In association with the Northstar Film Science Film Festival I was able to catch an early screening of the film Arrival. Immediately following was a panel with scientists talking about the science of the movie, among other topics.
I went into the movie knowing nothing but the actors names and the name of the film.
I’m going to leave it at that for all the rest of you because I don’t feel you need to know anything more. Don’t even watch the trailers (or TV spots) because I’ve noticed that they show a lot that I was glad was surprise for me in the film.
To sum it up: it’s a sci-fi movie starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forrest Whittaker and it deals with mankind’s extraterrestrial contact with an alien race. It was based off the novella “Story of Your Life” written by Ted Chiang.
The performances by the actors were excellent. The cinematography was muted and subtle, but very effective for the tone of the film. The sound was very effective, and the story was engaging. The movie was tense. I felt it was permeated with the sense of dread throughout the entire thing. If you like slow-burn science-fiction you’ll probably enjoy this movie.
Is it a must see in the theater? I don’t think it would be – personally. It wasn’t quite an “event level” movie. I think it would work just as fine on a small screen or your home theater.
Just make sure you crank up the bass.