Clouded potential. It was good, but not the typical sci-fi movie I was expecting. It was more along the lines of something like Contact or Interstellar, where there's some good meat for the sci-fi hungry, but is interspersed with the lead character's emotional past. In other words, it's been done before.
However, Arrival just didn't do it quite as well as the others, and tried to end it with one of those "uber-deep/strange" twist endings that almost seem like cheap way to end a movie when you run out of ideas. Instead, you're left with an ending that just leaves you hanging, and is probably supposed to seem clever. But instead, it left me thinking that they indeed couldn't come to a complete closure. So they said "And then this weird crap happened, and (insert emotional attempt here), THE END."
I gave this a rating of 6 purely because of the good acting, and the good, but not over-the-top special effects. My initial rating was a 5/10, but only because I hated the forced and unnecessary backgrounding. After some thought, I went with a 6 to be fair, but that was only after I got over the fact that this is just yet another movie that's been released before, mixed with a few similar movies, thrown in a blender and rebaked into a casserole of tired stories, and sprinkled with some new fresh actors to make it taste decent.
@doriangrey you give it a 6/10 because you think it is a "casserole of tired stories, and sprinkled with some new fresh actors to make it taste decent." but you say it is not the typical sci-fi movie you were expecting??? makes no sense. This movie is quite unique tbh. If you enjoy the typical action movie with aliens invading Earth then this movie was definitely not for you and you don't get it. Maybe try to rewatch it, I am sure you will see it in a different way.
@if-you-see-k Right, as in, not very sci-fi, AND, tired old story. I didn't contradict myself at all so I'm not sure what confused you. Both things you quoted were negative comments. I didn't like it very much.