After his breakout hit Jaws
gave him the freedom to make whatever movie he wanted, Steven Spielberg
decided to explore a subject that had always fascinated him: the possibility of extra-terrestrials coming to Earth. He would later cover the same topic in E.T., War of the Worlds
, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains his greatest study of alien life.
Related: All Of Steven Spielberg's Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked
Most movies about aliens coming to Earth involve an attempted invasion of the planet with spaceships blowing up skyscrapers and humans being slaughtered en masse. But some are more cerebral and thought-provoking, like Close Encounters.