Arrival

(2016)

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Title:
Arrival
Release Date:
10th November 2016
Runtime:
116 min
MPAA Rating:
12A
Genres:
Directors:
Denis Villeneuve
Writers:
Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Languages:
N/A
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks - are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers - and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 0%
IMDb Rating 8.6

Casts

Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Banks
Forest Whitaker as Colonel Weber
Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly
Mark O'Brien as Captain Marks
Michael Stuhlbarg as Agent Halpern

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nemoe 7th October, 2016

An extraordinary film.

I saw this last night at the opening of the Mill Valley film Festival. Arrival is unlike any movie I've ever seen. It's about love, loss, tolerance, language and non-linear time, wrapped in a science fiction story about our first encounter with extraterrestrials. Under director Denis Villeneuve's masterful direction, Arrival takes its time to unfold, but it gradually gets under your skin and commands your attention. The last half hour was one of the most emotional experiences I've had at the movies in a long time. There aren't many movies these days that I would call required viewing, but this is one of them. And Amy Adams is Oscar-worthy in the lead role. In fact, Arrival could also win Oscars for original score, sound, direction and Best Picture.

Reviewed by Bill Z. 17th September, 2016

Exceptional & Thought-provoking

Saw this at TIFF and was incredibly impressed. This movie has all the right components of an exceptional film - great cast, great director, and a great script that took a somewhat tired premise and turned out a script full of thought-provoking substance, and a highly original twist. This movie's true beauty was how it masterfully balanced the plot and sub-plot throughout the entire film - to the point that the build-up to the sub-plot (which also ends up being the twist at the end) is done very subtly throughout the movie without the viewer even knowing for the most part. It's only in the last half hour that Villeneuve starts presenting it's relevance for to the viewer. However, the primary plot does not suffer, it's only enriched. This movie was an exceptional combination of great story-telling and a cast and crew at the top of their game delivering an entertaining film that will have audiences talking about the questions it raises.

Reviewed by Erik Q ([email protected]) 15th September, 2016

A film that not only tests the idea of aliens, but of humanity.

Are we alone? This question has haunted mankind since they first gazed at the stars. "Arrival" answers this question with an abrupt no. Other films have tackled the question of humanity being alone in the cosmos, from classics like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) "The War of the Worlds" (1953) "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977) "Arrival" deals with the idea of alien landings in a much different way than traditional Sci-Fi films. While the picture focuses on creatures from another planet, it still has the uncanny ability to question our own humanity. Although "Arrival" is set up like many other Sci-Fi films with a doctor being needed by the government to do some top secret work to save human kind, it is not a traditional Sci-Fi film. Being Denis Villeneuve's first leap into the Sci-Fi genre "Arrival" is a story of self-reflection which is helped along by an alien presence. For no particular reason 12 alien ships land all over the planet in seemingly random locations. The only true form of communication takes place from a single opening in the bottom of the alien vessel, where Linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is tasked at trying to open up dialog with the visitors. Physicist Dr. Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) is tasked with finding out how the alien vessel is capable of travel through space and how it seemingly defies gravity. The real question however remains in not how the aliens got to earth, but why? What sets this film apart from others in the genre is the way that it plays with the notion of time, love and the essence of being human. Which is showcased in director Denis Villeneuve and writer Eric Heisserer's effortless ability to jump from time and place. While trying to discover what the Aliens are, and their motivation, Dr. Louise Banks discovers what makes herself human and questions everything held sacred to her. "Arrival" is just as much a film about aliens landing on earth, as a film about self-discovery and the value placed on love and loss. Dr. Banks although participating in some of the most ground breaking work a linguist could ever be involved in, is haunted by the tragic loss of her daughter. This coupling of discovery and loss is reflected perfectly in the acting performance of Amy Adams who is often torn between several emotions throughout the film. Just as in his previous movies "Sicario" (2015) and "Prisoners" (2013) Denis Villeneuve employed composer Johann Johannsson who created an eerie and often unsettling composition for "Arrival". The sound pairs perfectly with the strange other worldly images of the aliens and their craft, the composition adds another layer of complexity to the already foreign and creepy world that is the alien craft. Visually the film is fantastic with an expert play on light and dark imagery, and the very deliberate use of color to emphasize certain characters and events. This transfers into the shadowy and smoke filled environment inside the alien vessel as well as the ink like Rorschach style alien writing. The visual effects used in Arrival give a sense of other worldly presence making the ship look as if it were a great technical feat of some unknown civilization, yet at the same time look organic as if were merely plucked from the surface of some far off planet. The aliens themselves look as if acquired from a Guillermo del Toro set, they are octopus like with long tentacle arms and gunmetal gray coloration, which begs the question of how a creature like this could have the dexterity to craft a sophisticated vehicle. The film comes together to create a package of visual, intellectual and audible bliss. The composition of Johann Johannsson is second to none and at times the sound plays a critical character in the film. The cast with inclusion of Michael Stuhlbarg and Forest Whitaker (2 actors not really know for Sci-Fi) was a welcome addition. The dynamic between Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner seemed organic and a hallmark of great acting. But the stand out performance was that of Amy Adams who played a truly troubled and conflicted character. In "Sicario" Vileneuve finished the movie with unanswered questions and left a lot to the imagination. In "Arrival" the film ended with a perfectly packaged ending that felt too neat and tidy. The film went into some sophisticated ideas that dived into the essence of humanity, yet did not give the same license for abstract thought with the conclusion. Ultimately Arrival is not just an exploration of alien beings, it's an exploration at what makes us human, and the positive and negative aspects that are associated with that humanity.

