Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Is Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

by | September 1, 2017 | Comments

Almost everything new in theaters and on DVD this week is rated R, but there is a Steven Spielberg sci-fi classic returning to the big screen, and even though it’s about aliens visiting Earth, it’s a decidedly more hopeful take on the genre. If you never got to see it in theaters, now’s your chance, and you should feel free to take your kids. Read on for Christy’s assessment.



Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: 40th Anniversary Release (2017) 100%

Rating: PG, for some intense sci-fi action, mild language and thematic elements.

The Steven Spielberg classic is getting a re-release this weekend in honor of its 40th anniversary, and if you’ve never seen it – or you’ve never seen it on the big screen – now is the time to do it. This is also a great opportunity to share the film with your kids. It’s signature Spielberg sci-fi through and through — certainly not as cuddly as E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, but similarly filled with awe and wonder about the possibilities of discovery and connection. But as is often the case in the master director’s films, Close Encounters features many moments that are mysterious and unsettling – even frightening – as it builds up to revealing what the aliens’ purpose is on Earth. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a man obsessed by visions he can’t explain and driven to determine what they mean. His quest connects him with a woman (Melinda Dillon) whose son was abducted and whisked away in a UFO. The two find themselves drawn to the imposing Devil’s Tower in Wyoming in search of answers. Some of the alien stuff might seem scary for little kids: the dramatic lights, the space ship, the iconic John Williams score. I showed Close Encounters to my son a couple summers ago – he’s now almost 8 – and he did fine, but seeing it in a movie theater might be an entirely different and possibly overwhelming experience for younger viewers. Still, the film is thrilling and ultimately hopeful, and it holds up beautifully all these decades later. I highly recommend it for viewers around 8 and older.

Tag Cloud

VH1 finale Logo TCA Marathons Biopics Reality discovery mutant TCM Sneak Peek Winners CBS Ellie Kemper Walt Disney Pictures based on movie Starz Infographic APB USA Spring TV vampires hist TBS Song of Ice and Fire Warner Bros. First Look Pixar Christmas 24 frames harry potter 007 Pop Sundance The Arrangement Animation Freeform Rock GoT AMC Countdown 2015 diversity streaming Disney SundanceTV E! cults Teen Sundance Now CNN historical drama Watching Series Winter TV Tomatazos Lucasfilm Western Year in Review Awards USA Network Podcast zombies technology Writers Guild of America Action PaleyFest cooking Nominations Superheroe Lionsgate NBC BET Masterpiece crime drama Box Office Country Marvel Creative Arts Emmys Election ABC Family Comedy See It Skip It Paramount Network Extras transformers Certified Fresh Shondaland aliens Character Guide Thanksgiving crime robots Universal Rocky CBS All Access talk show Reality Competition Grammys Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Summer crime thriller Sci-Fi Comic Book Trailer Toys PBS Mindy Kaling CMT spy thriller GLAAD dramedy social media Bravo Oscars unscripted Drama Mystery 45 justice league FOX what to watch Emmys Calendar FX Ghostbusters Britbox Cartoon Network 20th Century Fox SXSW LGBTQ TLC WGN Fox News singing competition Lifetime romance Ovation Esquire Columbia Pictures Martial Arts Sony Pictures Interview Paramount DirecTV Premiere Dates Fantasy Superheroes Tumblr Nat Geo Disney Channel Syfy biography medical drama ABC YouTube Premium CW Seed RT History sports science fiction Valentine's Day binge Cosplay crossover Acorn TV comiccon TV Land festivals TruTV Star Wars Apple dceu Musicals Opinion war boxoffice NYCC Photos BBC America Comedy Central IFC Films Holidays Showtime American Society of Cinematographers Adult Swim Red Carpet doctor who police drama Crackle ESPN X-Men docudrama zombie political drama Fall TV DC Comics Nickelodeon travel The CW MTV Musical Food Network composers Trivia TCA 2017 Star Trek Pirates BBC MSNBC Super Bowl GIFs psycho Horror Mary Tyler Moore Amazon ratings cops cats SDCC President 21st Century Fox Set visit A&E Polls and Games politics thriller HBO Video Games 2017 DC Universe Music E3 San Diego Comic-Con YA period drama Hulu TIFF sitcom El Rey Kids & Family VICE FXX 2016 OWN History Best and Worst golden globes blaxploitation supernatural IFC National Geographic adventure Dark Horse Comics ITV cinemax Schedule TNT dc TV Rom-Com Spike serial killer YouTube Red DC streaming service Netflix