Arrival | Movie Review

Arrival is one the most visceral films I have seen in long time. Everything is handled with care and precision, it is quite refreshing. This is simply the best pure sci-fi film to be released since The Martian. There is so much to love about this film that it’s hard to decide what to talk about first. Truly masterful, intriguing and nail biting film making. Going into this movie blind really added to the experience and I’m glad to have done that with this film.

Director Denis Villeneuve once again delivers a blood pumping, edge of the seat movie with Arrival as he did with Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015). The creative and emotional choices he makes are some of the most powerful and thought provoking that I have ever experienced in a film. A great experience is something that is very important to me when it comes to a film. If the film can elicit the emotional experience that it sets out to than to me it is on the right track to being a fantastic piece of cinema. This is something Villeneuve does in spades in all of his films and most effectively in this one. Every frame in this film is important and simply gorgeous to look at thanks to the cinematography talent of Bradford Young. This film always has the audience on its toes thinking which adds to the slow burning pace of the experience. The sci-fi elements in the film were also handled very well, as the aliens we see are unique and well thought out. It was surprisingly interesting learning about their language.


The talent in front of the camera is just as important and vital to the experience as the people behind it. Amy Adams gives what I consider to be the best performance of her career and is definitely worth an Oscar nomination. Adams sells every scene she is in and does a brilliant job convincingly conveying every emotion she sets out to. Her presence never wanes at any point and helps elevate the performance of those around her, specifically Jeremy Renners character. Adams and Renner have undeniably perfect chemistry together and at no point do you feel that the scenes they share are forced. You believe they truly care for each other. It is their chemistry that helps move the story along and makes it all the more rewarding to watch.


The reward of not seeing any footage prior to viewing this film really made added to the story that was presented on screen. If I had seen a trailer I may have been able to guess what might happen and with a film like this that isn’t what you want. The twists and turns this movie has are mind numbing to a point that they made me as a nerd get really emotional. It was so fantastic to see a film so invigorating in a year that has been mostly filled with disappointing movies. The creativity behind all aspects of this film are wonders in of themselves. Everything in this film was firing on all cylinders, the writing, directing, cinematography, acting and not to mention that beautifully haunting, memorizing score composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson. By far the best score of any film to come out in 2016.


Overall Arrival is a triumph when it comes to sci-fi and cinema in general. The last time I experienced anything like this was when Interstellar was released in 2014. All of the symbolism and deeper meanings was much needed in a time where many films use exposition to seemingly no end. Arrival is simply my favourite film of the year and I can’t recommend it higher.

I give Arrival 10/10

Have you seen Arrival yet? What did you think? Love it? Hate it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Start a conversation with me about it on twitter or instagram @nerdycasual. You could also simply drop a comment as well. Thanks for reading and take care.

Rotten Tomatoes:

All images belong to 21 Laps Entertainment and Paramount Pictures

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