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Review

‘Arrival’ adds to recent list of great sci-fi films

November 16, 2016

Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguistic analyst, leads a team of people into one of 12 spaceships that have landed around the world. Her job: Find out what their purpose here on Earth is, where they came from and how they arrived.

Nations all around the world are on the line of whether or not to prepare for war or try and communicate with them. As tensions rise, time runs out for Louise Banks and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to crack the alien language and prevent global war.

I am really liking this trend in the last few years of fantastic sci-fi films. 2014’s “Interstellar,” 2015’s “The Martian” and “Ex Machina,” and now this year we can definitely add “Arrival” to that list (and hopefully the movie “Passengers” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt coming out in December.)

What all of these films have in common are that they will all make you think and will connect with you on much more than just an entertainment level. Director Denis Villeneuve is known for making you think and feel, bringing us films such as “Prisoners,” “Enemy,” “Sicario” and now “Arrival.” Once again, he has delivered a powerful movie that is so much fun to watch.

“Arrival” is not a typical sci-fi film that will just have you kicking back in your seat and only watching for entertainment purposes. Yes, “Arrival” is a very entertaining movie, but not because it is action-packed or really intense, but rather will entertain you with its script, acting, directing and cinematography and its unique story that really makes you think.

This is what I love about this movie. It really makes you reflect and say, “Hhhmmm… I could actually see something like this happening one day.” “Arrival” perfectly blends sci-fi qualities and common invasion movie techniques but offers us such a unique twist that brings current events to the table as well. Let’s give a round of applause to writer Eric Heisserer for this wonderful creation he gave us.

Adding on to how this is not a “typical” sci-fi movie is how this movie is paced. It doesn’t rush into its grand and philosophical ideas, but it rather is a guide that helps reach that destination with you. Believe me, this movie does have some lofty ideas when it comes to the themes, messages and how it delivers them, but because of how this movie slowly unravels and reveals itself, it is all worth it in the end.

Really the only negative thing that I could say would be that it could have focused more on other characters and their developments as well, not just the Amy Adams character. While for me this wasn’t a very big issue since they weren’t the main focus of the film, I could see how this film was lacking in that department.

“Arrival” is a must-see that really makes you think, feel and overall have a wonderful time at the movies.