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Encounter | 2021 | R | – 1.6.6

content-ratingsWhy is “Encounter” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language and some violence.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few fight scenes that end with the victim bloody and seemingly dead, a couple of gunfights, scenes of people being infested by insects with wriggling under their skin and in their eyes, discussions of violent encounters, mental illness and fighting, a few arguments and 17 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A man (Riz Ahmed) convinced of an alien invasion of Earth undertakes a mission to protect his two young sons (Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada). Also with Octavia Spencer, Janina Gavankar, Shane McRae, Rory Cochrane and Keith Szarabajka. Directed by Michael Pearce. [Running Time: 1:48]

Encounter SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A man asks his young sons if their mother is throwing up in the mornings when they tell him that she gets sick a lot and she eats weird things (implying that the woman is pregnant). A man asks his young son if he has pubic hair yet and the boy seems embarrassed.
 A shirtless man is shown a couple of times and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back covered with numerous tattoos.

Encounter VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – A police car pulls up next to a man’s car as he and his son urinate on the side of the road; the officer quizzes the man about what he is doing, tells him to lean against the car and the office searches him, finds a gun, asks if the man has a permit and when the man tries to go back to his car the officer tasers him; they struggle over the gun, it discharges a few times and the man punches the officer several times (we see the officer lying motionless on the road with a very bloody and swollen face and it is initially implied that he is dead, but he revives later). A man enters a seemingly abandoned house where we see many bugs skittering across walls and he reaches for a set of car keys when a voice from the shadows tells him to stop; we see a man with a shotgun and as he moves toward the intruder we see his face with wriggling under the flesh and bugs in his mouth, he screams, fires his weapon and the intruder jumps over a sofa and swings a lamp at the man hitting him in the head (he lies on the floor with a bloody head wound) and then runs out of the house and speeds away in a car (we see the intruder with a bloody wound in his side later and he pulls out buckshot).
 A man runs to a car to get a gun as other men shoot at him, he speeds in the car toward one shooter and hits him throwing him over the car and he lands hard on the ground (blood spurts from his head and he cries out in pain from a leg injury); another shooter shoots at the man in the car and the man shoots him in the chest (he is wearing a bulletproof vest but falls to the ground wheezing), and the first shooter grabs a boy when the boy tries to stop the man from shooting his father; the man holds a gun on him from behind until he releases the boy.
 We hear pounding and grunting when a man locked inside a barn pounds on something; we later see the man and a woman inside the garage bound and gagged when police discover them. A woman screams and walks toward a car, scaring two young boys that are inside; one boy runs away and the other chases him into a store where he is found and reprimanded by his father. A man in a car speeds through a desert chased by many military and police vehicles, is surrounded and stops and people try to negotiate with him; a boy with a gun gets out of the car and officers point guns at the child (no one is shot).
 A boy drives a car with his younger brother in the car with him; two men chase them, arm themselves and call out for their father to come out of a house and that they are there to arrest him for kidnapping and assault; one of them men shoots at a house when he hears a noise (no one is struck). Two boys fight, one pulls the other’s hair, the other shoves him and he falls on the ground and hits his head, and he gets up and runs away (we do not see any injuries). A young boy steps into a road and a truck honks at him and swerves to avoid hitting him. A police car with sirens blaring drives alongside a man and his two young sons and the man tells the children to get down; the officer continues past them. Two young boys are startled when a man sprays their car with a water hose. A boy wakes with a start when he has a nightmare about an officer with a shotgun shooting out their car window. A man speeds in a car and reaches 100mph; he drives off the road along a dirt pass and pretends to fall asleep while his two young sons scream for him to wake up. A boy pulls on a man’s shoulders from the backseat while the man is driving and he swerves off the road, slams on the brakes and yells at the boy; the boy’s pants are shown stained with urine and the child runs away; the man chases him and tackles him as the boy says, “I hate you. I wanna go back to mom.” A man teaches his young sons how to shoot a gun. A man holds a boy’s head and looks in his eyes with a flashlight as the boy struggles and groans, and another boy yells and tells the man to stop hurting his brother. A man teaches his young son to drive a car.
