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One of the most immersive, suspenseful and intelligent sci-fi films I've seen in recent memory, ARRIVAL is for me, one of the best films of the year.

Amy Adams is Dr. Louise Banks, a quiet college linguist professor who finds herself recruited by the the military when twelve, 1500 feet tall alien craft park themselves about 40 feet off the ground and random places around the globe.

On the way to the arrival site in Montana, Banks meets scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) who she will be working with to try and establish communication with the visitors.

Forest Whitaker is Colonel Weber, the man in charge of the operation and thankfully a character that manages to avoid every cliche you expect to see in the film.

The brilliance of the screenplay by Eric Heisserer and Ted Chiang is that it slowly unfolds like an intelligent origami, revealing pieces of the story that you need, but not necessarily at an expected pace or in linear order.

Director Denis Villeneuve has grown to be a personal favorite, bringing his unique style to two of the best thrillers of recent years. The kidnap drama "Prisoners" and last year's crime thriller "Sicario" both bent their genres in half to meet Villeneuve's perspective and both films were superb.

ARRIVAL does the same thing, standing what you think is a "Close Encounters" tribute on its head. Like Richard Dreyfuss' Roy Neary in Spielberg's film, you see most of the events through Banks' eyes, personalizing the massive global events.

Unlike Spielberg's 1977 classic, the media plays a much more important role in this modern tale, as our 24 hour news channels spin every event into crisis and propel unrest into madness that threatens to destroy the planet without the help of our visitors.

Amy Adams is excellent, conveying an amazing amount of emotion as we see her character displaying every range of confidence, wonder and awe one might expect.

I WONT SPOIL any of the film's surprises by saying anything about the inhabitants of the alien craft, or the visually stunning sequences that take place within them. It's best you let them slowly wrap around you at Villeneuve's stately pace.

The special effects are top notch. The sound design is incredible throughout.

Composer Johann Johannsson's music is spooky, creepy and perfect. I'll bet it gets nominated for best score at year's end.

ARRIVAL wraps its story lines around you like tendrils of alien smoke. As the film nears its conclusion, you come to realize that what you think you know will be challenged. What you think you understand will be upended.

Dr. Banks uses every bit of her linguistic expertise to communicate with the visitors.

If you watch closely, you'll notice that Villeneuve uses sound, visual cues and non-linear story telling to communicate with the viewer in ways you wont realize until nearly the film's end.

I lost track of the number of scenes with two horizontal surfaces opening or closing to begin or end a scene. Like the access point to these massive crafts, they unveil many secrets within.

Villeneuve is a master storyteller, and I can't wait to see ARRIVAL again to see what else he was telling me that I was not open to seeing.

I'm betting my discovery will be just as compelling as it was the first time.

Don't miss ARRIVAL on the big screen.

It's smart, hypnotic and ready to open its doors for you too. It gets an A+.

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