“Arrival” is not your typical alien or science-fiction film. It doesn’t contain a lot of action, it contains little. It focuses on intellect and is, frankly, a bit cerebral. It does not feature aliens easily connecting with humans; in fact, just the opposite. The humans struggle to learn the aliens’ way of communicating, making use of Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguist, and a science expert in Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner). Col. Weber (Forest Whitaker) oversees the project to make contact with the alien craft, shaped like an upright egg. The creatures they encounter are very different and it is difficult to understand their communication style. Slowly but surely Banks and Donnelly begin to make progress, connecting with two of the aliens, who are dubbed “Abbott and Costello.” The aliens have 12 contact crafts stationed around the world, including Russia and China. To understand the alien’s purpose and intent becomes the main goal.
The film is slow moving in the beginning and then a bit of a head scratcher at the end. But no matter; it contains the “F” bomb and we are unable to award it our Dove Family-Approved Seal.