Synopsis: An eccentric who has a fascination with space and alien life forms has a bizarre encounter of the third kind that changes his life. As he begins to experience strange visions, reports of many others like him start to pop up. His hunt for answers puts him on the path of a woman who claims her son was abducted by aliens; soon their lives are upended by a shocking discovery.
Why it's better: Broadly speaking, there are three versions of Close Encounters: the theatrical version (1977), the Special Edition (1980), and the Collector's Edition (1998). Director Steven Spielberg regards the Collector's Edition as the "real" version of the film, and IMHO, he's right.
Because of financial problems, Columbia Pictures was desperate to release Close Encounters as soon as possible, meaning that many scenes Spielberg had scripted could not be included first time round. For the Special Edition, Spielberg was allowed to recut the film and shoot additional parts, but only if he showed the inside of the spaceship so that the studio had something to hang a marketing campaign on.
Years later, Spielberg released the Collector's Edition, which kept all of his brilliant additions but removed the interior of the alien ship, something he always maintained should've been left to the imagination!