Arrival (PG-13)

Arrival is like the story of what happens after Close Encounters of the Third Kind ends.  They’re here, we’ve made contact, we’re communicating.  But now what?  What are they saying and what do they want?  Being a huge fan of Close Encounters I was interested to see where this story would go.

Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, Arrival is the story of a linguist (Adams), called upon by the U.S. government to listen to and decode alien language, along with other scientists and professionals around the world so that we can communicate with the extra terrestrials.

I will not say one more thing about this movie directly except that you need to go see it. Fan of science fiction or not, this movie is so interesting and so immersive it is worth a look, and I believe you will enjoy it.  It is based on a well thought out concept with strong themes that is wonderfully executed.  It’s like watching a flower bloom.  It takes patience, but just you sit and wait.  It takes time, but the concept of time changes and you realize the payoff is worth that wait.  And you would do it again.  It is intricately brilliant.  You can feel the love that was put into this project.

In the abstract, this movie is about us all, collectively and individually, all at the same time. It is about time and space, our connectivity to one another, the universe and all.  It is about our humanity, our consciousness, our rigidity and our flexibility.  It is about all of our limitations, real, man-made and imagined.  It is about our fear, our perceived strengths and weaknesses, our perception of everything, our reality, and how all of these things affect one another.

Arrival is about letting go of yourself, forgetting everything you think you know and opening your mind to something new and different; something we need a lot more of in the world today. It is about empathy, communication, understanding, reasoning and patience.  Arrival doesn’t give you all the answers and leaves you to ponder what it all really means; answering enough questions in the end to leave you satisfied.  It is moving.  It is well conceived, well written, well acted, well relayed and well executed.

What I didn’t like is that there are two lousy lines of dialogue that took this movie out of the running for a 10th bloop. When you hear each of them, you will recognize them.  You may cringe.  The most annoying line has been featured in many, many movies before and the only time I have ever seen it work was in Aladdin.

Unfortunately, I could not overlook that cliché, ever-grating line – and that other poor choice of word or words… Arrival earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops. A solid and sure contender for a best picture nod.  It will make you think about yourself, your fellow Americans and all mankind.  This is not two hours of my life I wish I could get back.  I would definitely do it all over again.


1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

My Welcome Message

Oscar reviews:

Hidden Figures
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Florence Foster Jenkins
I Am Not Your Negro

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