This is my favorite science fiction film since last year's Ex Machina. It might be the best movie I've seen all year. Arrival is so far removed from Hollywood's narrow view of science fiction, it's no wonder it released in November rather than the summer (it will also help get it the Oscar nominations it deserves). I don't remember the last time I saw a non-summer movie in the middle of the day which was as packed as this one, either, so hopefully it's making boat loads of money.
We need more of this.
The characters representing the government agencies provide strong conflict for the scientific characters without becoming the Jaws Mayor. Usually you're supposed to hate the military character Forest Whitaker is playing, but you typically don't draw actors as accomplished as he is if you're so predictable. Michael Stuhlbarg's CIA stooge also has clear and understandable motives, even though he, too, would have been made a villain in lesser movies.