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Arrival Movie Review

Reviewed by on Nov 11, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the film Arrival about a new kind of alien invasion. It’s one that might actually benefit us. Would we blow aliens up before finding out? Check our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

In Arrival, twelve alien, egg-shaped spacecraft land all around our world. Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a language expert brought in to figure out why these aliens are here and what they want. The answer is personally painful for her and asks the question…if you know the future, do you just let it unfold or try to change it?

Louise is headed for the alien craftLouise is headed for the alien craftCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

We Need a Translator

When Twelve alien spacecraft land in random areas around the world with weird aliens inside, we try to talk to them. Having no luck, the military brings in Dr. Louise Banks, a famous linguist, to translate the alien’s spoken or written words. What do they want on Earth? Turns out figuring that out is a long process. Once in Montana where one of the ships hovers, Louise is paired with a mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to try to break the aliens’ weird language.

Ian and Louise try to figure out alien symbolsIan and Louise try to figure out alien symbolsCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Meanwhile, Earth Goes Nuts

Although the aliens have done nothing threatening, humans are sure they are gonna go all ballistic on our butts and many countries get ready to blast them. Slowly, Louise and Ian figure out that the Heptapods (what we name the creatures) have a strange written symbol language and they set out to teach them basic English words. As various countries study the aliens in their own areas, they all figure out a small piece of the puzzle.. until they all get paranoid and nationalistic and decide not to share any information!

Louise receives her first alien symbolLouise receives her first alien symbolCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

It’s About Time

Louise starts having “dreams” about the birth and childhood of a little daughter she doesn’t have….yet. When she is a young woman or teen, the daughter dies of some horrible disease. Through these visions or dreams, Louise gets small clues to what the aliens want. She realizes that these visions are of her own future. The aliens don’t think or operate in linear time. They can show visions of our futures and they live in many time periods. Finally they tell Louise that they are here to warn us about a pending disaster and help us. Will Mankind cooperate enough to survive? Will Louise’s future come true? Will she try to change it?

An alien ship hovers over EarthAn alien ship hovers over EarthCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Suiting up to alk to the aliensSuiting up to alk to the aliensCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Wrapping Up

Arrival is a thinking person’s sci-fi movie. It is not an alien invasion or war film. It has a lot to say about communication and about the bad tendency humans have to never trust other humans and the fact that we probably wouldn’t trust any beings visiting us from another world either. What if aliens were here to help us?

Louise and Ian worry that the aliens will be attackedLouise and Ian worry that the aliens will be attackedCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Amy Adams is really good as a bright language expert who is terrified to be shoved to the picture window of an alien ship to say “howdee” to whatever is inside but she soon realizes that talking to these weird-looking creatures is more important than her fears. When things get very personal for her and she’s in a race against time to prevent various military groups from attacking the aliens, she becomes very brave and admirable.

Louise and Ian worry that the aliens will be attackedLouise and Ian worry that the aliens will be attackedCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

The movie and the message the aliens are trying to give us is complicated and kind of hard to figure out, especially for anyone under 13.. or maybe even 16. The movie is also way slower than what kids and teens expect from any film labeled Sci-Fi. The suspense involving the alien intent keeps you interested but I was never really sure if the explanation made total sense. The movie also looks very dark and the color very de-saturated, It looks washed out for some artistic reason I’m sure.

Louise and Ian on the way to the alien shipLouise and Ian on the way to the alien shipCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Arrival is worth seeing simply for its message that not all possible alien arrivals mean destruction for Mankind and, should they visit, we’d better learn to work together if we don’t want to self-destruct while trying to take innocent aliens down.  Amy Adams is also very “real” and sympathetic in the role. Since the movie might be more aimed at adults, for older teens we go three stars.

Arrival Movie Rating: 3

Arrival Movie PosterArrival Movie PosterCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

See Arrival in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Do you think visitors from other worlds all have to be evil? Would you love to be able to speak their language? Would you want to know the future, even if it might be scary? Let us know with a comment.