This weekend I went to go see the new Amy Adams sci-fi move Arrival. I left the theatre believing I had seen one of the best two movies of the year.
It’s hard to say too much about the movie without spoiling it, but the premise is deceptively simple. Aliens come to earth, and Amy Adams is a linguist who needs to figure out what it is they have to say while the world outside goes crazy.
I have to admit I came into this movie a little biased. I’ve gotten a little tired of the big-budget movies continually rolling through the theaters, and I was excited for a slower, more cerebral movie. I’ve seen some reviews that suggested people were looking for a more action-filled third act, but I loved every minute of it.
First, what I loved. Like all of the best sci-fi, this isn’t a movie about aliens. This is a movie about a person, specifically, the linguist played by Amy Adams. It’s a movie about choice and time and free will, and all of these things are beautiful to me.
One common complaint I’ve seen is that people were confused by the movie. The story is not linear, which certainly could contribute to the confusion, but I didn’t have any trouble understanding it. Perhaps I just wasn’t looking deep enough.
Regardless, this movie has been one of my favorites this summer. If you’re looking for a solidly crafted, slower sci-fi film, give it a chance.