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Arrival
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Arrival

2016
Drama
Sci-fi
1h 56m
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Avg Percentile 67.34% from 8342 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(8342)
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Rated 11 Nov 2016
87
81st
It's like Nolan if he actually tried to understand human beings and had a sense of humility. I love that how within the first three or four shots, there are rigid aesthetic rules being established (it's either super tight/shallow focus on Adams or ponderous wides). We are 100% in Louise's perspective throughout, which I can't praise enough for a movie like this. The most personal sci fi film since Solaris maybe? (Hard to overlook Upstream Color if it qualifies). Fav Villeneuve I've seen so far
Rated 03 Dec 2016
89
89th
Remember the beginning of Independence Day when there was mystery and tension from the unknown of what these random alien ships are doing here? The part where it was a little shitty and not 100% shitty? This is like someone saw that and said, "Maybe I can make that not shitty." A rare sci-fi these days that doesn't try to be a genius film by trying to explain the impossible science, but really just 100% succeeds at being kinda smart, like 127 IQ smart. Not MIT smart but Boston University smart.
Rated 22 Jan 2017
98
97th
Arrival is one of the most thought-provoking sci-fi films I've ever seen. The direction from Denis Villeneuve is ridiculously visually rich and very artistic with its long takes and steady shots. Amy Adams turns in the best performance of her career, and the way the film reveals her character's true nature in the third act is stellar. The design of the aliens and their language is beautiful, and I love the film's themes about language itself.
Rated 16 Nov 2016
4
74th
Its temporal upheaval is perplexing, inspiring sheer curiosity and visceral suspense, paid off not in allegory or unlocked secrets, but in the comfort of a more interior interpretation of mankind's relationship with the cosmos. Smart science fiction may be as much spiritual as it is technological or political. Arrival's great achievement rests near the end of its slow crescendo, unraveling with such careful measure, it's as if you knew everything all along.
Rated 27 Feb 2017
82
86th
Sci fi with a solid humanistic core that appealed to my 'can't we all get along' sensibilities, especially with the world the way it is now. Paints in broad strokes at times (army bad, other countries paranoid and bad) but I could ignore that to simply get immersed in the, well, alien-ness of the arrivals and the sense of Seriousness and Wonder about them. Kudos to how it manages to sneak in a tragic love angle without annoying me too. More like this and less Independence Day bullshit, please!
Rated 15 Nov 2016
3
38th
A heady-yet-grounded sci-fi with a strong humanist touch, Close Encounters by way of Upstream Color's uneasy philosophical bent.
Rated 08 Dec 2016
7
57th
Smart and provocative ideas are deftly explored through clever writing and effective minimalist filmmaking, yet its initial emotional impact is eventually diluted by a long-delayed revelation that eventually proves to be the film's downfall. More of a prolonged exercise in narrative sleight of hand than a solid piece of storytelling - let's face it, nothing really happens - Arrival is still worth a watch for fans of cerebral sci-fi. Great work by Jóhannsson and DoP Bradford Young as well.
Rated 23 Nov 2016
5
42nd
It's hard to discuss my complaints about its hokey politics and philosophy without spoiling major plot points, but it does deliver a sound, if a bit basic, message about language, which can more or less be boiled down to this: In order to truly talk to someone, you have to know their language, you have to really listen to what someone is saying, person to person. People may think this is obvious, but in practice, it's very, very difficult. Communication is hard work. It requires selflessness.
Rated 14 Nov 2016
75
74th
Shades of Eternal Sunshine's self-consciously doomed romance and Slaughterhouse-Five's temporal un-constraint/moral about the terribleness of foreknowledge. Embedded in Louise's subjectivity, Arrival packs a punch because it only slowly, incrementally reveals itself to be about those things. "I forgot how good it felt to be held by you."
Rated 19 Nov 2016
65
46th
Stylish and well acted but let down by breaking the golden rule of time-travel stories: the mechanics must be internally consistent. Sapir-Whorf isn't quite able to bear the weight put on it here. After late reveals in Enemy and Prisoners, Villeneuve should be careful not to become an upmarket Shyamalan.