Reviewed by GODZILLA_Alpha_Predator 13th September, 2016

The Arrival of a mind-blowing sci-fi masterpiece

Last night I saw Arrival at TIFF and my mind was blown. This is by far Villeneuve's biggest film he has tackled yet with so many strong universal themes but yet also feels very emotional and intimate from the perspective of Amy Adams's character. Unlike Villeneuve's previous works like Prisoners and Sicario, Arrival isn't a dark or twisted look at humanity. Instead, Villeneuve chooses to go for a lighter yet still serious tone with the mystery surrounding the arrival of the aliens. That is what makes Arrival so incredible. Villeneuve injects elements from Stanley Kubrick's 2001 to make the story not only visual stunning but also makes it very captivating. Arrival does not rely on conflict between the humans and aliens to keep you invested and entertained because Arrival is against that trope. Each time our characters interact with the aliens, who remain covered in mist for most of the screen time, we as the audience gain something new in the form of knowledge and discovery rather then an action set piece. And when we return back to the outside world, we see through the media how each discovery affects it in different ways. The characters are one of the reasons why this film works. They are not treated as cliche plot devices but are just real people who just want answers to this situation. Amy Adams truly is the star of this film as she carries this film with a sense of gravitas but also vulnerability. She shows a woman who is at first terrified from meeting the newly arrived aliens but gains strength when she learns more. Flashbacks to a tragic event also reveal the struggle she goes through especially as the fate of the world is on her shoulders. Jeremy Renner does a good job as a physicist with a dry sense of humor. Forest Whittaker is also great a the general who isn't a trigger-happy idiot but someone whose job is just to get answers in order to find the safest and most humane solution possible. Arrival is a film that is more then just about language. It shows how divided we are as a species as each nation and culture interprets the alien's language in different meanings. And from this lack of clear understanding it creates fear and paranoia that could lead to global war. But Arrival shows that despite the mystery that surrounds the unknown, the future can be just as hopeful and bright as it might be scary and we should approach it with confidence. This has proved Denise Villeneuve has range in genre as a director. I look forward to seeing him continue his work in the sci fi genre with Blade Runner 2.

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 7th September, 2016

A Science Fiction Masterpiece

Arrival is the best sci-fi film I've seen in my 22-year-old lifespan. I haven't seen certain sci-fi films like They Live, Alien 3, or Metropolis, so I can speak only from the standpoint of someone who watches a shitload of narrative, documentary and experimental films. Some of my recent favorites are Holy Motors (2012), Son of Saul (2015), and The Look of Silence (2015). I just saw Arrival two days ago at the Telluride Film Fest and everyone in the theater had their brains cheesed out at various points in the film. For people paying close attention to every frame, the rules of the film might become clear in the beginning sequences. For an Average Joe moviegoer like me, the film is a slow, natural process of discovery from the first scene to the last. The influences of Stanley Kubrick on science fiction films has been noted time after time, but Arrival picks up its Kubrick vibes with it's slow sense of discovery, even if Amy Adams and her technology moves around the screen more frantically than 2001: A Space Odyssey. That's why I respect this film and also why I like 10 Cloverfield Lane. A lot of sci-fi films (like the new Star Trek released this summer) don't create that unfolding sense of science/alien-related mystery. The way information is revealed and presented leaves us begging for more answers, and boy does Arrival deliver. Oscar-worthy for sure, especially in production design/special effects/sound. Don't blow it, go see it November 11th or whenever it's coming to your town. Bring earplugs. Just kidding. But seriously.