This one, from start to end has a slow but engaging pace which may be boring for some but was essential for the theme of the movie if you ask me. I think the director made exactly what he had in mind. This is an example of next level cinema when you see the bigger picture but you have to step back a little.
Arrival is a film about a linguistics specialist, played by Amy Adams who works with the government to find out what the entities in the spaceships, which suddenly ended up on earth one day, want. She is being helped by a specialist in physics, played by Jeremy Renner. Both of them do what is essential to interact with these entities, or aliens, to get to the bigger picture and ask bigger questions like what do they want from us?
The movie does not only contain these conversations. Those are just the main pathway around which the whole story is build like a big city. The involvement of others, people’s reaction to this event, mistrust among world power are all things considered by the writers. This is what makes the movie special.
So, I will suggest that sit back and enjoy this movie. Do not try to find meaning in everything or look for an explanation after every scene, because after some time the explanations will present itself to you in a subtle way which will leave a smile on your face.
Also, I would like to add that I think you may not like this movie if you generally don’t stand a slow pace. If you like Denis’ other movies such as Enemy, Sicario and Prisoners you should go ahead with it.
I rated it 8/10 at IMDb.com.