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Arrival (2016)

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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
324 ( 42)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 65 wins & 253 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ... Environmental Tech
Pat Kiely ... Environmental Tech
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

The Chinese general speaks strange Chinese with strong Cantonese accent. This can't be real in modern Chinese military, or his colleagues and other soldiers wouldn't even understand him most of the time. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Half in the Bag: Shut in and Arrival (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Xenoanthropology
Written by Jóhann Jóhannsson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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