Arrival (2016)

Sort of like a pretentious version of 1997’s “Contact,” Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction drama arrives with the seriousness of a Stanley Kubrick genre offering, but the weak plot and screenplay can’t sustain the humorless tone. Amy Adams is mostly wasted in the lead role, while Jeremy Renner is rather miscast as a milquetoast scientific professional. Nevertheless the story itself is fascinating and there are flashes of inspiration here and there, not to mention stunning special effects and a great use of sound, but overall it feels like a rushed adaptation of a much richer novel.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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