Chaim Kindergelt’s review published on Letterboxd:
The family drama is poorly handled and feels totally misplaced, but that's as far as any negativity goes. Seeing this under a united silence, where the awe of an image can be tangible and the collective emotional response is reflected on screen, articulates the wonder cinema can offer. Close Encounters moves beyond human drama to question the limits we can reach, seeking hope in the unknown, not looking back, wishing to extend past the understood human condition. Spielberg's arresting direction demonstrates expertise in the transitioning of tone; this coupling the growing perspective of our protagonist. He imagines images Mr. Trumbull brings to life, flabbergasting monuments to tales so deeply imbedded within social awareness. It's a gesture to the humane embracing of the utterly ambiguous, that unknown making up the most of our fears.
A wholly optimistic picture.