Above: Amy Adams in 2016's Arrival.Helped by an incredible performance by Amy Adams, Arrival is not only one of 2016's best films, but a master piece in science fiction. Although it's about the arrival of aliens on Earth, it's surprisingly more focused on the humans in the film and their connections which makes it an amazing film.
From the first scene to the very last, Arrival captures you in it's fascinating story. It's one of those films that makes you think about the movie as soon as you leave the theater and will leave you thinking about it for hours or if not days after wards. The thing that works wonders for it is that it's not like other science fiction films, it has a mind of it's own. It doesn't have the Spielburg effect most science fiction films do, nor is it a super block buster like Independence Day. It's a science fiction film that's smart and beautifully directed by relatively newcomer director Denis Villeneuve. Villeneuve will hopefully continue his unique film vision in next year's Blade Runner.
Above all else though, the highlight of this film is Amy Adams. She's in every scene, and one might say she might be over powering, but in this case, it's an extremely good thing. Adams pulls out a jaw dropping performance, one that will almost make views more fascinating then her then the actual aliens in the film. What's great about Adams is that she knows what great acting is, and in Arrival, she takes advantage of this and then some. Adams pulls off one of the best performances in a long time, and even if your not science fiction fan, it's worth watching just for her. She deserves at least an Oscar nomination for the roll.
Jeremy Runner also does a great job with his character, who has a twist at the end.
Another great thing about Arrival is the sound editing. The sound editing and background sound is so haunting that it sticks with you when you leave the theater. It's a great balance with what's going on onscreen.
Arrival isn't a perfect science fiction film, but it's pretty damn close. Some movie goers might be turned off by it being rather slow paced, but this actually helps out the movie as a whole.
It's a great movie experience, one that fans of science fiction films will enjoy greatly. It's a film that makes you think about being human and what it means to be human, something that few films in the genre can do.