100 Word Reviews | Arrival

Arrival is like most great science fiction films–pulled from a short story. In this case, Ted Chiang’s novella “Story of Your Life.” The film instantly stands out as a cerebral classic, joining the ranks of many great science fiction films that balance intimate emotional journeys with big ideas about time, fate, and humanity. This is the kind of film you want to know as little about going into it as possible. The film (and mostly Amy Adams) lulls you in a way that’s thoughtful and honest. You don’t feel like you’re being misled and there is genuine wonder in company with tension and fear. So when the film shows its hand and reveals its “twist” it feels less like a surprise and more like a revelation. Speaking of revelations, Amy Adams delivers another career defining performance as the entire heart of the film rests on her able shoulders. Adams’ face is a landscape of emotion and coupled with the sweeping visuals of vessels floating gently across great plains, Arrival offers beauty at every scale. This is a film that should be seen with urgency and celebrated as it is–a revelation.

5 Stars.


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