Director: Denis Villeneuve. Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg. 116 min. Rated PG-13. Sci-fi/Mystery.
Alien ships arrive on Earth, and humans try to communicate with them, but then maybe the bigger challenge is for them to communicate among themselves. Favorite new director Villeneuve borrows heavily from Close Encounters, but also employs Adams to bestow upon his film an identity of its own, and creates a thought-provoking puzzle for us to solve (which includes 'communicating' after the film to translate a pivotal Chinese line of dialogue). Arrival is an exquisitely designed and executed film, but somehow didn't stimulate me to figure out the mystery the way Christopher Nolan does. But that doesn't diminish the entertainment.
PS: Haven't we seen those alien heptapods in Villeneuve's previous film, Enemy?