A great film is one that can take even the most jaded of moviegoers and fill them with a sense of anticipation, wonder and sheer exhilaration. Cynicism falls away as they witness all the different creative aspects that go into making a film come together to show them sights they have never seen and tell them stories that are able to surprise while still resonating on the deepest of emotional levels. A truly great film—the kind that one can call a classic without the slightest hesitation—is one that still has the power to do that to viewers decades after it was originally released, no matter how many times they may have seen it over the years. Steven Spielberg’s 1977 masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is returning to theaters for a one-week engagement to mark its 40th anniversary, is the epitome of a truly great film. Having seen it countless times over the past four decades, I went into the screening planning to devote most of my attention to how the new 4K restoration looked and found myself getting sucked as deeply into the story, the performances and the stunning visual effects as I was when I first saw it as a wee lad during its original release.
Article by Peter Sobczynski, rogerebert.com