Close Encounters (2023) – Movie Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Close Encounters (2023)

In this soap opera styled movie, there are so many twists, turns, surprises, and betrayals that, while you’ll be able to keep up, you might be left exhausted.

General Information

Director(s) Roger M. Bobb
Screenplay By Angela Burt-Murray
Based On N/A
Date Released (BET Plus) August 10, 2023
Genre(s) Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance, LGBT+
Film Length 1 Hour 31 Minutes
Content Rating Rated TV-14
Noted Characters and Cast
Dexter Leon Pridgen
Corynne Vanessa Estelle Williams
Cameron Anthony Dalton II
Destiny Candiace Dillard
Blake Andre Hall
Laurel Joyce Glenn
Simone Diana Lovell
Nathan Ali Amin Carter

What Is “Close Encounters” Rated And Why?

“Close Encounters” is Rated TV-14 because:

  • Dialog: Cursing
  • Violence: Gun violence, stabbing, and minor fights
  • Sexual Content: Sex scenes that don’t involve nudity
  • Miscellaneous: There is drinking

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Originally, it was assumed that Dexter Elias Reed, CEO of the real estate empire Granite Slate Holding, died in a plane accident. However, no sooner than his wife Corynne takes over as CEO, and his children, Cameron and Destiny, are making plans to take her down and get the company, we’re told the accident may have been a murder. However, while the police focus on that, Cameron and Destiny are trying to figure out between their father’s best friend and lawyer for 30 years, Blake, Corynne’s daughter Laurel, and the head of security, Nathan, who can be an ally, a pawn, or an enemy regarding their end goal.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


Dexter (Leon Pridgen) at a shareholder meeting
“Dexter (Leon Pridgen) at a shareholder meeting,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Dexter is the founder of Granite Slate Holding and was a single widow until marrying Corynne. He was known to be far more nice and loving before his first wife died, but after her death, all of his focus was on work and building his empire.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “P-Valley.”


Corynne (Vanessa Estelle Williams) being visited by Destiny in her office
“Corynne (Vanessa Estelle Williams) being visited by Destiny in her office,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

With the passing of her third husband, one could say Corynne isn’t lucky in love. However, she is a hustler, so despite the losses she may have suffered because of the death of her recent husband, she is now the CEO of a major real estate company – even over her dearly departed husband’s kids.


Cameron (Anthony Dalton II) talking about his past with Laurel
“Cameron (Anthony Dalton II) talking about his past with Laurel,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Cameron is the oldest of Dexter’s children who is known for crashing cars, but is also his father’s right hand as the chief marketing officer.


Destiny (Candiace Dillard) raising a glass
“Destiny (Candiace Dillard) raising a glass,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Destiny is mainly known for being a party girl, but she is also the VP of acquisitions and development at Granite Slate Holding.


Blake (Andre Hall) handling the will
“Blake (Andre Hall) handling the will,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Blake has been Dexter’s friend for over 30 years, has acted as his general counsel for the majority of his dealings, and like most, he holds numerous secrets.


Laurel is Corynne’s daughter who has been working in Europe and has a past with Cameron, despite being step-siblings.


Simone (Diana Lovell) watching something dramatic happen
“Simone (Diana Lovell) watching something dramatic happen,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Simone is a close friend of Corynne if not her only friend and confidant.


Nathan (Ali Amin Carter) trying to date Destiny
“Nathan (Ali Amin Carter) trying to date Destiny,” Close Encounters, directed by Roger M. Bobb, 2023, (BET Plus)

Nathan is the head of security for Granite Slate Holding and pays particular attention to Destiny.


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Who Is This For?

If you like mysteries, which have soap opera-styled drama, you will LOVE this.

Notable Performances or Moments

Every Twist And Surprise Which Eventually Leaves You Exasperated

“Close Encounters” operates like a hyped-up soap opera. There are reveals every ten to fifteen minutes, loyalties change as new information pops up, no one has a dull background if they are a character on screen, and honestly, it is exhausting at times as we learn who is related to who, who is in a secret relationship, or who did what in secret and tried to cover it up.

Add in murder and the question if someone survived and it was just attempted murder or they are, unquestionably dead? Is it a lot at times? Absolutely, but “Close Encounters” lives in that space of being overwhelming but not necessarily over the top.


Vanessa Estelle Williams as Corynne

With that said, Ms. Williams was the main and first draw of the film. Her sarcasm, sass, how conniving her character is? I swear to you, while painted as a villain, you may find yourself rooting for her just because you want to see what she does or says next. Especially since she doesn’t have a good relationship with Cameron or Destiny and isn’t really all that subtle about it.

Destiny, in particular, she dismisses her work and paints her to be this reckless, partying, spoiled child, and how they bump heads makes this film what it is. What Williams delivers is the type of villain all shows and movies hope to have.

Low Points

The Last Minute Addition Of Simone

With less than a half-hour left in the film, a new character named Simone is introduced. She is notable because of the role she plays in Corynne’s life, but she also feels like a character thrown in to add another twist. Which is a bit annoying since the characters established for an hour at that point, already have more than enough going on.

But what makes things worse is you barely catch Simone’s name, and combine that with you only learning about what she did for Corynne, not really anything about her as an individual? It makes you wonder if her inclusion was to have an LGBT+ character.


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. The Reading
  2. Under His Influence
  3. Call Her King

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:

The Reason The Movie Is Named “Close Encounters

It isn’t made explicitly clear, but one could fathom it is because all of the drama and back and forth happens between a small circle.

Does “Close Encounters” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?

Nope. The end of the movie wraps up its storylines and does provide one last reveal, but nothing worth a sequel.

Does “Close Encounters” Have A Mid-Credit or End-Credit Scene?


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Close Encounters (2023) - Review Summary 5.99


“Close Encounters” is the rare example of a movie throwing everything at you and somehow not becoming utterly ridiculous in the process.

  • Plot and Dialog - 86%
  • Character Development and Performances - 83%
  • Visuals and Sound - 82%
  • Pacing - 85%
  • Value For Intended Audience - 88%
  • Every Twist And Surprise Which Eventually Leaves You Exasperated - 87%
  • Vanessa Estelle Williams as Corynne - 84.5%
  • The Last Minute Addition Of Simone - 65%
User Review
0/100 (0 votes)


  • Vanessa Estelle Williams as Corynne
  • Every Twist And Surprise Which Eventually Leaves You Exasperated


  • The Last Minute Addition Of Simone

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