December 12, 1977 12:00 PM

Close Encounter of the First Kind: sighting of a UFO. Close Encounter of the Second Kind: physical evidence. Close Encounter of the Third Kind: contact! Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), a Muncie, Ind. power company worker, experiences all three when he has a brush with extraterrestrial visitors. Family and neighbors think he has simply short-circuited. Air Force brass and technocrats do all they can to discredit him. But Neary’s parapsychic obsession draws him onward—and upward. Director Steven (Jaws) Spielberg delivers a slightly paranoid but nonetheless powerful message about ordinary people reacting to extraordinary circumstances. With twice the $9.5 million budget of Star Wars, Close Encounters is that much more intriguing. The only disappointment: we never climb aboard the glittering chandelier of a spaceship designed by 2001 special effects genius Douglas Trumbull. (PG)

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