Rated 14 Dec 2016
91
90th
The film's Prestige may be easily dismissed as a Shyamalan-esque plot contrivance, unless the film's construction itself reflects the linguistic ouroboros at the narrative's center. I see here a search for God - St. Augustine's "Today" - a spiritual mystery as resonant as it is troubling. When Adams asks, "Who’s child is this?", questions of faith echo in the aliens' fog.
Rated 01 May 2017
96
90th
I really liked this movie! It's a solid thinking-persons sci/fi that's well made in all aspects. Amy Adams steals the show and Denis Villeneuve's directing shows some real talent. The visual effects are more subtle, but they're still great. The cinematography was really beautiful as well, and Heisserer's writing is pretty original and surprisingly emotional. I personally liked the score as well. I can see why this is so well-received. If you're a patient viewer, this is definitely worth seeing.
Rated 12 Nov 2016
60
45th
Gravity, Interstellar, and now Arrival: There's just something lacking in these sci-fi films as of late and I can't exactly put my finger on it. I think maybe they feel too caught up in telling characters' stories when what interests me most are questions into the nature of us and our relationship to alien species and the cosmos. Like Villeneuve's previous work, the film is well-shot, so there's that at least.
Rated 17 Dec 2016
88
79th
Her biological clock ticks backwards and she can read alien squid ink. She's my new hero.
Rated 17 Nov 2016
40
34th
Denis Villeneuve remains a spectacularly gifted director who chooses the most pointless, hollow, faux-important scripts to turn into films. Arrival has a great score, fascinating character design and art direction and a brooding, Malickian atmosphere that carries the first hour while literally nothing happens. Then even more nothing happens. Then the movie ends with a gotcha puzzle piece conclusion that says nothing about anything. From the director of Sicario and Prisoners.
Rated 21 Feb 2017
45
34th
Lois Lane, surrounded by hubristic soldiers and stupid media mobs, receives a message from yet another extra-terrestrial messiah, declaring that would but the peoples of the world stop babbling and squabbling, and instead come together and listen to one another, they would find themselves unshackled from all the sufferings and degradations wrought by the relentlessness of the arrow of time. Amnesiac wife-murderers now supplanted by child-mourning single female workers as preferred protagonist.
Rated 26 Jan 2017
68
30th
I drove an hour and a half, one way to see this movie. It wasn't worth it. Every review I heard was a glowing description of a thoughtful, linguistically satisfying movie. Yet the linguistic depth of this movie is superficial at best, and it's attempt to explain determinism by name dropping the Sapir-Wharf hypothesis is downright offensive. Now, I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it, and the majority of people either overlook or explain away or simply don't understand the crippling plot holes.
Rated 12 Nov 2016
60
10th
Viewed November 11, 2016. Denis Villeneuve's visual prowess is undeniable, but here he is saddled with his worst material to date. A leaden, talky script which takes its painfully sweet and obvious time explaining its inner workings to the audience, nearly killing the very concept of nuance in the process. For a movie about communication, this is especially brutal. A lot of big ideas, delivered in a clumsy, tiring manner. But Amy Adams is good, at least, since she's always good.
Rated 14 Nov 2016
80
71st
It's an exceptional accomplishment as far as adapting ideas one wouldn't assume to be translatable to a feature film format. The character work is rather beautiful and Amy Adams anchors it magnificently. I think it tends to stretch itself out a little thin by the end, and the stock science fiction antagonists (obstinate to the point of absurdity) are tiresome as ever, but the narrative arc was a hell of a ride and completely unexpected on my end. Malick homage seems to be everywhere these days.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
37
6th
The movie straight up pulls a bait-and-switch on its audience, and that's a fatal flaw that can't be forgiven. The entire premise of the movie is pretty much thrown away in the ending just to propose some philosphy from left field, and it feels like a complete cheat. Most of the middle of the movie is also ho-hum. It's not terrible, but lacks the careful lore and world-building of similar movies. Lots of jargon and psuedoscience thrown around, all of which matters not in the end.
