Denis VilleneuveUSA116 minutes2016ColourEnglish
Nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director), Arrival marked Villeneuve's commercial breakthrough, grossing $200 million worldwide and setting the director up for the big-ticket gig of Blade Runner 2049. After a dozen UFOs descend into Earth's atmosphere, linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is asked to join a US military delegation that is heading out to make contact with the extraterrestrial pilots. Working alongside a civilian physicist (Jeremy Renner), Banks attempts to decipher the aliens' hieroglyphic language to determine if they have come in peace. Inspired in equal parts by The Day the Earth Stood Still and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arrival brings unguarded emotionalism and complex ideas about time and grief to a genre that is most often located at the poles of the cerebral or the spectacular. "Entrancing … a sci-fi movie that looks not up at the stars, but deep within" (Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice).