Netflix is now streaming mind-bending sci-fi movie that's divided critics and fans

Arrival... arrives on Netflix

Arrival movie
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

I'll talk about the brilliant movie landing on Netflix on September 1st (in the US, it's already on Netflix in the UK) in a second but let's first ask, why has Amy Adams never won an Oscar? With no less than six nominations, she is still yet to be a winner. An injustice. It should in fact be seven nominations after her performance in 2016's Arrival which is... arriving on one of the best streaming services next month. 

If you like your sci-fi movies like Independence Day or Armageddon then Arrival is probably not going to be what you're hoping for. There is some action, but this is more of a thinker than a "pew-pew aliens bad" narrative, and all the better for it. We're not focused on marines or space pilots. Instead, our heroes are a linguistics expert and a physicist (Jeremy Renner, reunited with Adams from the brilliant American Hustle) armed not with rifles but whiteboards. Stick with me. 

The central premise of the movie is all about first contact. With the discovery of a dozen alien ships appearing all over Earth and their motives unknown, communication becomes our key tool. Cue a few introductory scenes that remind me of a tenser version of E.T. learning Elliot's name. Of course, much like E.T. geopolitics and itchy trigger fingers will always get in the way.


(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

That's all I'll say about the plot to avoid giving too much away but there's plenty of talent both in front of the screen (Adams and Renner are supported by Forest Whitaker) and behind it. With Dune and Blade Runner 2049 visionary Denis Villeneuve directing you know you'll be in for a good time that leaves your head spinning. Don't just take my word for it, Arrival has a massive 94% Rotten Tomatoes score amongst critics.

Streaming fans are being spoiled at the moment when it comes to sci-fi with Netflix's recent original scoring a justified 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and another flick landing on Disney Plus earlier this month. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.