Rated 18 Oct 2017
84
88th
The true story of that time a linguist became the most important person on Earth. Suck that Google translate.
Rated 25 Feb 2017
82
89th
Amy Adams is great. I could watch her reading a takeaway menu and I know I'd be captivated. And she's great in this. It is an intelligent piece of proper sci-fi, which reminded me of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Really nicely conceived and filmed. Villeneuve could be one to watch. And Amy Adams is in it. I really like Amy Adams.
Rated 03 Jan 2017
9
91st
Arrival is yet another immaculate piece of filmmaking from Denis Villeneuve and his first venture into Sci/Fi makes for an incredibly thought provoking and satisfying experience. There's a melancholic sense of reality and wonder to this film and the ever impressive Amy Adams keeps this story firmly on the ground. There's an emotional scope and depth that almost makes the grandiose Sci/Fi event the backdrop of the story. And the score and cinematography is stellar. One of my favourites of 2016.
Rated 11 Nov 2016
90
92nd
A smart and enigmatic film - this will raise many questions but only those who pay attention will get what answers are given. Beautifully shot and well acted, this is one of, if not the best movie I've seen al year.
Rated 16 May 2017
88
83rd
The finale may have a time paradox and may feel less profound than what came before, but it's entirely possible that thinking more about it might convince me neither is true. Either way, the film, in a surprisingly simple but clever way I'm not sure I've seen before, uses the audience's assumptions about how movies "work" to pull an unexpected reveal in the final act. Whether that end works for you or not, everything that comes before is both riveting & honest about how fear distorts perception
Rated 16 Mar 2017
94
99th
A beautiful piece of science-fiction. It appealed to me on every level. Emotionally and topically resonant, brilliantly shot, scored, performed and all the rest. A stunning modern classic.
Rated 04 Jul 2022
50
9th
I guessed the twist ending before the first scene ended. However, like rewatching a film I love, I thought I could still finish this and still enjoy it. But the movie stretched the short story material into a joyless and humorless slog. I go to movies to engage in something emotional--not watch perfume commercial visuals where someone plays with a Rubik's Cube for two hours. And most of all, it doesn't approach the political sophistication of The Day the Earth Stood Still or Contact. Avoid.
Rated 15 Nov 2016
90
94th
A beautifully shot and written film that's acted superbly. Will get compared to Close Encounters due to the communication aspect of it, but this movie goes way deeper than the surface level stuff you find in Close Encounters. Also is surprisingly emotional.
Rated 19 Mar 2017
74
70th
If you're expecting a movie that probes the depth of the difficulties of communication, this ain't it. If you want a movie that lays bare a drug-induced insight of the illusion of linnear time... this ain't really it either. Read some Stanislaw Lem and Phil K. Dick instead (...actually, get on that shit righ now). If you want a good-lookin' drama that deals with grief, forgiveness and how you process sorrow, give Arrival a shot. (Still not sure Villeneuve can do the new Blade Runner, though.)
Rated 20 Nov 2016
79
87th
Good sci-fi with a focus on the personal. This film has problems for sure, but in the end they hardly matter because it offers a very powerful emotional experience if you are in the right state of mind when watching this film. That is why I forgive the plot holes, the unrealistic parts and the unexplained plot points. The power of cinema is in making its viewer feel (and think) and this film definitely succeeds in both those things. Recommended.
Rated 26 Dec 2016
96
96th
It was really nice of those aliens to give us a hand
Rated 31 Jan 2017
90
95th
Villeneuve is definitely the master of suspense. This is one of the most rational sci-fi I have ever seen, owes much to Contact.
Rated 18 Feb 2017
88
97th
A smart subtle retrospective of communication and time. It's beautifully filmed which is what we have come to expect from Villeneuve, and it really has me excited for his Blade Runner. Back to Arrival, it's slow and soft and smart. The only flaw if any is the ending (beginning?) doesn't seem to hit with a sledgehammer reveal, but that in itself is OK. Well done.
