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United Kingdom, United States · 2021
1h 48m
Director Michael Pearce
Starring Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Lucian-River Mirage Chauhan, Rory Cochrane
Genre Adventure, Drama

Two young brothers go on the run with their father, a decorated Marine, who is trying to protect them from a mysterious threat. As the journey takes them in an increasingly dangerous and unexpected direction, the boys will need to confront hard truths and leave their childhood behind.

Stream Encounter

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What are critics saying?


Time Out by

Encounter has a whole lot of heart and takes a sensitive approach to PTSD that is underscored by a cultural tension that comes to a head in its high-octane, action-packed final act.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

The film’s saving graces is not only Ahmed, who, as you’d expect, elevates the material every chance he gets, but his on-screen connection with Chauhan. Somehow, the relatively unknown Canadian actor gives one of the best performances from a young actor in recent memory.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

Pearce and Barton set up this heavy emotional narrative dealing with mental illness, PTSD, and familial love only to undercut it with loud overtures of systemic violence devoid of textual basis.


Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

Riz Ahmed takes Encounter a long way. But he can't single-handedly carry a film that never quite figures out what it wants to be — stark sci-fi paranoia? Psychological family drama? Desert road-trip apocalypse?


Screen Rant by Mae Abdulbaki

While the drama gets the wind knocked out of its sails after introducing other characters, Encounter gets in plenty of emotional, nuanced scenes between Malik and his sons that become the beating heart of this often unsettling, uneven, yet strangely mesmerizing film.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

For a film that tries to be a bravura piece of genre-hopping cinema, “Encounter” too often feels confused rather than assured.


Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

In Pearce’s sure hands, the film sustains its tension, even as it sideswipes the audience with slickly executed change of tone.

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