November 11, 2016 - 1 hr. 56 min.
Director - Denis Villeneuve
Writers - Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Starring - Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
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Read the Review by Keith Cheatham
A year filled with flops and blockbusters, there haven't been too many films of substance, or films that make you stop and think. Luckily, we enter awards season and have already begun to see the arrival of films with a bit more heart. It’s not often however that we see science-fiction films go into the realm of thought provoking thriller. This is what we receive with, Arrival. When 12 alien spacecrafts land across the globe, linguist Dr. Louise Banks played by Amy Adams is enlisted to decipher the language of the paranormal visitors in an attempt to learn what purpose they have arrived on earth for.
Directed by Denis Villanueve of Sicario fame, arrival poses many ideas and questions. The idea of unity and working together, but also of time itself, and how we perceive the world through our language barriers is a prominent idea, and makes us rethink how we perceive our own world. Likewise, how we perceive our own lives, and how we choose to live them, whether we'd change our choices knowing the outcome or enjoy the journey. The film uses the backdrop of an alien invasion to pose these question and shows a different type of film, this is no Independence Day, and tells what may happen if visitors came in peace. It is enthralling none the less.
Not everything sticks however with some parts more believable than others. And a few scenes meant for suspense not quite landing, however the majority of the movie is well done with a clever twist that helps to sink the message of the alien’s gift. It's not perfect, but is still enthralling.
I give Arrival 3 out of 4 stars.