Kai Christiansen, A&E Editor and Guest Writer

Arrival is the new Denis Villeneuve film about a linguist and physicist who are tasked with communicating with 1 of the 12 alien ships that have landed throughout the Earth. As cheesy or unintelligent as that may seem, this is one of the most fresh and original movies I have seen in a long time.
This movie has wonderful cinematography and production design. Everything is so simplistic yet simultaneously beautiful. The colors are extremely vibrant and at the same time subtle, creating such a unique universe that these characters live in.
Aside from the cinematography, the sets in this movie are so great, specifically the spaceship and what’s inside said spaceship. The design of the interior is wonderfully created and gives off the feeling of tension despite no threat being observed.
Everyone in this movie is really great, even Jeremy “I’m an Avenger, too” Renner shined in his leading role. It was nice to see an otherwise mediocre actor stretch his acting chops and give a believable and well rounded performance. His motivations were clear and his character acted how he should have. Without the expert direction of Villenueve, his performance would have fallen flat. Amy Adams is also spectacular in her role and gives one of the best performances of her career. It’s subtle, complex and very moving.
The plot twist at the end completely changes how the entire film was projected. It’s something that on further viewings will improve the film tenfold as to see how the twist was set up beforehand. What I love is the twist is somewhat revealed during the film, but it’s introduced in such a natural way that it doesn’t seem like it’s foreshadowing anything until you look back on the movie. The twist doesn’t seem forced or cheesed whatsoever despite how out of left field it is.
Villenueve has created another fantastic film that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire running time. It’s fresh and original, extremely well shot, has fantastic acting and a compelling story with a twist that will leave you hungry for more. Go out and see it!