Rated 23 Nov 2016
80
69th
Amy Adams (and to a lesser extent, Renner) really holds this whole thing together. Pros: strong leads, minimal effects, solid twist, beautifully filmed, high stakes with a focus on the interpersonal as opposed to large-scale Independence Day/Marvel fuckery. Cons: the time travel logic doesn't always hold up, throwaway side characters played by strong actors, weak philosophical exploration, leans towards being more maudlin than anything. Bonus: The spacecraft kinda looks like a prostate toy.
Rated 30 Nov 2016
8
80th
The "communication" thematic perspective is refreshingly down-to-earth (nailed it) for an alien flick, but a mid-movie voice-over somewhat mars its thoughtful slow pace, its human-human angle feels a little forced, and the rash rebel interruption is unfounded, not to mention cliche. Small flaws aside, this remains a smart and exquisite-looking sci-fi with a memorable final act, as the bits of Louise's emotional backstory are masterfully eased into the forefront, unraveling a stunning twist.
Rated 01 Dec 2016
55
39th
Bafflingly overrated. Ted Chiang's short story ('Story of Your Life') is worth a read, but Villeneuve and Heisserer' slow-moving adaptation adds the wrong material (padding out the film with military stuff instead of getting into more detail about Amy Adams' abilities and making us care more about her relationship with her daughter). It is also hugely detrimental that they make the egregious mistake of giving too much away too early.
Rated 04 Dec 2016
95
97th
It's not quite the same 95 was Sicario was but this movie is amazing. Kubrick would be proud of this as it's super intelligent, yet also touches on some simplistic and emotional subjects. It's very meta because we ask what their purpose for being here is, but what is ours? They mentioned something about feelings/language, and Villeneuve embraces that; he's a master of mood more than anything, making you feel something with the droney music, the silence, everything.
Rated 27 May 2017
80
77th
The reveal slowy creeps in before a rewarding prestige. The tangled timeline doesn't feel too heavy. There's a really well worked sense of fear/curiosity that smoothes through the romance/time/memory payload.
Rated 13 Sep 2016
84
93rd
A smart sci-fi film with strong characters and a solid concept. Raises questions and doesn't always answer them, just like a good sci-fi, and also manages to throw on some spectacular music, cinematography, and tension.
Rated 11 May 2017
65
43rd
You know what? No. It doesn't work. The big let down we know is coming the whole time finally arrives and it's just as big of a let down as we knew it would be. There's not enough polish in the world to cover up the flaws hiding beneath the surface--though it was all applied. It would have been an excellent film if I, too, had been unable to understand what the humans were saying.
Rated 11 Nov 2016
40
38th
It's hard to talk about this without spoiling the plot. So instead, I'll just say that it is humourless and lacks thrills. It's kind of like "Contact" mixed with "Donnie Darko", and I didn't like those either. Critics rate it as a Top 5 film of the year, so if you're into critical consensus then you should run out to see it. But I can't imagine the average person being at all entertained. I would rather watch "Interstellar" 100 times than see this again.
Rated 25 Feb 2017
80
81st
Frankly, What I expect from sci-fi is not great scientific analysis. In fact, everythin does not need to be scientificly true. It has very complex story with very good editing and great leading role by Amy Adams. That's enough for my sci-fi expectactions. Maybe it could have been better with less politic arguments and more family relations but anyway this movie is one of the best of this year's Oscar period.
Rated 17 Jun 2017
39
35th
good story, decent acting but good lord is the somber, pompous style getting fucking old by now... movie would've been so much better without Hans Zimmer blowing his ominous didgeridoo all over it
Rated 13 Nov 2016
87
69th
Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Arrival is captivating science-fiction, anchored by a strong performance from Amy Adams and arresting cinematography.
Rated 11 Jun 2018
48
19th
Villeneuve is like Fincher: he regularly confuses a drab dark overcast look with artistry, but he lacks the ability to make films that are compelling beyond their cold mechanical craft. The language puzzle concept was a decent idea that gets dropped quickly in favour of a rather boring and predictable engagement with the politics of the 'other'. The Lovecraftian inspired aliens shrouded in fog are almost dreamlike, but the overly solemn tone isn't remotely justified by the junky material.
