Denis Villeneuve's Arrival Is Getting Universally Great Reviews

Thursday, 01 September 2016 - 11:35AM
Arrival
Reviews
Thursday, 01 September 2016 - 11:35AM
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Denis Villeneuve's Arrival is one of the most anticipated sci-fi movies of the year, if only because it stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and comes out in the middle of Oscar season. And judging from the first reviews, the movie doesn't disappoint, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the Blade Runner sequel is in good hands.



Arrival currently has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes—but after only five reviews. Even more excitingly, the notoriously harsher Metacritic is garnering an 84%, with critics praising the cerebral themes, the beautiful cinematography, and Amy Adams' "moving" performance. It's being compared positively to classic films every which way; critics are calling it a smarter version of Contact/Interstellar, and comparing it to classic films like Close Encounters and The Sixth Sense.

The few dissenters are still relatively positive about the movie, but they criticize it for its lack of humor, comparing it to last year's The Martian (which sounds a little bit unfair). A couple of reviews also compare it to Interstellar in a negative manner, claiming it has similarly high reach that exceeds its grasp. We'll have to see when it comes out on November 11.

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It's hard to adequately describe the immensity of the ambition of Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival," a film that dances with concepts so colossal they've rather obliterated most of the previous films that have attempted to grapple with them (Robert Zemeckis' "Contact" and Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" come to mind). But "Arrival," the shimmering apex of Villeneuve's run of form that started back in 2010 with "Incendies," calmly, unfussily and with superb craft, thinks its way out of the black hole that tends to open up when ideas like time travel, alien contact and the next phase of human evolution are bandied about. - The Playlist
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Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi contact drama is dreamy, freaky, audacious. It skirts the edge of absurdity, as anything like this must, but manages to keep clear, and it includes a big flourish in the manner of early films by M Night Shyamalan... I have been agnostic about this kind of movie recently, after the overwrought disappointments of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and Jeff Nichols's Midnight Special. But Villeneuve's Arrival is both heartfelt and very entertaining. - The Guardian
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Extra-terrestrial forces arrive on Earth in Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, seemingly to make a smarter version of Contact... In a crowded genre, Villeneuve's picture is distinguished chiefly for being so richly realised and executed, gifted with an almost symbiotic score by his regular collaborator Johann Johannsson. - Screen Daily
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Like last year's "The Martian," it's about smart, driven people using their know-how to solve seemingly insurmountable problems and to answer the toughest questions. But while that film injected humor into the mix, "Arrival" is a fairly chilly, cerebral bit of business, from its beautifully tamped-down cinematography (by modern master Bradford Young) to Jóhann Jóhannsson's ethereal score. - The Wrap
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At its best, "Arrival" has an eerie grandeur, but if the film starts off as neo-Spielberg, it winds up as neo-Christopher Nolan meets neo-Terrence Malick - it turns into an ersatz mind-bender. You feel you've had a close encounter with what might have been an amazing movie, but not actual contact. - Variety
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Arrival
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