Starring: Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Janina Gavankar, Misha Collins, and Shane McRae
Director: Michael Pearce
Fresh off Sound of Metal, Riz Ahmed delivers another great performance in Encounter. The film is consistently thrilling due to the way it plays with your expectations. It can be heavy and dark, but there is some levity offered by the father-son dynamics at the heart of the film. It’s also heartbreaking at times, and as the story unfolds, it only gets more upsetting. Still, it keeps you engaged with its fast pace. It’s definitely one to watch.
Somewhere in Encounter, there is an excellent movie…maybe even two…but director and co-writer Michael Pearce is unable to merge the two ideas together for maximum effectiveness. Instead of concurrently intertwining the two perspectives to keep the audience guessing about the truth, he essentially breaks them up into the “first half story” and the “second half story.” And once the truth is revealed, the movie kinda loses steam. Riz Ahmed is great in it, though. Overall, it’s not terrible, but it was *this* close to being something special.