Thought-Provoking Sci-Fi Flick ‘Arrives’



A group of mysterious spacecrafts appear on Earth, and linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to help determine why they’re there. As the stakes get higher and global war seems imminent, Banks must figure out a way to communicate with the aliens before it’s too late.

Arrival opens in wide release Nov. 11.

NICOLE: What an interesting take on an alien movie. It’s just intriguing enough that I want to see it, but probably not in theaters. Definitely on Netflix.

CHRISTINA: I agree that this seems like an interesting take. Not a whole lot of action going on in the trailer — and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. It’s like a slow-burn, contemplative alien movie. Definitely a change from the explosion-happy films that typically populate the genre.

PAIGE: I also have great appreciation for the “horror of simplicity,” as seen here in those smooth cocoons the aliens appear in. Minimalism seems to scare us most in the 21st century, don’t you think? Aliens that come with massively complex ships are so lowbrow.

NICOLE: Allure of the trailer aside, does it really make sense that a linguist would be integral to communicating with aliens? And I am a little confused as to why there is just one linguist. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a group of linguists collaborate?

CHRISTINA: It does seem kind of strange that this all seems to be riding on one linguist. Would they really call in a translation expert to work with a language that nobody has ever heard before?

NICOLE: The movie is based on the assumption that aliens are human-like in terms of communication and lifestyle. I think it would make the most sense to utilize a cryptologist, not a linguist, since you’re not forming words specifically.

PAIGE: I like that we actually try to communicate with the aliens, though. And that the killing (I presume) doesn’t start immediately. However, I also think that may be too high-brow a concept for most moviegoers. Do most people want to see a scary alien invasion flick, or do they want a lesson in linguistics and semantics? I will be interested to see how they make those kinds of topics accessible for the layman.

CHRISTINA: The whole “all of Earth needs to work together for once” thing is basically just repeating Independence Day, though. And this one does not have Jeff Goldblum in it, so it is automatically not as cool.