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3,665 Ratings


Directed by Denis Villeneuve
United States, 2016


Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.

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Arrival Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2017 | 7 nominations including: Best Motion Picture of the Year

2017 | Winner: Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Arrival, the new film written by Eric Heisserer from Ted Chaing’s short story “The Story of Your Life” is directed by Denis Villeneuve. But first and most of all, it is written. And even more, it is writing about language that makes it clear that language matters, that language is in fact the key to everything… This is a movie par excellence of adaptation, a work of sharing, which happens to be a key theme in the story’s geopolitical narrative.
March 01, 2017
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Arrival, as emotionally haunted as it is, also offers the biggest ray of sunshine to fall on a Villeneuve hero(ine). And the triumph of the film—what makes it one of Villeneuve’s most thematically satisfying features, if far from the most airtight plot—is that the optimism and the darkness don’t cancel each other out but find a aesthetic symbiosis. This is an unsettling crowd-pleaser, the saddest happy blockbuster in the Oscar spotlight.
February 25, 2017
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As a sci-fi drama about international cooperation and defusing violence, Arrival values thinking over ray guns, renegotiating the terms of battle between sensitive eggheads and macho soldiers typical of alien invasion films. Adams’s super-translator shouts in Mandarin to convince the Chinese military she can see through time now that the aliens have revealed its secrets to her, an outburst and a plot twist that make sense if you’re high and caffeinated.
February 24, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • Kenji's rating of the film Arrival

    Some similarities here with The Day the Earth Stood Still. It may feel both classy and a little corny but yes, we are all one.

  • EdieEmm's rating of the film Arrival

    It's true that I could have come into this with a more open mind... But, isn't it just as though Hollywood's formula for sci-fi (which I envision as sort of an insert-your-own-specifics, mad-libs type game) got into the hands of someone clever-ish for a change? And they just added compelling embellishments to the otherwise insipid same-old? 'Cause that's what I saw. But, it got me through some of a flight... A low 3.

  • Palmat's rating of the film Arrival

    Good sci-fi movie that eschews most obvious tropes and dwells on issues like time, communication, life and love. Technically the movie is stellar and the acting is solid throughout. Despite the directors ambitions I thought that some parts felt underdeveloped and to match the narrative against the non-linear-time theme did not work as well as I felt it could have. So good throughout but not great.

  • Slow Immersion's rating of the film Arrival

    3.5 While many filmmakers lose their flare and often decay when they divert from independent into such mainstream status; DV is becoming magnificent. A fantasic noir in Prisoners, and a strong crime/thriller/action in Sicario, and now a very atmospheric and intelligent sci-fi in this. Maybe the best director in mainstream cinema today!

  • anarresti's rating of the film Arrival

    This is now a sub-genre with a long tradition: "the arrival of aliens by means of large objects around the globe". This is a good addition to the genre. In comics we have Warren Ellis "Trees". The genre might be a metaphor to avoid the humanoid green man clichés and instead create tension. "They came, but is communication even possible?". And here, linguistics is a very good option to bridge the interspecies gap.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Arrival

    Disappointed. Not by the mise-en-scene but by the infantile screenplay. As for the majority of sci-fi stories, it sure may look good on paper and win a Hugo or Nebula award but it's nevertheless Disney on screen with the Eucharist in the end. Has Villeneuve already become a Hollywood yesman? Already forgotten.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Arrival

    I have no innate sense of direction. I can't tell you how to get to my house. I don't know street signs, I don't know the name of buildings. It's visual for me. It's egocentric. I should learn a cardinal language like Guugu Yimithirr. On the other hand, I'm not sure I would want to use the language that the aliens use, because there would be no mystery left. You'd relive bad and good moments over and over again.

  • Gia de Almeida's rating of the film Arrival

    Arrival is like Inception and Interstellar had a baby that is a million times superior to both of them. And it's all wrapped up in a good amount of butterfly effect. Villeneuve is breathtaking as a director. OUTSTANDING.

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