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Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Director: Denis Villeneuve

This slice of thinking man's science-fiction will certainly get you talking. Are the 'golden' scenes with Adams and her doomed daughter flashbacks or flash-forwards? After all Adams, as Louise Banks, apart from being a multi-lingual genius, can sometimes see into the future.

But it's the present that occupies her in the main body of the film, as 12 huge elliptical spacecraft hover just above the ground at different locations all over the world.

Banks is called to Montana and the site of the US 'visitor', to attempt to communicate with the aliens - if any - and find out their purpose in visiting Earth. She leads one team and technical whiz Ian Donnelly (Renner) the other.

Soon enough, they're confronting two massive octopus-like creatures on the other side of a screen. The 'heptapods', which the scientists nickname Abbott and Costello, squirt ink on to the screen, which forms subtly different circles. But what do they mean?

Adams capably carries the film, which has pretty much only four major roles, but will keep you intrigued right up to the end, with dialogue and developments being both intelligent and believable. Not much really happens, which may make traditional sci-fi fans a touch impatient - but it all comes together (with a neat twist) at the end.

David Quinlan

Canada/USA 2016. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne. Colour (unspecified).
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 20 Mar 2017

DVD review