Following the bombastic return of the angry extraterrestrials in Independence Day: Resurgence, new science fiction drama Arrival promises something a little more subtle and thoughtful, with a prime awards contending slot in place.
Arrival has Sicario (2015) director Denis Villeneuve swapping gang drug violence for intellectual drama about the arrival of a new species. Eric Heisserer (Lights Out) has adapted Ted Chiang's 1998 novella Story Of Your Life (the film originally used that as its title), which charts what happens when mysterious alien pods, known as 'shells', appear in the atmosphere and hover over our planet. Humanity is naturally conflicted about how to deal with the utterly unknown and seemingly unknowable creatures that dwell within – the legacy of decades of paranoid science fiction thrillers and the usual nationalistic needs – but the US government contacts linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) as she might have some clue how to decipher the new arrivals' strange language.
Packed off with physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) and Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker), it is her job to figure out what the aliens want and where they have come from.
Arrival is out in cinemas now.