Arrival

Critics Consensus

Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person's sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 425

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 83,310

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Movie Info

Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Cast & Crew

Amy Adams
Louise Banks
Jeremy Renner
Ian Donnelly
Forest Whitaker
Colonel Weber
Mark O'Brien
Captain Marks
Tzi Ma
General Shang
Abigail Pniowsky
8-Year-Old Hannah
Julia Scarlett Dan
12-Year-Old Hannah
Jadyn Malone
6-Year-Old Hannah
Eric Heisserer
Screenwriter
Dan Levine
Producer
Stan Wlodkowski
Executive Producer
Eric Heisserer
Executive Producer
Dan Cohen
Executive Producer
Karen Lunder
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Arrival

Critic Reviews for Arrival

All Critics (425) | Top Critics (59) | Fresh (401) | Rotten (24)

Audience Reviews for Arrival

  • Sep 10, 2018
    Good. Definitely made me think.
    Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2017
    If our first contact with an alien race turns out to be as boring as this movie, then I hope it doesn't happen. Big disappointment considering the nominations, which makes it one of the most overrated movies of 2016. Their ships look stupid, the aliens themselves look stupider, and there's generally a lack of awe at this event. Only Jeremy Renner shows any signs of life, everyone else is sleepwalking including Amy Adams who is blander than Top 40 radio. She's a highly skilled linguist recruited by the military to communicate with these aliens, but none of her studying makes any difference as her only breakthroughs occur through memory flashes interacting with her daughter. Naturally the military gets trigger-happy solely in order to inject some form of tension which is utterly predictable. There's a fairly nifty revelation at the very end, but it's relied upon far too heavily to have a Shyamalan effect and cannot salvage the dreary experience until then. I enjoy heady sci-fi like Ex Machina and Interstellar as recent examples, but Arrival comes up well short with the only truly clever aspects being the aliens' writing method and the title. Opt for another viewing of Close Encounters instead.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2017
    A beautifully acted and cerebral piece of sci-fi that's almost as smart as it portends to be, Arrival nonetheless captivates with a thought-provoking puzzler that brings to mind Close Encounters of the Third Kind...had Terrence Malick directed it, that is. In this PG-13-rated sci-fi drama, linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world. Contemplative is the word for this thinking man's alien invasion flick. Our eyes, ears and mind, Banks is a linguist emotionally scarred by a tragedy. She doesn't think linearly and neither does the film. Far from straight-forward, the film mindbends and timebends with achingly gorgeous photography that frames the locations as much as the characters. This is a key point. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Interstellar before it, Arrival wraps you up in an atmospheric spectacle while leaving a lightyear's worth of room for interpretation. The end result is both quantitative and qualitative, though director Denis Villenueve had some obvious influences. Terrence Malick never made a straight sci-fi flick but, if he did, it might look a lot like this. The beauty of nature being interrupted by an obstructive force and opaque flashbacks/flash forwards are two Malick touchstones that both feature prominently in Arrival. Villenueve's work has always been bleak and gripping but his latest definitely resembles Malick's The Tree of Life more than Prisoners or Sicario. Like those last two searing dramas, it still concentrates on troubled characters and maintains a funereal tone but the canvas is more expansive and less conclusive. For some audiences, it will make them say 'Huh?' For the filmgoers that say 'Hmm,' however, Arrival is a welcome departure from the cut and dry space franchises currently Trekking and Warring across screens. Regardless of where the coin falls, Amy Adams grounds the drama quotient for all viewers with a deeply emotional performance. Ever since her very deserving Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for Junebug in 2005, this artist has made bold affecting choices. That she would do this and the very different Nocturnal Animals within the same short window, both daring but singularly amazing turns, seems improbable if not downright impossible. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker turn in solid supporting performances without which she couldn't fully develop her character, but make no mistake about it: Second to Villeneuve, this is her show. And that goes for the aliens too. To Sum it Up: Earth Girls are Easy A
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • May 13, 2017
    Arrival is a fascinating and provocative science fiction thriller that delves into some weighty and complex concepts about communication and how we perceive time and space. When several mysterious alien crafts appear throughout the world the U.S. Army recruits linguist professor Louise Banks to join a team of specialists that will attempt to make contact. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner lead the cast and deliver incredibly strong performances; especially Adams, who gives a career best. And the special effects and score do an effective job at setting a dark and foreboding tone. Also, the writing is extraordinarily ambitious (a little too much so at times) and explores some really interesting ideas. A smart and sophisticated film that challenged the audience, Arrival is remarkably compelling.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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