Movie Review: Arrival (2016)

The universe. An infinite space that has been fascinating us puny humans since the damn of man. What kind of worlds are out there? How far does it actually reach? And are we alone in the universe? We may never find out the answers to any of these questions, but they sure as shit are interesting to think about and discuss.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Arrival”.

Giant banana-shaped vessels have come down to earth. The military and government do not know what these alien things want. So language expert Louise Banks (Amy Adams) gets brought in to try to communicate with the aliens and find out what they’re doing here. And now we have an intelligent drama with aliens in it. Firstly, a plot about trying to communicate with aliens is actually quite refreshing. Most “aliens coming to earth” movies are about aggressive invasions, but this isn’t really that. It’s a clever spin on the “aliens coming to earth” genre of movies. The plot overall is also really suspenseful because for most of the movie you don’t know what these aliens want. The plot also has a surprising amount of emotion that really got to me. I should also mention that this is quite slow-paced, which might put some people off. But I appreciate it, gives me time to really soak in everything that’s going on. Really, it’s quite a fascinating science fiction-drama plot that I think was pretty fucking great.

The characters in this movie are all interesting in some way. Amy Adams was fantastic as Louise Banks. She’s a deep and complex character and I was really invested in arc in the movie as she was trying to find ways to communicate with these aliens. Jeremy Renner is great as Ian, a scientist that is helping Louise with the alien communication. Forest Whitaker plays a soldier that is part of this operation and he was great in his role. We also got Michael Stuhlbarg as a CIA agent that is part of the operation and he was really good in the role. Yeah, there were no bad performances in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jóhann Jóhansson and it was absolutely fantastic. His score was eerie, tense, thought provoking, and just fit the scenes incredibly well. They also used Max Richter’s “On the nature of Daylight” in the movie. Not gonna say how if you haven’t seen the movie, but let’s just say that it was pretty damn good how it was used.

This movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve (one of my favorite directors) and once again he knocked ith out of the fucking park with the directing. He makes scenes flow very well and his directing really helps to improve on the storytelling. I also have to comment on Bradford Young’s cinematography which is stunning, it is an absolutely gorgeous movie. And while the visual effects aren’t necessarily the main focus in this movie, they are there and they look fantastic. Most big sci-fi movies will have the visual effects there for the sake of looking flashy and cool, but here they exist to serve the story.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best sound editing. It was also nominated for an additional 7 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, Best adapted screenplay, Best cinematography, Best film editing, Best sound mixing, and Best production design. 

“Arrival” is a fantastic science fiction-drama. It has a fantastic plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, fantastic directing/cinematography, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Arrival” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Arrival” is now completed.

It’s official… I am excited for “Blade Runner 2049”. Villeneuve will succeed!

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One thought on “Movie Review: Arrival (2016)

  1. Arrival was certainly a unique take on the alien invasion movie, and I think that’s where it’s at its best. It’s fresh and thought-provoking, and makes you wonder how we might react in a similar situation. The film is a technical marvel, and yet, the twist just didn’t work for me. It blew the socks off of most people, but to me it just came off seeming silly and detracted from the intelligent subject matter of the movie. Again, I’m in the minority here, and I can’t knock the film too much given its quality and originality, but the ending definitely knocked it down a few pegs in my book.

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