Review: Arrival

What happens now?

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a linguistics professor who is recruited by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) to help translate when 12 alien ships suddenly descend to Earth. However not everyone wants to take the time Louise does to teach them how to communicate when other countries are on the verge of declaring war.

Early on, Louise explains how you have to start with small words and that learning language takes time. That's how the first part of the film feels. It takes its time setting up the premise. The eerie score haunts us right up until the moment we see the aliens for the first time. It's a slow burn, but it needs to be. That's how learning another language is. Once we get to the back half of the film it completely filps around everything we thought we knew. It's an amazing turn of events that I felt completely wowed by.

Amy Adams is a dream. I've said that countless times, she never gives a bad performance and she's perfectly cast here. Louise is smart and has a certain vulnerability to her. She keeps her cool, when she's given so many opportunities to scream "listen to me!" to some of the men she's working with. She has great chemistry with Jeremy Renner, a fellow scientist that's working with her. He also provides some much needed subtle humor. 

Arrival starts off as just "good" but it ends on "spectacular." Denis Villeneuve makes amazing movies. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote:"We need to make sure they understand what a question is." - Louise (Amy Adams)

20 comments:

  1. Agreed. This is a wonderful film that's perfectly paced. Also completely agree Amy Adams was superb.

    Interesting fact, if you combine the first name of Jeremy Renner's character (Ian) and Amy Adam's character's surname (Banks), you get Ian Bank, a name similar to the Science Fiction author Iain Banks. I tweeted the screenwriter about this and he confirmed this was intentional.

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    1. Nice! I love those little Easter Eggs. I didn't notice it until I read your review.

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  2. OMG OMG OMG OMG

    YASSSSSSSSSS

    My heart is still healing from this movie...and I'm not sure if it is healing because the movie broke it, or if it is healing because of this movie. UGH...just...I have no words.

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    1. I needed a bit to process it afterwards lol. I loved it so much.

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  3. Arghhhh I'm getting so excited for this movie now! I'm seeing it tomorrow night, I can't wait. Amy Adams is just owning this month :)
    - Allie

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    1. She is! I can't wait to see Nocturnal Animals.

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  4. Didn't recognize Villeneuve's name at first until I saw that he recently did Sicario, and I immediately jumped on board for this movie. Seeing it Wednesday! Can't wait!

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    1. He did Prisoners and Enemy too! I hope you like it.

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  5. I really want to see this. I hear great things about this.

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  6. wow. it sounds like Amy Adams has finally found a role right for her.

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    1. I have yet to see Amy be in the wrong role. I love her performances. I'm ready for Oscar nom #5!

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  7. This is high on my watch list, although I don't think we're getting the film here anytime soon. Great review!

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    1. Boo. I hope you do at least, I hate when that happens. Thank you!

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  8. Cannot wait to see this. Great job getting me even more excited for it. Actually, I can't wait for both Amy Adams movies, this and Nocturnal Animals. But I guess the biggest thing that gets me excited for this is Villeuve. He's such a great filmmaker.

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    1. Yes! I'm psyched for Nocturnal Animals too. My theater isn't getting it this week :( Hopefully it will come the following.

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  9. Goddamn those raves the showing times here are terrible :/ How does it compare to Gravity or Interstellar?

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    1. I like this better than both of those. I prefer Adams as a lead to Bullock and I like the length in this one better than Interstellar.

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  10. The more I think about it, the more I like it. She's such a cool character. I saw this at TIFF a couple of months ago and have been sitting on it ever since!

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    1. I really want to see it again at this point, I think I'll definitely buy the bluray.

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