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Alien encounter movies are a dime a dozen. From Contact and Sphere, to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, two versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still, and countless others, it seems we’ve seen every angle and conceivable twist the genre can produce.
So, outside of its great trailer, why should you care about Arrival?
There are three reasons why you shouldn’t write this one off. In fact, Arrival may well deserve a place near the top of your list of movies to anticipate this Fall. First and most crucial to the movies promise is its director. While Denis Villeneuve might not be a household name (yet), you’ve likely seen, or at least heard of his work. Villeneuve is proving to be one of this generations best filmmakers, with masterful suspense at the core of each of his films. His best works to date have been the 2013 Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal starring Prisoners and last year’s drug cartel epic, Sicario. Oh, and he’s currently directing the Ridley Scott produced sequel to Blade Runner!
With Amy Adams leading, and Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner in supporting roles, Arrival also has the blessing of a great ensemble, something Villeneuve clearly values. He also values a reliance on story over spectacle. What struck me most watching the trailer was that it showed the actual aliens, or, at least a large part of them. This rarely happens. The reveal of the aliens is usually something reserved for the third act, something merely hinted at in the marketing of most alien encounter films. But here, the mystery isn’t caught up in the what, but rather, the why. It’s not so much what’s in the mystery box, but why the box is here to begin with.
Arrival hits theaters on November 11th.
Check out the International trailer as well…