Movie Review: Arrival


I didn't know much about Arrival before seeing it - I watched the trailer the day of the screening, and it had a good cast and looked like it could be interesting. However, it ended up surprising me by far exceeding my expectations, and it's one that I'd like to rewatch at some point.

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a professor at a university. One day, she arrives to her class to find only a handful of students there, and one of them asks her to turn on the TV - it turns out that there's been an alien invasion, although for now it mostly seems peaceful. Twelve alien crafts have descended upon various countries across the world, including the state of Montana (this is a state, not a city), and the government wants to know what they want from us. Soon after, Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) arrives at her door, asking for her help translating the aliens' language - she had helped the government previously with a different project. She and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), a scientist, are the two experts that the government has brought in to help them, and they must work together in order to interpret who the aliens are and what they want.

To say anything more about this film would be to spoil it, so I will refrain. After I saw who the director of this movie is, though, it made sense that the film was so good - the director is Denis Villeneuve, who also directed Sicario and Prisoners, both of which were also fantastic. I will say that this movie had a few slow parts, which means a half-star deduction from me, but otherwise it was very interesting to try and figure out.

Yes, see this movie, and I'd even recommend it at full-price, versus a matinee. There is a large twist that starts to reveal itself maybe 2/3 of the way through the film, and it's one that I was starting to figure out, but hadn't quite entirely figured out yet; this twist changes the whole movie, or at least how we perceived it. The cast (Adams, Renner, Whitaker, and more) were good here too, Adams especially, and the film ended up being so much more than just your typical "aliens movie."

Arrival is in theaters today, November 11th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 116 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.


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