Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Arrival is an attempt to take a more realistic approach to how an alien visitation would play out, especially within global politics. The main thrust is that Amy Adams has to find out what the aliens want before any other country can fuck it up and they did a great job in casting Amy Adams. I'm not usually any more than indifferent of Adams, but she does a great job here with what she's given. Jeremy Renner does as good as Jeremy Renner can do with a character that isn't just stoic bad-ass. I like Renner, but unlike other alien films, Arrival isn't an "alien invasion" movie where he can run around shooting stuff and making quips, so I'm not sure he was the best choice. The only other actor of note is Forrest Whitaker, who does fine, but he has this stupid accent that has no purpose. I had to watch interviews with him to make sure he wasn't just doing an accent every other time and this was his real voice. No, he does some unnatural accent that really draws you out of the film because there is no reason for it. It's not a foreign accent or a regional one (or at least not one that I've ever heard), it's just some made up shit he does for no reason. The plot is fine for where they are trying to go with the story. Personally, there are some tropes that I really fucking hate and Arrival rides on one of the ones I hate the most. I won't say what it is, because Arrival really should not be spoiled, but subjectively it was a stupid bullshit play and it makes things unnecessarily confusing. Arrival is about the aliens coming to Earth, but that serves more as the gasoline that fuels the very human drama that is very dialog driven and much more about Amy Adams than any of the aliens. I'm unclear about how long the movie takes place, but once they establish the motive of the movie, it feels cheap to skip a huge chunk of time and give us a montage of what happens instead of keeping the flow of progression. The movie takes place mostly in Montana and we get some beautiful scenery and the sets are all great. The cinematography has some interesting ideas and they use shots and colors to enhance the plot. not just document it. Hearing the comparisons to Interstellar, I was afraid of how arrogant, indulgent, and pretentious Arrival might be and while I understand now what they were trying to convey with the comparison, Arrival is none of those things. Arrival doesn't pretend that it's more than it is. There are a few story that keep my personal score from going beyond a four, but I don't see how anyone who watches Arrival knowing what kind of movie Arrival is could give it much less. If you put on Arrival expecting Mars Attacks, Alien, Independence Day, or any other sci-fi spectacle films you are going to be disappointed, Arrival is much more of a drama. Sure, it is technically a sci-fi because aliens, but that's not the drive of the film. If you choose to watch Arrival with the understanding that it can be slow and aggravating and has none of the flash and awe of a typical Sci-Fi, but replaces those with authentic characters and drama, don't think you will be disappointed.
21 Laps Entertainment
Lava Bear Films
1 hr 56 mins
$ 47,000,000.00 (Estimated)
$ 203,388,186.00 (USA)
$ 156,388,186.00 (Estimated in USA)