 A man sees wriggling things in other people’s eyes and under their skin and his own skin in a few scenes. A man panics when he sees wriggling under his skin; he scratches himself until we see some streaks of blood and the wriggling stops. A man uses a small flashlight to look in his eyes in a few scenes, as well as in other people’s eyes in a few scenes; we see his eyes very bloodshot in a couple of scenes. A man sprays himself with bug spray in several scenes and instructs his young sons to do so as well. A young boy finds pictures and writing in a journal that illustrates parasites and what they do to people.
 TV news reports show scenes of people rioting and looting with shops and structures in flames and people clashing with police. There’s a flash in the sky and an explosion as something breaks into the atmosphere before disappearing. A video game shows a person being shot and the head explodes with blood. A man finds his tire flat and drives on it to an isolated shack where he finds another car but a sign nearby reads, “Trespassers will be shot.”
 A mosquito stings a person on the arm (in close up), we then see a microscopic organism moving through the blood and tissue of the affected person and the organism stops and seems to burst releasing many worm-like creatures. Bugs eat other bugs in close up; a praying mantis eats a grasshopper and we see some gooey material. A man smashes a wasp on a wall using a Bible. Bugs are zapped in a bug trap and we see some spark and fizzle. Many large bugs skitter out of an opening in the wallpaper on a wall. A woman squashes a bug on her shoulder and we see a spot of blood as she says, “I’m being eaten alive today.”
 A young boy tells his father to pull the car over because he needs to urinate and that he “can’t hold it,” when his father tells him to pee in his pants; the man stops the car and they both urinate on the side of the road (we hear a trickle and we do not see anything). A man coughs up blood and spits it on a road when he revives after a beating; he reaches into his mouth and pulls out a tooth (we hear a crunch). A boy seems to react to eating sugar and another boy says it makes him hyperactive. A man opens a car door while driving and vomits (we hear retching and do not see goo). A woman vomits off-screen (we hear retching and splatter).
 A man says that on a military mission, they found children in wreckage. A man refers to an alien bug infestation. A man angrily sends a young boy to bed when he is disrespectful toward him. A man tells his two young sons that a ride at Disneyland broke down and a bunch of kids died (the children look frightened). A man tells his young sons that their mother has an alien inside her and the boys look frightened. A woman reprimands a man for missing his psych evaluation and asks if he wants to go back to prison. A man tells a woman that another man is suspected of being a family annihilator and that the man will kill his two sons. We hear that a man was court-martialed for beating up his commanding officer and that he spent two years in jail; we also hear that the injured man’s jaw was broken and he was in a coma. A man talks about drinking a lot of whiskey one night and going to a club where he danced and when he tried to do a backflip, he kicked a woman in the head. A man says that he sees many meteors shooting through the sky and his young son is alarmed when he does not see anything. A boy asks another boy, “Do you think there was a war here,” when they walk through an abandoned housing development. A boy says a man has demons in his head.

Encounter LANGUAGE 6

 – About 17 F-words, 7 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 13 mild obscenities, name-calling (dumb [anatomical term deleted], slowpoke, dude, weirdos, stick up your [anatomical term deleted], desperate, family annihilator, Johnny Utah, hyper, weird stuff, hunk of junk, [scatological term deleted] head, stupid), exclamations (shut-up, yo man, I hate you, no way, whoo, whoa, shh, calm down, huh, ow, hey, stop, quit it), 2 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. oh my God, oh God, Christ, Jesus). | profanity glossary |

Encounter SUBSTANCE USE

 – Song lyrics include the phrase “lots of booze,” a man drinks from a bottle of beer, and a man talks about drinking a lot of whiskey one night.

Encounter DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Behavioral manipulation, mental illness, alien invasion, insects, PTSD, lying, psychotic disorders, truth, revenge, child abduction, kidnapping, trust.

Encounter MESSAGE

 – Even the seemingly most insurmountable problems can be resolved if family sticks together.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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