Rated 14 Nov 2016
80
94th
Great film. Well shot and solid performances from the cast. Has a lot in common with the 1997 film 'Contact.' A good adaptation of the novella 'Story of Your Life.' The picture is much too dark though.
Rated 16 Nov 2016
95
98th
I didn't think I'd ever describe a movie as "Contact meets Tree of Life," and even less that I'd recommend a movie like that to someone. Absolutely amazing visuals and haunting sound design drive a film that is as much about feel as it is plot. Trailers didn't do this one justice, you really need to check it out.
Rated 25 Feb 2017
95
99th
Phenomenal movie, can't suggest it enough. Don't think I hated any movie by the director Dennis Villenevue
Rated 18 Nov 2016
83
93rd
A well crafted film with a simple but beautifully executed twist. Amy Adams finally delivers a character you can feel invested in. Kang & Kodos deserve a nomination for best supporting actors.
Rated 27 Jan 2017
67
28th
It has one good trick and the concept is fairly original. But this average movie is not held strong by these two factors. The rest is a pottering sequence of translation lessons mixed with concerned characters and the flaws of humanity. Ultimately, Amy Adams gets to show off some horrid CGI hair, Forest Whitaker auditions for a zombie film, and Jeremy Renner carries two torches.
Rated 26 Feb 2017
81
83rd
Proper scifi this. Very impressively juggles some fascinating concepts & cinematic storytelling. Sure it's a bit contrived & simplistic with its ideas but it's a wonder it manages to make them palatable at all in this kind of multiplex format. It has a sturdy emotional core & a timely uplifting message about communication & acceptance. Generally very well handled & Adams carries it wonderfully. Feels like Kurt Vonnegut light which is a pretty good thing actually.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
55
24th
SJW convergence of the SF genre at its worst. For all its artistic touch, there's no escaping the fact that it's nothing more than a simple romance masquerading as science-fiction. And during its 116 min NOTHING EVER HAPPENS. The simplistic and cliched (in terms of the genre) twist/reveal at the end notwithstanding. But if you can persuade your girlfriend to watch SF, I'm sure in this case she'll be pleasantly surprised.
Rated 24 Feb 2017
49
24th
Humanistic sci-fi that doesn't feel genuinely human. Extremely disappointing.
Rated 05 Feb 2017
89
92nd
The overarching structure (alien invasion, military control of contact, the resolution, etc) is largely unoriginal, but it's a film that uses it to great effect to explore themes of communication and acceptance with great cinematography and a dominating performance from Adams.
Rated 11 Feb 2017
45
9th
What am I missing? Why is Villenueve being so vehemently praised for this? The performances are all rigid and wholly forgettable (and with stars like Adams, Renner, and Whitaker, that's on the direction). The plot is undercooked and, at times, downright laughable. Were it not for a couple of compelling individual moments--mostly involving Amy Adams and squid-things--I can't imagine what I would've taken away from this film.
Rated 22 Mar 2017
90
99th
An instant sci-fi classic. Arrival is a near-perfect film with brilliant direction and screenwriting and a provokation of thought that will keep your mind busy for a while.
Rated 26 Nov 2016
85
88th
Amazing 2 see where Villeneuve brought the classical Hollywood epic of good vs. bad with a philosophical/philological meditation on existence. This is about the 'Other' & how humanity can have a way to embrace the other without violating it. It speaks directly to contemporary xenophobic politics as well. Plus, the editing follows the logic of that language which is based on experience of a holistic being and time, w/o any penetrative intentionality, which is the hallmark of western metaphysics.
Rated 23 Jan 2017
70
70th
I originally gave this a lower mark because of certain aspects of the plot but now that it's been brewing in my mind for a few days, I've begun to appreciate this more. I love the establishing communication phase of the story with the analysis of the ink blotches etc. and wanted even more of that, but there are still problems with the linguistic theory, execution and the sluggish pacing at times which stop this from being a truly great film for me.
