Rapid Reviews | ‘Arrival’

The new sci-fi drama presents challenging new ideas in a familiar storyline. Is that enough to make it great?

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

We’ve all seen films about aliens landing on Earth, and the adventures that follow. But what happens when the aliens who arrive are so thoroughly “alien” that we cannot communicate with them at all? And is that too intellectual a topic to make a thoroughly engaging sci-fi movie?

These are the questions surround Arrival, the latest complex drama from filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (SicarioPrisoners), about a linguist played by Amy Adams, whose efforts to learn an alien language become vital to the human race. The film is full of exciting new ideas, but our illustrious film critic William Bibbiani also points out there are a lot of old sci-fi movie tropes in Arrival. The question is, is that such a bad thing?

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William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most CravedRapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.

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Top Photo: Paramount