A never-better Riz Ahmed stars as a disturbed ex-marine on a mission to save his two children from an unseen alien force in this emotional sci-fi thriller.
The latest from co-writer/director Michael Pearce (Beast) is an out-of-this-world, suspenseful road movie with the powerful acting supernova of Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer at its center. Taking cues from the paranoia of 1950s alien invasion movies and the blockbuster wonder of Spielberg’s 80s classics, Pearce imbues this genre-bending psychological drama with a deep sense of empathy for a desperate man trying to do right by his children. After being away on a top secret mission, ex-marine Malik (Ahmed) surprises his two young sons in the middle of the night with claims about an alien invasion of parasitic microbes. The reserved Jay (Lucian River-Chauhan) and chatty Bobby (Aditya Geddada) are just happy to see their father and excited about promises of adventure after Malik’s two-year absence. Hitting the road with a secret military base as a destination, the loving father takes to training the two boys in identifying and subduing any compromised humans. As suspected extraterrestrials embark on a statewide manhunt for the family, Hattie (Octavia Spencer) leads her own investigation based on a personal relationship and history with Malik. The always astounding Spencer brings both gravitas and levity to a mysterious role, while Ahmed continues to astonish with the range and humility he brings to his complicated character. The chemistry between Malik and his sons lights up the screen, which Pearce fills with an increasing number of alien creepy crawlies. Filled with surprises and hair-raising drama, ENCOUNTER cements Pearce’s status as an exciting and important filmmaker and continues Ahmed’s phenomenal streak of award-worthy performances.
CAST: Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane
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