Arrival - Review

Arrival is the best film I've seen this year.


Arrival's plot is by far its greatest strength. It incorporates a unique alien story that for once doesn't involve war between man and the unknown. This alone is a refreshing change of pace from the often tired science fiction genre, but Arrival takes it one step further. By the end of the film, I was stunned. The many twists and turns may take a moment to fully comprehend, but once they are, you will realize the simple beauty of the film's story. I won't say any more, for I don't want to give away anything to any future viewers of this incredible film. 


Amy Adams stars in Arrival as the beautiful linguistic genius Louise Banks, who the government calls to help explain the calamity that has occurred on earth. She is perfectly understated, and gives one of the most emotional performances of her career. Alongside Jeremy Renner, she is unstoppable. He accents her performance expertly, and by the end develops into a character we can all shed a tear for, even though we know very little about him. The rest of the cast is proficient, playing the scientist and military stereotypes well, but it is Amy Adams who truly shines.


Style is an extremely important aspect of Arrival. The design of the alien spacecraft, the aliens themselves, the effects used throughout. All are excellent, and should be used as an example of how to do CGI right. Director Dennis Villeneuve, director of Sicario, brings his personal style to the feature. There are several allusions to his 2013 film Enemy, involving many claustrophobic scenes, as well as themes. If you are familiar with the Jake Gyllenhaal feature, you will notice a direct nod to the film in one of the film's most unsettling scenes.


Arrival is an excellent film, mainly for its plot. It advances the science fiction genre into places I never thought it would go, and gives Amy Adams one of the best roles of her career. 

Pros- Amy Adams, Innovative Plot, Excellent Visuals