I thought this was enjoyable overall but never quite rang true for me. I could never really get over the clear age disparity between the main pair (five years in reality as opposed to one in the film) and Jack Reynor, despite giving a strong performance, being totally miscast as the stoner older brother. Carney's portrait of coming-of-age in 1980s Dublin in so many ways feels honest and sincere, but this had the effect of making the inauthentic aspects feel…
It's not uncommon to watch a science-fiction film that's been influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it's rare to see one that could genuinely be considered alongside it. Arrival is brave enough to forgo trailer-friendly spectacle and focus on the big ideas and emotional story at its core.
The film knocks it out of the park (or maybe just hovers ominously slightly above it) on pretty much all fronts, with particular mention given to Jóhann Jóhannsson's stunning score, which…
Comfortably the funniest film I've seen this year, the balance between utter nonsense and moments of genuine sincerity can so often be fumbled (I'm looking at you, The Stag), but here it seems completely effortless. Some minor pacing issues and PJ Gallagher's misjudged antagonist aside, this is one of the most enjoyable homegrown productions in a long time.