Saw Arrival. Give it 7 out of 10. Good idea film, good visuals. What knocked it short of an 8 score was the unconvincing contact procedure. They do almost nothing to prepare Amy Adams for her first encounter. Don’t show her footage of the aliens, don’t even describe them, oh, and one of he regular soldiers happens to describe the lay out of the encounter chamber only when Amy asks him (and this is when they’re putting on their hazmat suits!).
I can see why this is: the makers want to avoid a long explanatory scene, which would be a good idea in any other kind of movie but not in a first contact film. Long scenes of exposition are a *good* thing here: they actively build up suspense and a sense that everyone knows what they’re doing, that this is Earth’s best. The hotel chain I work for would have done a better job at prepping Adams for her first day; they walk you through your entire first encounter with a guest check in.
But, otherwise, a pretty solid movie. I saw a few things coming but not others. It’s Darmok deluxe. And Darmok was a bloody good episode of TNG.