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.
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.