When Earth is thrown into turmoil after 12 mysterious spacecrafts land in different locations around the planet, a linguistics professor (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to assist in translating the aliens’ communications.
I did not think it would be Denis Villeneuve, the mastermind behind Prisoners and Sicario, to create the most clever, gorgeous, and poignant film of the year, and one of my favorite sci-fi films of the decade, right up there with Christopher Nolan’s masterpieces Inception and Interstellar. Although I can’t say I didn’t love Villeneuve’s previous works, I simply did not believe that Arrival would transcend the quality his other films by that much, creating a spectacle through its magnificent themes about love, life, and death. What the trailers show you is a science fiction thriller that pulls inspiration from alien encounter classics such as some of Spielberg’s first works in the sci-fi genre, but what I got was something far deeper. Arrival‘s brilliant form of storytelling and gut-punching emotion, as well as some gorgeous cinematography and Jóhann Jóhannsson’s awe-inspiring music, which Villeneuve uses so perfectly, is what easily makes it the best film I’ve seen all year. Amy Adams delivers a career-defining performance that I sure hope lands her an Oscar nomination, because of how much emotion and sensibility she brought to her character. Although we’ve seen films in which one character knows how to communicate with the extra-terrestrials beings while the rest refuse to trust them, the writing makes it feel so extraordinary and fresh to the genre.
Not only was I taken aback by every shot in the film, and by every one of Villeneuve’s perfected use of imagery and symbolism, but the themes and emotions explored in the film hit me hard. Not to mention the final 20 minutes of the film, which are like nothing I’ve ever seen. The film evolves into a complex psychological drama, and the ending, which changes the entire way you look at the film, left me breathless. I still can’t stop thinking about the film since I watched it. See the film to find out what I mean. Denis Villeneuve has become one of the greatest film directors working right now, with his beautiful visual storytelling and imagery, and being able to create such amazing scenery with a budget less than $50 million. I applaud him for being able to create a complex and thoughtful film that’s comparable to the works of Christopher Nolan and even M. Night Shyamalan. Please help this movie at the box office and go see it in theaters, because it’s definitely worth it and better than anything else playing right now.
Arrival is a masterful and impeccable work of art. With a strong leading performance and a fantastic screenplay and narrative, Denis Villeneueve brings a piece of science fiction that’s not to be forgotten to the big screen, and what’s easily the greatest and most watchable film of the year.