Is there other intelligent life in the universe? And if so, how will we communicate with them? This is the basis of the new Sci-Fi film ARRIVAL. Not just how first contact will happen, but how we can actually make contact with potential visitors.


The plot revolves around several hyper-advanced extraterrestrial ships landing at major points all around the world causing an international panic. Linguist specialist Louise Banks (Played by Amy Adams) is recruited by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) align with other specialists such as mathematician Ian Donelly (Jeremy Renner) to try and reach out to the alien visitors. Louise trying to figure out if the visitors’ intentions are benevolent or if they have sinister intentions for our planet…

A truly modern day science fiction film from Prisoners and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve that brings a truly optimistic edge to the genre that has been weighted in cynicism. It definitely helps that at the time of seeing this particular movie, I had just also rewatched 2001: A Space Odyssey at an earlier screening at BeyondFest. It invoked a sense of wonder. That science, logic, and our humanity can be our greatest assets. That’s the kind of feeling I got while watching Arrival


This is no over the top sci-fi thriller. With the timeline of events starting with the landing of the alien’s ships and humanity’s reactions feeling rather grounded and plausible. An almost optimistic caution and fear washes over our characters and humanity as a whole. Hope that the extraterrestrials will prove friendly. Can offer us something. While others fear The Other. The strange. That they are a threat.  And on the aliens themselves, much compliments to the design and FX teams behind them. I don’t want to spoil, but they are some of the most unique I’ve seen some time. With some clear Lovecraft style squid-like inspiration. As well as just how these visitors are capable of communication.

As can be imagined, the cast is spot on. The main focus being Amy Adam’s character and her struggle to make a clear line of communication with the aliens before humanity’s own paranoia and fear overwhelms us and causes disaster. This is a slow burn but optimistic science fiction movie, evoking older inspirations such as 2001 and the ilk from the 60′ and 70’s. One with a deeper focus that reflects off our own fractured world: that communication can be the most powerful tool of all.

Arrival arrives in theaters 11/11/2016 with preview screenings tonight.

Here’s the trailer below. And for more BeyondFest goodness, here are some previous articles!