Rated 23 Feb 2017
33
24th
[Sp.] The utterly trite beginning, as well as the scenario of China, not the US, initiating a stupendous, unplanned war against an undefeatable enemy quite strongly diverting from what extrapolations of recent history would lead one to expect, are constituent to the multitude of facets this seemingly artistic yet ultimately formulaic--and hence false--essence manifested into.
Rated 29 Apr 2017
73
64th
In a hundred or so years Arrival will serve humanity as a documentary collection of American stereotypes for countries (China - bad), professions (colonel - boring and strict, scientist - boring, but rebellious), lessons, all aliens want to teach humanity, and human obession over time travel. Psst, it was always in the language, you just needed to know the correct word, i.e. alakazam, and then time travel comes and hits you in the eye. Don't just trust me on it, try it yourselves.
Rated 17 Jan 2017
95
98th
This is one brilliant movie. Not a single line is unnecessary in this amazing story and perfect musics takes you away. (P.S. Prepare some hankies beforehand.) @Today i watched Donnie Darko again and found that the similarities between the two films were striking. Handling death through time travel and the dry atmosphere... I love them both.
Rated 02 Dec 2016
25
9th
About as interesting as learning German verbs in high school.
Rated 09 Dec 2016
78
77th
There isn't any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time. (Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five) (Though there's the odd clumsy moment I could have done without.)
Rated 17 Jan 2017
78
78th
A few too many scenes explaining things to the dumbest person in the room that ruin the immersion. The plot also has a few leaps of faith that don't necessarily make sense without bridging scenes, hopefully they'll show up in a directors cut. Or maybe I just have to read the book.
Rated 04 Dec 2016
48
32nd
Takes forever reaching the final 20 minutes that delivers the kind of nonsense you somehow accept but doesn't really care about.
Rated 05 Dec 2016
80
71st
Hi, my name is Justin and I'm a Denis Villeneuve fanboy. I loved that he employed the visual obstruction device he used in Enemy, though I have to admit that Arrival did not strike me on the same level that Prisoners did. Maybe it's a grower rather than a shower and I'll appreciate it more with time? Sci-Fi that focuses less on its Sci-Fi elements and more on story & message is refreshing now and then, and it hits you with its pivotal hypothetical right at the perfect time. Definitely see this!
Rated 16 Oct 2016
87
84th
I feel like a movie about the necessity of international co-operation was sorely needed in 2016
Rated 10 Nov 2016
50
38th
There is a pretty good idea behind this, but for me it ended up surprisingly bland. Mediocre script and performances backed by drab, grey visuals. It's not bad and I think I might even recommend seeing it, but I hesitate to call it good.
Rated 11 Nov 2016
80
89th
Arrival is a very entertaining movie about learning to work together in order to avoid complete disaster. Denis Villeneuve continues to be one of the best filmmakers working at making anything thrilling - here making explanations and teachings of language far more enjoyable than any given shootout. It cheats close to its finale, which may frustrate some viewers, but is well worth watching and delivers thrills, themes, and things about which to think long after the credits finish their roll.
Rated 14 Aug 2017
96
97th
This one was excellent. For the last few years the mainstream sci-fi has been very satisfactory. It strikes a right cord between suspense, sentimentality and technical details which makes it highly touching. I loved the design of the alien language; also a sci-fi story about linguistics is pure genius. There are lots of gems in Chinese sci-fi; I hope that this one opens up the well so that they become more accessible to general public. They really have a very different approach to storytelling.
Rated 12 Nov 2016
78
59th
Reminiscent of Tarkovsky's sci fi ventures. Cerebral and gorgeous.
