Maximilian Pegasus’s review published on Letterboxd:
Although I feel the screenplay lacked in some places making the dialogue somewhat stilted, Denis Villeneuve manages to direct what is a visually compelling film on language. He manages to turn what is very flat writing, while a dense story, into something admirable completely in the imagery, exchanges and execution of crescendoing understanding of the alien foreign language. I don’t necessarily see the chemistry between Amy Adams character Louise and the very underwritten constantly referred plain as “scientist”, Ian (played by Jeremy Renner), yet the resolution between their characters hits simply because of its thematic/plot relevance, although could’ve hit with a harder impact with better character writing.
Arrival’s Villeneuve’s rise into stardom as a sci-fi auteur of the new generation, and it demonstrates his creative talents even when it lacks.
I find it so strange that this was written in the middle of a guy’s career who wrote Birdbox, Bloodshot, The Thing (2011) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). A bunch of B-grade action movies and horror remakes, then bang in the middle is a sci-fi philosophy drama. I just found it to be very odd.