• Stars

If you go to this film expecting to see a heroic movie like “Independence Day,” you will be sorely disappointed. This is a more cerebral film along the lines of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or Jodie Foster’s “Contact.” “Arrival” will appeal to my brother-in-law who really is a rocket scientist and other brilliant space junkies like Charlie.

When twelve mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team, led by expert linguist Dr. Louise Banks and scientist, Dr. Ian Donnelly, is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

“Arrival” stars Academy Award nominee Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Banks. Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner plays Dr. Ian Donnelly. Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker is Colonel Weber.

Adams has been nominated for an Academy Award five times. “Arrival” could be her sixth nomination. She is very convincing in this role. In fact the movie really belongs to Adams; although Renner and Whitaker turn in solid performances they just provide background for Adams.

The film was directed by Denis Villeneuve known for directing last year’s “Sicario” that was nominated for three Academy Awards. Instead of focusing on the aliens, Villeneuve focuses on the actors and an important theme that eventually carries the film: What would you do if you knew your future? Would you want to know your future?

The screenplay was scribed by Eric Heisserer. It was based on the short story, Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang.

The set and space ship are astonishing in their simplicity. There was a feeling of reality that you don’t usually get with a movie set based on aliens and space ships. Usually they are so much more complex.

I found this film very interesting. There were many twists and turns in the script that kept you guessing. With a good script, solid acting and directing, “Arrival” is worth the time and money.

“Arrival” will open this weekend at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.

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