Rated 12 Nov 2016
40
8th
What a disappointment what with the excellent leading cast, the enticing trailer and the now inexplicable R/T rating up in the stratosphere. This is like getting J K Rowling to re-write 2001 only with 12 rounded monoliths, music you don't notice, totally inept aliens, and glowering, unimaginative, one-dimensional world-wide military figures with a Limbaugh-like figure egging them on from his gold microphone, advising our side to fire one across the bow--Gah! But the worst of it is the reason th
Rated 19 Jan 2017
69
83rd
(Terrence Malick's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE RUST COHLE KIND)
Rated 15 Nov 2016
68
21st
People are way too on this movie's jock. Extremely slow pacing, average acting, and an interesting plot twist. That's all.
Rated 16 Jun 2017
40
18th
Interesting concept that was stretched and thinned to death. Better to have someone tell you the movie than sit through it.
Rated 29 Jan 2017
70
16th
A 21st century "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".
Rated 03 Feb 2019
80
93rd
Slow but well paced for the most part and while I found the score abrasive at first it really fit the movie and kept me almost hypnotically invested. I typically don't like Amy Adams and I generally find her to be at best a mediocre actor but here she did well and pretty much carried the movie. The ideas were much better than the story or dialogue but everything fit together well and made this into a very pleasant viewing experience.
Rated 22 Feb 2018
90
99th
I loved everything about this movie: Squid-like but non-evil aliens, humanities winning over science and military force, a strong female academic lead, and a proper play with time that doesn't feel illogical. It looks good too. All in all a great movie.
Rated 07 Feb 2021
80
69th
Forest Whitaker shopping a Boston accent because he heard the movie was about linguistics. I got ahdas to use wicked fahce on the sahcer! Dahmahk and Jahlad at the pissah! I do like the reverse Tower of Babel framework and concept of a non-linear language that unlocks non-linear time but it ends up indulging in some inorganic conflict and cliches to find drama. Regrettably, this is as close as my inner child will ever get to seeing Samus fight Master Hand and Crazy Hand on the big screen.
Rated 30 Apr 2017
95
97th
I have to say, I didn't expect to love this as much as the critics said I would, but Arrival fired on all cylinders. Amy Adams killed it, and Forest Whitaker gave an awesome performance as well. The story is thought-provoking as well, as a little bit scary. Interesting and all in all one of the best movies of last year.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
93
94th
This is science fiction done well. This is filmmaking done well. It's comfortable with silence and dialogue on a lower register. It doesn't need explosions to advance its ideas. Because it has ideas, and it connects those to the lived experience of human beings. This is a film about choosing connection rather than destruction, life rather than death. This is a film that dares to envision a world of cooperation and harmony, a world marked by transcendent vision rather than limited perception.
Rated 23 Nov 2016
40
25th
Slow.... I guess my expectations were just different. I didn't expect this at all.
Rated 23 Nov 2016
80
79th
Its subject matter and patient cinematography is, besides quite beautiful, refreshingly atypical for its genre, but its eye-rolling Inception-horn soundtrack (effective enough but certainly seen--uh, heard before) is representative of its lack of commitment to blazing a new trail. This does not mean it becomes a poor film, as its borrowed elements are executed handily, but it stops it from becoming something more than "good".
Rated 24 Nov 2016
55
8th
I guess I went into this movie with too high of expectations. It came off as very slow, every thing seemed to be dragged out beyond just creating suspense. Maybe After another watch I'll like it better... Or maybe Villeneuve just isn't my cup of tea. Everyone raved about Sicaria and I thought that was meh as well. These are really serious movies with "professionals" who behave like morons and I just can't get past that.
Rated 04 Feb 2017
81
94th
An amazing and mystical sci-fi movie that has been handled by an unusual sense of patience and humbleness. It takes on big themes as it tries to communicate and create a relationship with an unknown civilization, and it's because Villeneuve manages to hit both mind and heart it manages to so thought-provoking. Supported by great performances, a good script and an unique sci-fi universe it's one of this years strongest movies.
Rated 10 Dec 2016
60
71st
A tale of two halves. The first, an intriguing look into linguistics and how we would attempt to understand and communicate with an alien species. The second, a tired old military vs. intelligence race, with the gun-toting types insisting we blow the visitors to kingdom come for no good reason. There's some time travel nonsense thrown in too, with questionable results. Overall an interesting concept that fails to deliver on early promises, eventually becoming rather forgettable.
