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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.


arrival-1Arrival (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Based on the short story The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang

Screenplay by Eric Heisserer

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, ForestĀ  Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Twelve spacecraft have appeared around the earth and Linguist Louise Banks (Adams) has been asked to help the government communicate them. Now she’s working to decipher their unique language so that mankind might know the purpose of their arrival.

arrival-10This film is a unique science-fiction drama based on the short story The Story of Your Life by Ted Chaing (Understand). The screenplay was written by Eric Heisserer (Lights Out), and Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) directed the film. The cast of the movie includes Amy Adams (American Hustle), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Forest Whitaker (Platoon), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Miles Ahead). For his work, Denis Villeneuve was nominated for Best Director and the film earned a nomination for Best Picture.

arrival-8Using Ted Chiang’s short story as his basis, Eric Heisserer wrote a wonderful screenplay. This movie combines science-fiction and drama within a complex series of events. The twists and turns of the story are anything but predictable, and the payoffs are solid. The dialogue in the film is also nicely written. The scientific and linguistic aspects of the movie also hold up really well. There’s also no point in the film that requires lengthy exposition to deal with technicalities. Overall, this is one of the best science-fiction stories I’ve found in a while. Eric Heisserer’s script earned him a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

arrival-5The performances in this movie are wonderful. Amy Adams work is solid and she plays her character convincingly. She also does a nice job bringing out the subtle emotional tones of the story. Her chemistry with the other stars of this film is also evident. Jeremy Renner also does a great job in this one. He was able to connect well with his character, and also provided nice chemistry with Adams. Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg add nice work of their own to this one. The cast seemed to understand the tones of this film and used them to bring out the right feelings in their performances.

arrival-3This movie looks very good. The cinematography earned Bradford Young (A Most Violent Year) an Academy Award nomination. The film also earned nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Production Design. The digital effects really blend in nicely with the practical work. The costuming and all of the other aspects of production also come together nicely. The sound work was equally solid, earning the film nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Overall, there isn’t much to complain about with this one.

arrival-11This is a very good science-fiction film that brings in elements of suspense and drama which help to round out the experience. The performances are great, and fans of the stars should check this one out. I would also suggest this to fans of science-fiction. The eight Oscar nominations are no mistake. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 116 Minutes


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