After Paramount Pictures unveiled the mysterious teaser for Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Arrival last week, the full trailer is now available. And it’s fantastic. It expands on the teaser’s introduction of a world in which aliens have landed on–but not quite invaded–Earth. In an attempt to communicate with this new species, expert linguist Louise Banks (five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams) is recruited to decipher their language and establish a dialogue before the world’s nations spiral out of control due to fear and mistrust.
The teaser captured my attention, but this trailer easily makes Arrival one of my most anticipated films of the year. On its surface, the movie clearly has the aspects of alien invasion movies we’ve come to expect: 12 mysterious UFOs dubbed “Shells” have landed all across the world, bodies are being wheeled away from their landing sites, and the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” is on display in earnest. And yet a slightly closer look reveals so much more: the UFOs (which have a unique shape that may or may not factor into the larger plot) are not hovering over Washington, D.C. and its landmarks, nor any other capital for that matter, but rather locations like Montana, Greenland, and Pakistan; the conflict may factor in a military response, but the heart of the tension is centered on establishing communication before things get out of control. Arrival also teases the aliens’ design and language to fantastic effect in this trailer, which reveals just enough to whet the appetite.