Rated 23 Jan 2017
61
20th
Intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying sci-fi is far too sluggishly paced and somber (especially in the mid-section). Not helped by a gimmicky final act twist which ultimately makes little sense (and threatens to be a 'cheat' to the underlying storyline). Adams gives a decent performance, but only reminds of how good Jodie Foster was in the similar CONTACT; Renner and Whitaker are left with frustratingly little to do. Fine cinematography and some clever ideas make it worth watching.
Rated 21 Feb 2021
95
96th
I'm better for having seen it.
Rated 20 Dec 2016
5
2nd
Critters something like "War of the Worlds" Martians by way of "Alien" facehuggers arrive in giant oval pods that I'm sure I've also seen before and proceed to induce the most eye-rollingly trite and cheesy dialogue between the annoying cookie-cutter humans that are tasked with engaging them. It has that sermonizing tone that many sci-fi fans refer to as "cerebral", but really just gets increasingly idiotic and cliched as it goes. Allow me to deter you with the spoiler that language is a weapon.
Rated 02 Feb 2017
79
72nd
Starts excellent without too much unnecessary intro, but then how the time goes tempo becomes slower and slower.. You are waiting for the climax, but the one that comes feels bit disappointing. Social perspective is done great and thats the best part of the movie. Main male role feels bit unnecessary and underdeveloped. Expected bit more, but its still good.
Rated 28 Nov 2016
35
20th
*Spoilers* The movie plays like 'Language, kids! Learn one now and gain a FREE superpower!' Well! Have I got an offer for you! Call this intelligent Sci-Fi in my presence and gain a FREE punch to the face!* *okaysoI'mnotactuallyaviolentperson.I'llprobablyjustsuggestyougoreadsomeStanislavLemorsomethingTERMSANDCONDITIONSAPPLY.
Rated 29 Nov 2016
31
44th
A little bit from Kubrick, a little bit from Nolan, this sci-fi flick comes off as almost anachronistic in today's landscape.
Rated 29 Nov 2016
75
77th
A mostly somber and well composed take on the wellknown Sci-fi trope of first contact, that checks all the boxes for available cliches, but is carried by Villeneuve's artistic flair as well as its overall interesting theme of linguistics. The framing human story worked well enough for the most part, but droned on quite annoyingly in the end.
Rated 17 Jan 2017
95
99th
I really loved this movie. No screentime is wasted, for a fairly 'hard' sci-fi concept it rattles along at a good pace. Amy Adams is excellent. I am a sucker for linguistics so the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis woven into the story and editing of the movie really got me. One to rewatch for years to come.
Rated 30 Nov 2016
95
97th
It's Amy Adams work alone that could've ruined this movie, could've pushed this amazing script over the boarder of compulsion. But instead her eyes and her voice uplift this writing and this fringed world to a level of rare decency, intellect and compassion. This story about touching and talking. Time and tolerance. Fate and fallout. And you know why all this works? Because smartness wins. At some point the quiet leadership will defeat the loud noise. The hammer will be a tool again.
Rated 14 Oct 2020
75
59th
A refreshingly intimate sci-fi that is simply about our personal responsibility to connect with the unknown , to embrace understanding even in fragments.
Rated 04 Dec 2016
90
89th
Abbott is death process.
Rated 07 Dec 2016
40
14th
bullshit, it's weak.. technically great, but just can not deliver. didn't look so deep or thought provoking to me.
Rated 08 Dec 2016
65
68th
villeneuve does a decent job stretching the suspense and mystery, but he can't just erase the fact that whole movie is based on a very paper-thin premise. As it rolls towards the end, one expects a more coherent denouement, or at least some palpable exposition. Instead we get an ad-hoc ex machina and everything fizzles out (quite literally). it's okay, but mostly it's "meh". (go ahead and translate that)
Rated 28 Dec 2016
90
96th
Quite good from start to end. I was so happy to see they didn't veer into the jackassery that was Independence Day. A smart film.

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