Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind ★★★★★

(previously a 3.5)

Turns out that watching movies on the theater matter (how shocking, I know). My original particularly lukewarm response to this, and almost anything Spielberg really, was completely obliterated by the earth-shattering magnitude of witnessing this classic in all of its glory. The sheer scope of the set pieces hit harder, but the emotional core, which I found to be nearly absent - for his standard of elevated sentimentality - on that first watch, were infinitely better understood this time. The subtext of post-Vietnam paranoia and the inherently disruptive side effect of unshakable obstination, whether it concerns conspiracy theorists or artists in general, might be both dated and cliched, however its juxtaposition with the grand spectacle here is everything but that. Probably Spielberg's best.

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