Must See: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

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Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale. Written by James Rocchi.

Title: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Date: 1977

Vitals: Richard Dreyfuss is a regular guy gets a glimpse of visitors from beyond — and he's driven to seek them out at any cost. Steven Spielberg may be known for feel-good optimism, but a lot of Close Encounters feels creepy and intense — and works as a great parable for the scary-wondrous pull of any transcendent experience.


Famous Names: Steven Spielberg (Director); Richard Dreyfuss, Terri Garr, Francois Truffaut (Cast).

Crunchy Goodness: 5

Bang for Your Buck: The special effects may not be modern-CGI, but Spielberg's team still deliver astonishing visuals — especially in the eye-popping, mind-blowing final sequence.

Stunt Casting: Director Francis Truffaut plays ... an international UFO expert?

Elevator Pitch: "It's an alien-invasion movie ... but made by hippies and potheads!"

Variety's 1977 review