7.7/10
140,656
341 user 171 critic

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
1,604 ( 277)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor
The Abyss (1989)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
Contact (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Duel (TV Movie 1971)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson
Total Recall (1990)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay.

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A woman attempts to reunite her family by helping her husband escape prison and together kidnapping their son. But things don't go as planned when they are forced to take a police hostage on the road.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Claude Lacombe (as Francois Truffaut)
...
...
...
...
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Wild Bill (as Warren Kemmerling)
...
Philip Dodds ...
...
Shawn Bishop ...
Adrienne Campbell ...
Silvia Neary
Justin Dreyfuss ...
...
Robert
...
Edit

Storyline

Two parallel stories are told. In the first, a group of research scientists from a variety of backgrounds are investigating the strange appearance of items in remote locations, primarily desert regions. In continuing their investigation, one of the lead scientists, a Frenchman named Claude Lacombe, incorporates the Kodály method of music education as a means of communication in their work. The response, in turn, at first baffles the researchers, until American cartographer David Laughlin deciphers the meaning of the response. In the second, electric company lineman and family man Roy Neary and single mother Jillian Guiler are among some individuals in Muncie, Indiana who experience some paranormal activity before some flashes of bright lights in the sky, which they believe to be a UFO. Roy becomes obsessed with what he saw, unlike some others, especially in some form of authority, who refuse to acknowledge their belief that it was a UFO in not wanting to appear crazy. That obsession ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We are not alone See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

CE3K  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,400,870 (estimated)

Gross:

$128,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(special edition) | (director's cut) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

From a budget of $20 million (sizeable at the time), this went on to become one of the top grossing films of the 1970s. See more »

Goofs

Stars shown on a summer night near Muncie, Indiana, are inappropriate for the latitude and the season as shown by the dense foliage. The constellation Orion would be much higher in the sky in the upright position in which it is shown, but only during the winter and late autumn. See more »

Quotes

Project Leader: If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roboshark (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Chances Are
(1957)
Words and Music by Al Stillman (as Al Stillman) and Robert Allen
Published by International Korwin Corp.
From the Columbia Records album "Johnny Mathis' All-Time Greatest Hits"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Transforming Fear to Wonder
16 July 2004 | by (Spokane, Washington) – See all my reviews

An amazing film, one of my favorites. I watch this regularly, especially at times when the reality of life is overwhelming, just to refocus and regain some sense of perspective.

Everything in this film works toward one end: to transform the adult sense of fear back into the childlike sense of wonder at the world. From the very opening moments of the film, designed to create confusion and startlement, this movie creates a sensation of dread and foreboding. The dissonance of the soundtrack, the juxtaposition of images, they all are working to build into the viewer a feeling that something just isn't right, that something out of the ordinary is taking place, and underscoring this all with a sense that this is something to resist, to pull away from, to not allow it to affect one's "ordinary life."

But as the movie progresses, the tone begins to shift, and the true intent of the film begins to peek through. This isn't about being afraid of the unknown, but rather embracing it. Paying attention to the "subliminal images" in life, allowing them to lead you into something unknown and perhaps dangerous, only then can one be open to wonder and experience the world through the magical eyes of a child.

Dreyfuss' character takes us on this journey, met with resistance all along the way. His wife, his neighbors, his job, his community, all are working against him, and it's only when he's reached his craziest that he truly gives in and begins to stop trying to understand and instead embraces the experiences in store for him. The scientific community is seeking to understand, but without having any personal calling to be involved. Only Barry is truly able to throw himself into the strangeness that is taking place, and his enthusiasm is greeted by both the characters and the audience as somehow alien and threatening.

The ending of this film, when all the fear is finally stripped away and the sense of amazed wonder overtakes everyone on the screen and in the audience, brings about an amazing catharsis. Discarding all the "adult" sensibilities and being able to approach life once again with a sense of innocent amazement for the Strange hidden amongst the Ordinary, one can begin again to approach life from a fresh vantage point.

Powerful, mystifying, and rejuvenating. I highly recommend this film for anyone jaded with life and seeking a sense of renewal.


130 of 176 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was anyone else terrified when... fountaincap
Bad father? Seriously? grybop
Just saw this for the first time killerdominos
Did they only take Roy? jakholman
Morgan Freeman was in CE3K (uncredited)?? earlgately
Quality of print vincentlynch-moonoi

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?