The hype around Arrival (2016) is not hard to fathom. Nor is the almost hysterical reaction of both critics and audiences who, after countless Sci-Fi mediocre and over-the-top productions, finally have a fabulously-crafted and well-acted film.


Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams as Louise Banks

Based on the 1998 short novel ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiand, this Denis Villeneuve-directed film stars Amy Adams (Louise Banks), Jeremy Renner (Ian Donnelly) and Forest Whitaker (US. Colonel G.T. Weber.) Adams plays linguist lecturer Louise Banks, a divorced mother whose teenage daughter died from an incurable illness. As twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft land across the Earth, U.S. Colonel Weber asks her to join physicist Ian Donnelly to find out the reason for their arrival. After much hesitation, she understands it’s her duty to put her uniquely specific skills to use and joins the team at a military camp in Montana, where one of the spacecraft has set “foot.”


The two creatures draw circles to communicate with Banks and Donnelly

After establishing contact with two seven-limbed creatures who draw circles as a way to communicate, Louise starts disentangling their vocabulary. At the same time, she starts seeing and dreaming vivid images of herself with her daughter and absent husband in what will become a very revealing and literally mind-boggling series of flashbacks. After weeks of small yet daily progress, Louise asks the aliens what their mission on Earth is, to which they reply: “offer weapons.” Scared to their bone, many nations end their cooperation, but Banks stands by her belief that they mean “tools and urged her superiors to keep contact”. Unbeknownst to her, though, Rogue U.S. soldiers have planted explosives into the spacecraft, which, along with Ian confessing to loving her, will jeopardize the mission and get the linguist’s feelings confused.


Banks and Donnelly exit the camp after it’s all over

Arrival is one of 2016’s top ten movies according to the AFI and myself (lol.) Plus, despite me being the furthest thing from a Sci-Fi gal, I found the feature enthralling, incredibly well-thought and terrifically-acted. For Amy Adams to not even get an Oscar nomination is as mortal a sin as Denzel Washington losing out to the lesser Affleck. So much for Leo, next year the people will be roaring about “our Amy” (looking at you, The Wedding Date fellow dozen fans.) All kidding aside, I highly recommend this film, which although sluggish at first, has proven appealing to the broadest audiences by anchoring its heady themes with genuine humanity and the help of a truly fabulous cinematic technology.

Running time: 1h 46 minutes.

Country: United States.

Release date: November 11, 2016.

Box office: $198M

Grade: B

All images are taken from Google.