Amazon’s infectious new sci-fi thriller, Encounter, will get under your skin

Michael Pearce’s Encounter, which arrives on Prime Video December 10, is a tricky film to describe. So genre-bending is its premise that the director himself has a hard time nailing down an appropriate elevator pitch. 

“I call it a coming-of-age film trapped within a psychological road thriller,” Pearce tells us over Zoom, “but I might change that description tomorrow.”

In fairness to the British filmmaker, who rose to prominence with his 2017 sleeper hit Beast, that’s a fairly apt summary of Amazon’s latest road trip-cum-sci-fi adventure: Encounter stars Riz Ahmed as Malik, a decorated Marine on a mission to …