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(Feb 14, 2017)
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a Sci-Fi action film. This is Sci-Fi in the same vein as Contact, Solaris, and 2001. Actually, it is very similar to 2001 in many ways and themes. If you thought 2001 was boring, you will hate this film. This is not a film about aliens. This is a film about how we react to adversity and uncertainty. You may have heard that this is a film about time travel. It's not. No one "travels" through time. This film is about supposing that time is relative (which we know it is) and perhaps even malleable if you understand it well enough. The key to understanding time in this film is language. One aspect I think the film got wrong is contrasting science and language. Science is a language. Science is a way to explain the phenomena around you in formulas that can be shared and duplicated with others i.e., a language. They are not adversarial, but the same.
One thing that surprised me greatly was the portrayal of the military. I think this is probably the truest representation of how military personnel would react. These aren't mindless soldiers. They are thinking human beings with human emotions thrust into a situation of unbelievable significance. Some handle it with fear and trepidation while others approach it with care and concern.Read more ›
Arrival would most readily be categorized as "hard sci-fi," in that it presents a more science-focused view than outright fantastical space wizardry, but surprisingly, the film centers on language, communication and free will-- fields that are sometimes dismissed as "soft sciences." It's not an action film by any means; while there is a lot of suspense and rising tension (and even an explosion!) the film is paced more like the tremendous film Moon or the haunting Ex Machina than Independence Day. The only disappointing reviews I have read tend to find this a flaw in the film ("nothing happens" being a common complaint). I won't dismiss those reviewers as "not getting it," but instead simply say if you're looking for action sci-fi, Arrival will frustrate you with its pacing and tone.
The film is beautiful, start to finish.Read more ›
As with each of those films, Arrival's critics have struggled with some superficial symbols of the alien genre -- and the absence of others, like a male lead -- while missing the potent earthly themes layered beneath. Some viewers want alien invasions to be Hollywood-consistent: spaceships menacing from the sky, civil disturbances, undermatched military reactions, "Klaatu barada nikto" and all that. But Villeneuve turns those tropes upside down in order to give our struggles with symbolic superficialities the central role instead, prodding viewers to spot the irony of that by the time the story ends... Or let's just say, by the time the credits roll.
And no, not everyone will get that at first -- but that's exactly the point of a film about a message that is not for everyone, at first.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrival is a good example of the science fiction subgenre of first contact. The plot obviously revolves around the way that different countries react to the first contact with an... Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Fantasyworldwriter
Im so surprised by poor ratings of this film...thought it was fantastic and a wonderful 'twist'Published 6 days ago by B.B.
Everything, save the ending, was very good. The ending was very poor, nonsensical, illogical, silly, ridiculous, and whatever other adjective of the same vein you can think... Read morePublished 6 days ago by curious reading
I wanted to watch actress Amy Adams sweat. I wouldn't care about the plot which turned out to be very enthralling. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Sexy Bachelor
This is NOT your typical Alien movie. There are no Creatures to jump out and grab characters. There's no Battles with lasers and space ships. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Philippe Robichaux
NOT the Blu Ray.
The film the kind of movie that's bound to disappoint because, let's face it, SF in modern American is Star Wars or Star Trek. Read more
I was expecting this to be a great movie... Just the opposite!
Not basing this on the Blu-ray release but on a DVD Paramount sent me to evaluate the movie. Read more
I love cinema and I love movies. But, boy! that one was hard to take.
I don't usually write negative reviews, because I like to spend my time and my words on the movies... Read more
Right up front: This review is going to be full of spoilers, because I don't know how to do the film any justice in a review without talking about it, and you can't talk about this... Read morePublished 22 days ago by StrangePegs