Arrival (2016)

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Arrival (2016)

Words from the writer

Hey, whats up guys. Back again with another movie review. This time I’m talking about ‘Arrival’. Forewarning, this review does contain a lot of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this film, or are planning to watch it, do that first! Then come back and read this review. I saw this movie recently at the arclight theater in El Segundo. One of my favorite theaters here in the South Bay. they serve pretty strong drinks that you can take with you inside the theater. I love my alcohol and entertainment movies combined.

Here’s a brief summary about ‘Arrival’. A mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe. An elite team of the US smartest minds, led by expert linguist/master translator Louise Banks is brought together to investigate the alien ship. Not to mention, the world is already on the verge of global war, Louise, and the team race against time for answers. She will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. When they start communication with the alien species the question is; Do the aliens want to hurt us? Or help us?


Image Credit: IMDB

Movie production

Release Date:

11 November 2016 (USA)


English | Russian | Mandarin

Country of Origin



$47,000,000 (estimated)

Motion picture rating:

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language


Image Credit: IMDB


All right let’s talk about ‘Arrival’. The movie is a mystery almost all the way through. They encounter the UFO in the intro of the movie. I don’t know why, but I went into this movie think is it was similar to “District 9” or “Independence Day”. The director of this film, Denis Villeneuve. He directed ‘Sicario’ (Which was great) and is directing the new Blade Runner movie set to release in the coming years. Blade Runner is in post production now and, well…. fingers crossed that he does a good job with that (I f*ucking love Blade Runner).


The film has great cinematography. The shots in the film were so beautifully shot and very artist. I like that in this movie, the military is using real people to help with this alien encounter. It feels more like a real case scenario, where the military trying to just use military intelligence is just not as effective. This movie does seem really realistic to how today’s world would approach this alien issue.

When they first encounter the alien you see a glass is separating the team from the aliens, because both species require different habitats to breathe and I thought this was very glossed over and a great detail to subtlety show. In terms of the acting done in this film, I thought it was ok. Not sure if it’s oscar worthy, but you never know with this year’s lineup. The movie’s star was actress “Amy Adams”. Although she was the star of the film, it felt like the film really shines with all three actors. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. They all did an excellent job in each role.


The story seems drawn out for too long. This movie is really slow and takes a long time to really understand. It was so slow in the beginning and the middle of the movie, I felt that I might lose interest towards the end. Although I was a little interested in the ending, I don’t think I fully recovered from being bored of the story from early on. The movie was pretty much a roller coaster of unanswered questions. I mean they go up, talk to the aliens (or at least try to) then go down analyze, then go back up, talk to the aliens, back down to analyze. At this point, it was getting pretty boring to me. I guess I went into this film with pretty high expectations literally just based off the trailer, but still, I didn’t expect this type of slow story.

I mean I get it, the film is more about humanity than it is about the aliens, but did we really have to give the main character the ability to see into the future to tell the audience this? This is where I think the movie really failed. The build up was not worth the wait in my opinion. They could have shown different world perspectives if they wanted to convey humanity a better way. Instead, they vague gloss over what other countries are doing with their alien arrivals.

I feel that this movie is a sci-fi film, but very little sci-fi. I went into this thinking it was heavy sci-fi and well, it wasn’t.

Last words

OK guys, seriously, go watch the film and support the company. You can find this movie playing almost anywhere near you at the time of this review. If the movie is already out of the movie theater, or if you’re like me and watch everything on your phone/tablet, be sure to check out the Google play movies. They have an awesome collection of movies and deals on a regular basis.

Don’t be a pirate and steal movies for no reason. Just support and watch art like a dignified person. Also if you live under a rock and haven’t seen the trailer yet, be sure to check out the movie trailer here. Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other movie reviews on The EXP Grind.

The Good

  • The film has great cinematography.
  • Film really shines with all three actors. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker
  • Great details are subtlety shown throughout

The Bad

  • The story seems drawn out for too long.
  • You need to go into this movie very blind
  • Tricked into thinking it was heavy sci-fi and it wasn't

Written by: Christian Galvez

Christian is the founder of The EXP Grind. He is interested in Indie musicians, Video Games, Anime, and just about anything in Arts and Entertainment. He tries to find art with true meaning in the new and upcoming artists and hopes to reach more creative professionals.

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