Arrival (2016)

Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) team up to translate coded messages that are received when 12 mysterious “crescent moon” ships arrive at different locations across the world. Are the new visitors friendly, or do they have a more dastardly plan for Earth?

Based off the story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, this was a movie similar in some ways to “Contact” where aliens and humans attempt to communicate to find out if the aliens are here to help or destroy us. Though the story is science fiction it does a very good job of being believable, and firmly grounded in the reality of current technology as well as the growing human fear of extinction from an invading force (human or not).

Overall I really liked this movie, the way the storyline was nonlinear, but not too confusing as it jumped around to different parts of the story. I really enjoyed the performance of both Adams and Renner while they try their hardest to communicate with the new visitors as well as the 11 other countries around the world to crack the code.

The visuals in this movie definitely made it more entertaining to watch and the plot was captivating, though it was a little frightening how close to reality some plot points were, with people doing or saying things out of fear which could make a tense situation much worse. The story was pretty believable as far as how different people on different sides of the fence would have wanted to handle the situation of a new visitor to earth, as far as the contrasting opinions of handling the new information with “kid gloves” or a more aggressive approach.

This was a movie that I actually wanted to see more of by the time the credits rolled, because it was engaging enough that you really wanted to see the story to the very end, even if not all of the pieces of the puzzle fit nicely and you left still a little confused about what you just saw.