stars as everyman Roy Neary, who has a brush with a U.F.O. one night that changes his entire life. Dreyfuss has always been a reliable leading man and his role in this film is no exception. Alongside him is 80's mom Melinda Dillon and French New Wave filmmaker François Truffaut, not to mention a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Carl Weathers cameo that caught me by surprise. Throughout this film, the characters are driven almost insane by an image of Devil's Tower, a famous mountain in Wyoming that they are drawn to by the aliens. Upon reaching it, they witness the landing of the mothership in a scene that is still as incredible as it was in 1977. However, it is a little goofy to watch aliens and humans play a game of Space Simon as they attempt to establish communication. I don't know how that looked to audiences in 1977, but now it's just silly.
Despite that minor flaw, Close Encounters really is a fantastic film that helped define Steven Spielberg's career, alongside Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's aided by yet another wonderful score by John Williams, who is definitely the best at what he does. No matter your age or your preferred genre, I think that everybody can take something away from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's a film that's almost impossible not to like on some level, simply because it's a film that endorses peace and love.