DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
I usually like my Science Fiction on the lean side, something Spielberg isn't really any good at. This is no exception as it isn't subtle about its themes drenched in almost religious overtones and its inescapably epic finale.
And I don't care really, as it is a symphony of sight, sound and superb storytelling.
What Spielberg's film does incredibly well is engage you in what is an intelligently structured three-parter, which essentially boils down to mystery/emotion/wonderment.
The way this film slowly sucks you into its central mystery is absolutely fantastic, driven by a stunning central performance by Dreyfuss. He gives us a great Everyman to identify with, which is a sure fire guarantee for our involvement in his increasing obsessive behaviour and resulting quest for answers.
In the second act of the film the danger of sappy Spielberg emotional manipulation rears its ugly head. And while it is certainly there it never feels too heavily accentuated, pulling at the heartstrings with a welcome subtlety and keeping the melodrama to a minimum.
And then there's is that unrivalled, epic finale. It is a thing of complete and utter beauty. If you build up to something for the better part of a film's running time, the pay off had better be good and here it delivers in spades. Those simple notes that lead up to that impeccable delivery of the title's promise are deservedly iconic as the encompass a perfect apotheosis to a beautifully crafted tale.
There are masterpieces in the realm of Science Fiction and this one most definitely stands proudly among them.