Canadian Denis Villeneuve is one of the most brilliant filmmakers alive, having just come off of a string of five consecutive masterpieces, starting with "Polytechnique" in 2009 and proceeding with "Incendies", "Prisoners", "Enemy", and 2015's "Sicario". Known for bending viewers' minds with provocative movies that sometimes require copious thought to unlock their meanings, "Arrival" is not an exception. Ostensibly an alien-invasion movie about an expert linguist who is called upon to decode the language of arriving aliens in order to communicate with them, the film reaches so much further, even to primal questions of human existence. It is a hard film to discuss because it contains a bona-fide puzzle a viewer must unlock (involving time and, possibly, other dimensions) in order to even approach the film's meaning. If one 'gets' it, the film's denouement can be an emotional epiphany for the viewer; if not, one might flounder in enigmas upon leaving the theater. The film's genius is that either way the viewer should find this film haunting him for days after, perhaps taunting him to unlock its secrets. A second viewing is virtually a necessity, not only to study its careful plotting but also to appreciate its emotional resonances one has been too busy to appreciate upon first viewing, and it is a revelation upon seeing it again to find that the film has completely 'played fair,' providing visual and audio clues that had passed unnoticed. Amy Adams plays the linguist with such deep sincerity and total commitment, so important when one realizes that she is the true center of the film -- and Villeneuve, along with cinematographer Bradford Young, has supplied visuals so breathtakingly stunning you might have to pinch yourself to believe what your eyes are seeing. The visuals are also matched by the remarkable score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (who had teamed with Villeneuve on "Prisoners" and "Sicario") using vocals and experimental piano 'loops' to put viewers into an other-worldly state of being. It is such an audacious, creative piece of intelligent, adult science fiction (something rarely encountered today), the thoughtful, open-minded viewer should embrace this as a gem for both the mind and heart, and not hold against it that it is less interested in the usual science fiction tropes than the light and dark paradigms of human existence.