100

Empire

By Angie Errigo
Years ahead of it's time in terms of SFX, it's a masterpiece of wide-eyed whimsy.
Full Review
100

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is unquestionably a great movie.
Full Review
100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
It's one of the great moviegoing experiences.
Full Review
90

The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
Steven Spielberg's giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third Kind...is the best—the most elaborate—1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.
Full Review
90

Washington Post

It must weather some bummy mid-passage exposition, but the movie survives its flaws triumphantly, evolving into a uniquely transporting filmgoing spectacle. [14 Dec 1977, p.D1]
Full Review
80

Newsweek

By Jack Kroll
A genuine work of the popular imagination. It's the first true populist science-fiction film, a blend of the most startling, far-out special effects with the most ordinary human material of the American Heartland. [21 Nov 1977, p.88]
Full Review
70

Variety

Steven Spielberg's film climaxes in final 35 minutes with an almost ethereal confrontation with life forms from another world; the first 100 minutes, however, are somewhat redundant in exposition and irritating in tone.
Full Review
91 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.