7.9/10
490,206
1,592 user 691 critic

Arrival (2016)

Trailer
1:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
A linguist is recruited by the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecrafts land around the world.

Director:

Denis Villeneuve

Writers:

Eric Heisserer (screenplay by), Ted Chiang (based on the story "Story of Your Life" written by)
Popularity
325 ( 11)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 65 wins & 253 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ex Machina (2014)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
The Martian (2015)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
Gravity (2013)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Dunkirk (2017)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance
The Revenant (2015)
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
Avatar (2009)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Logan (2017)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X. However, Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Her (2013)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Black Swan (2010)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Adams ... Louise Banks
Jeremy Renner ... Ian Donnelly
Forest Whitaker ... Colonel Weber
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Agent Halpern
Mark O'Brien ... Captain Marks
Tzi Ma ... General Shang
Abigail Pniowsky ... 8-Year-Old-Hannah
Julia Scarlett Dan ... 12-Year-Old-Hannah
Jadyn Malone ... 6-Year-Old-Hannah
Frank Schorpion ... Dr. Kettler
Lucas Chartier-Dessert Lucas Chartier-Dessert ... Private Lasky
Christian Jadah ... Private Combs
Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld ... CNAC Anchor
Andrew Shaver Andrew Shaver ... Environmental Tech
Pat Kiely ... Environmental Tech
Edit

Storyline

Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touchdown in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why are they here?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Mandarin

Release Date:

11 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Story of Your Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,000,000, 11 November 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$100,546,139

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$203,388,186
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Louise tells Colonel Weber that the word 'kangaroo' comes from an historical misunderstanding, and actually means "I don't know", only to tell Ian that the story is untrue but illustrates her point. This is an actual myth, not just a made up story. It involves Lieutenant James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks who arrived in Australia in the 18th century, where they made contact with the Guugo Yimithirr, a coastal Aboriginal tribe. They were puzzled by the sight of a kangaroo, and asked a tribesman what it was. According to the myth, the tribesman responded with the word "gangurru", meaning "I don't understand" in his language. Banks mistook it for the local term for the animal, spelling it as "kanguru" in his diary. The myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland. In reality, the word gangurru specifically refers to the grey kangaroo in the Guugo Yimithirr language. When Cook and Banks traveled 1,400 miles inland, they encountered the Baagandji tribe, who were unfamiliar with the other tribe and the word gangurru, and thought it meant "unknown animal". The Baagandji then started to use the word to describe Cook's and Banks' horses. See more »

Goofs

Anana Rydvald plays the Danish Scientist but is credited as Swedish Scientist. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Louise Banks: [narrating] I used to think this was the beginning of your story. Memory is a strange thing. It doesn't work like I thought it did. We are so bound by time, by its order.
Louise Banks: [coddling her baby girl] Okay. Okay. Come back to me. Come back to me. Come back to me.
Louise Banks: [later playing with her in the yard] Stick 'em up! Are you the sheriff in this here town? These are my tickle guns, and I'm gonna getcha!
6-Year-Old-Hannah: No!
Louise Banks: You want me to chase you? You better run!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right after the cast credits, "On the Nature of Daylight" by Max Richter is given an extra credit as the "Beginning and end music" in addition to the usual soundtrack credit near the end of the credit roll. See more »


Soundtracks

On the Nature of Daylight
Written and Performed by Max Richter
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
This generation's Close Encounters of the Third Kind
15 October 2016 | by bartonj2410See all my reviews

The mystery of the unknown is something that doesn't get explored enough within science fiction. Too often we see science fiction films, particularly involving aliens, that are only interested with how we, as a species, would fight back against them.

Every now and then however, we get a film like Denis Villeneuve's Arrival that comes along and offers something totally different. The film uses its tagline "Why are they here?" quite literally to deliver one of the most fascinating films you will see all year.

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is one of the world's leading linguists, who gets recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications. Along with mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), Louise attempts to get answers as to why twelve alien spacecrafts have landed at different locations around the world.

I had only seen three of Denis Villeneuve's previous films before yet I have been impressed with the diversity of his films, a trend he continues with Arrival. What I really admire about Villeneuve as a filmmaker is the choice he makes to not spoon feed the audience with every single piece of information. He instead makes films to challenge the audience, leaving them to either complete the puzzle themselves or question the morality of his characters.

With Arrival, Villeneuve has crafted a truly thought provoking science fiction film, telling the story in a slow yet masterful manner, leading to a beautiful pay off. The theme of communication resonates massively with the world today, the moment communication between twelve countries via satellite link breaks down summing it up quite suitably.

Villeneuve's storytelling is aided by some superb cinematography from Bradford Young and a haunting score from Jóhann Jóhannsson. Young's cinematography captures the sense of wonder perfectly while Jóhannsson's score heightens the sense of mystery surrounding the alien visitors and their intentions.

Coming to the performances, Arrival features a real emotional heartbeat thanks to a fantastic performance from the always dependable Amy Adams, who conveys such a wide range of emotions as Louise, growing in confidence with each session she gets with the visitors. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker offer some fine support for Adams but there is no doubting this film belongs to her.

Arrival is one of the best films of the year and a really great example of science fiction filmmaking from Denis Villeneuve, who is perfectly suited to bring us the sequel to Blade Runner next year. I would happily put this film in the same league as something like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of the all time greats of sci-fi.


276 of 498 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,592 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed