This movie is a pretty cool experience. It combines great cinematography, sound design, and a really good science fiction story to make something that stands out as its own unique experience.
Aliens land on Earth and governments around the globe do their best to make contact but their language is different from anything before it. They have to take a translator, played by Amy Adams, to them and learn what it is they’re trying to communicate. This is literally the first ten minutes of the movie but I think telling anything further would spoil something…
The acting in this movie is great, especially from Amy Adams herself as she really carries this film, and she didn’t have to as the story itself makes it worth watching. The other really good points are the cinematography, stands out for being both original and using old techniques in a new way. The sound, everything sounds so real, since much of what is there is fantasy this makes it especially impressive. Acting, especially Amy Adams, and the writing, very good story that stands out even among other especially creative Science-Fiction films.
My one complaint of the movie, and it’s not even a very big one, is that there’s some pacing issues. It’s very slow paced movie, which works for it, but sometimes it feels like it’s practically moving at a snail’s pace or not moving at all. Also, there’s a short section in the second act showing how people are reacting to the whole event but for characters that aren’t important or are only there as filler. Not entirely necessary and only distracts from what is an otherwise flawless movie.
Why you should watch it before you die: It’s a solid sci-fi all around but done in a way that is more solidly set in the real world than most other sci-fi films. The story itself is unlike many things that have come before it and I recommend it to anyone who wants a unique movie-watching experience.
+8: Great sci-fi film
+1: Excellent cinematography and sound-design
+1: Good story and acting
-0.5: some pacing problems
-0.5: a few unnecessary scenes