There’s a bittersweet feeling to the title Arrival and the sense that finally a good film in 2016 has indeed arrived.

What could be the first of the ‘Oscar bait’ films of the summer is here, in the form of a contained but tight sci-fi movie about humanities’ first contact with interstellar life and the pitfalls and the perils that it entails, as well as keeping you on the edge of your seat with mystery and intrigue.

Amy Adams plays a linguistics expert and lecturer who is called upon to try and decipher the alien language of the strange egg-shaped pods that have appeared all over the world and the noises they emit and perhaps emote.

She, amongst the whole world wants answers and she is privileged enough to be taken to the site of the US landing by Forest Whitaker’s Colonel Weber to solve the puzzle before the world implodes on itself, which has turned to rioting and crime from fear of the unknown and slowly unravels into chaos.

The way director Dennis Villeneuve has crafted the story is masterfully vague. Shot selection and framing leaves you almost physically leaning to try see more, as we follow Adam’s Louise Banks and her journey from innocent bystander to Earth’s only hope. The tone feels like an indie flick, but the grandeur and stakes couldn’t be bigger.

It has the feel of a Christopher Nolan movie for its scale and frankly epically unnerving soundtrack. The cinematography is beautiful and the aliens are probably the most original or daresay ‘realistic’ as any I’ve seen in a film – when you finally get to see them.

No spoiler for the plot, as it is truly worth a watch, and the less you know the better. However, if you have read the book Slaughter House Five you may have a clue related to where it goes. Either way, you will be entertained by this, and beyond that it’ll leave you guessing and best of all when all questions are answered (or mildly addressed) you’ll leave the cinema with a sense of utter satisfaction, and awe.

One of the best of the year