“Arrival” #ConTENders 2016

Arrival may just very well go down as one of the best Sci-fi films of all time. I’m sorry to be hyperbolic here, but I believe that this is the standard at which other films should be judged. Here, let me explain…

Arrival is a film directed by Denis Villeneuve, director of such greats like Sicario and Prisoners. This was his first sci-fi film, and now, I have high hopes for his next: Blade Runner 2049.

The film stars Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Banks, a world-renowned linguistics expert, who along with Ian Donnelly, an equally gifted astrophysicist (played by Jeremy Renner) must solve the language barrier between the human race and a chance visitation from twelve obelisks vessels (contact lenses?) strewn randomly throughout the surface of our world.


Louise is also battling the grief of losing her daughter at a young age of twelve to a rare, incurable disease. He husband had long since left her, and she is now left picking up the pieces, trying to make sense of her part in the dissolution of their relationship. All of these elements play into her psyche as she begins her work on the government’s request; an answer to a simple question: Why are you here?

But remember, this is only one of twelve ships that have landed, and each country attempts their own means of communication with the alien race. Tensions build between the countries as some begin to fear the aliens and their intentions. I won’t say much more, but this film has lots of carefully managed pieces that result into one magnificent puzzle.

The film is slow and prodding, but never in an uncomfortable way. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I enjoy this film so much; it’s not about explosions or jumping from this massive set piece to the next, it’s about our interconnectedness and finding one’s place in our universe. It definitely evokes a sense of theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, just not its divisive length.

All in all, Arrival is guaranteed a spot on my Top Ten movies of 2016 list – which, as crazy as it is to say – is rapidly approaching. Soon, you will have my full list. Will every movie I mentioned in this series stay in the Top Ten, or will something different shove its way into my heart? Only time will tell. Here’s to the next great Sci-Fi film of 2016: Howard the Duck 2!


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)

Keep up to date with which films may make my Top 10 of 2016 by clicking here.

3 thoughts on ““Arrival” #ConTENders 2016

  1. I agree! Such a good film. However, you refer to the ships as obelisks. I assume to reinforce the connection to 2001. But they definitely aren’t obelisks.

    “a stone pillar, typically having a square or rectangular cross section and a pyramidal top”

    Liked by 1 person

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