Steven Spielberg has one of the longest and most successful filmographies of any filmmaker of all time. Through the years, the auteur director has helmed such classics as Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. One of his latest endeavors, Netflix’s Encounters, sees Spielberg taking a behind-the-scenes role as a producer in a search to unearth supposedly true tales of alien encounters on Earth.
Encounters, which is available to stream in full on Netflix now, has been making waves in the streaming world this week, appearing at number 6 on the list of most streamed series worldwide according to FlixPatrol.
Steven Spielberg has always had an interest in alien life but with Encounters on Netflix he’s exploring real stories for the first time.
Encounters spans four 45-minute long episodes, each examining the concept of alien encounters on Earth through eyewitness accounts, interviews from notable experts, and supporting evidence, including video and photographs of apparent UFOs. Generation Hustle director and producer Yon Motskin directed all four episodes of the series. Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Television, produced the series in partnership with Boardwalk Pictures and Vice Studios, intending to uncover four of the most harrowing alien encounters caught on video.
Each episode of Encounters focuses on a specific story, including a small-town Texas sighting of strange lights hovering in the skies, an alleged spacecraft submerged under the sea in a coastal Welsh village, alien contact with a number of young school children in the African nation of Zimbabwe, and an extraterrestrial interference at a Japanese nuclear plant. The series seems to have arrived on the streamer just in time, as recent real-world movements in the alien-sighting scene have become increasingly hot.
This can likely be attributed to a number of congressional hearings in which top government officials and military operatives have openly admitted to encounters of alien kind, which can not be explained by modern science. One hearing in Mexico even seemed to have unearthed the deceased body of a centuries-old extraterrestrial. Though many have since questioned the legitimacy of the body, it has not been officially debunked as a hoax by any government sources.
Each episode of Encounters focuses on a specific story…
This series is also not the first of its kind for Steven Spielberg. The legendary filmmaker has long been enamored with alien encounters, leading him to helm films such as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, War of the Worlds, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, all of which focus on alien races, alien technology, and the existence of life outside of Earth. Though Encounters hones this focus into the realm of real-world interactions and sightings, it lacks the visual language of a Spielberg film and thus, has left some reviewers wanting more.
The series has received a number of mixed reviews from critics and general audiences alike, resulting in a meager 43 percent audience score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. A number of critics seem to feel that Encounters does a great job of portraying alleged alien activity to those who are already firm believers of alien life on Earth, but does very little to sway the opinions of skeptics who feel that many of the video and photo evidence is fake or the result of military aircraft.
Before joining the production team for Encounters, Steven Spielberg had already amassed well over 100 producer credits in his storied career, with 15 upcoming projects currently listed in various stages of active production on his IMDb. In addition to his career as a production head, Spielberg also has 2 new directorial outings scheduled to arrive in the next year or so, including a currently untitled project in collaboration with Bradley Cooper, and a mini-series following the life of famed political leader Napoleon Bonaparte.
…Encounters does a great job of portraying alleged alien activity to those who are already firm believers of alien life on Earth, but does very little to sway the opinions of skeptics…
While there has been no word regarding any future installment in the Encounters mini-series, it may be worth revisiting the subject matter in a few years time as science continues to peer into the vast reaches of space and governments across the world continue to search for the truth regarding supposed alien life on Earth.
Regardless, the four harrowing tales presented in the Spielberg-produced Netflix series will have to hold us all over for now as we wait to learn more. Encounters is currently available to stream on Netflix.