Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
The revelation here is Villeneuve, who expands on the symphonic pacing showcased last year in the drug war drama Sicario. Even though the concept of Arrival is far-out fiction, Villeneuve treats it with no less detail or urgency.
The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.
Arrival plays with your head as gently as any sci-fi thriller I can remember.