In catching up with recent major science fiction films, I watched two Denis Villeneuve movies in a row without even realising it until the credits rolled on this, the second one.
We are shown first the most influential event of our heroine's (Amy Adams as Louise Banks) life - her daughter dying of an incurable disease ... in the first ten minutes of the movie. And then the aliens come to Earth. Twelve ships, all over the planet. Louise, a linguist, is called to the one in Montana, where she meets physics expert Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner). Under the direction of Colonel G. T. Weber (Forest Whitaker), they meet the aliens and start work on the aliens' complex written language.
This is one of those movies where you can't explain much. It's weird, it's slow, it's thought provoking and fascinating. Highly recommended to fans of thinking SF (and I liked it a lot better than his even more stylish but less substantial "Blade Runner 2049" which I watched last night).