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A linguist works with the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world.
November 2019
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Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members

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Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker


2016, USA, Canada, India, 116 minutes, Digital, PG-13

Language: English, Russian, Mandarin

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Throughout Fall 2019, Science and Film will explore the meanings and uses of science and technology in film through special screenings, guest lectures and and interactive discussions.

Program Notes

Widely hailed as that rare item—the thinking person’s sci-fi spectacular—Arrival is both an alien-encounter thriller and a meditation on the nature of free will and the role of language and time in structuring our reality. Join us for a screening and discussion with a panel of experts on linguistics and exoplanetary science, as we probe the possibilities of communication with extraterrestrial beings and what those close encounters might teach us about ourselves. Does alien life exist? How would we talk to it, and how would we know what to say?

Expert Guests:

Dr. Barbara Landau, Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Steven Gross, Professor of Philosophy and Chair, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Peter R. McCullough, Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team — led by expert translator Louise Banks (Academy Award® nominee Amy Adams) — races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner and Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker co-star in this mesmerizing masterpiece with a mind-blowing ending.

Winner of the Academy Award for Sound Editing and nominated in seven more categories, including Best Picture


Official Selection:

Venice Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival

Critics' Praise

“A Spielberg-Nolan lovechild of sorts, wondrous and mind-bending in equal parts, Denis Villeneuve’s latest is a quintessential science-fiction blockbuster steeped in genre traditions and made singular by Amy Adams’s transporting performance.”
— Devika Girish, Film Comment

“Villeneuve cleverly uses the oldest means at his disposal—montage and storytelling—to produce a film that, in however modest a way, represents a valid chapter in science fiction’s cinematic evolution.”
— Clara Miranda Scherffig, Cinema Scope

“It is simultaneously old and new, revisiting many of these alien-invasion conventions but with unexpected intelligence, visual style and heart.”
— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Muted, measured and meditative, Arrival brings taste and restraint to a genre in the midst of a mini golden age: It comes in peace.”
— Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“So sure is the stride of the narrative, and so bracing the air of expectation, that you feel yourself, like Louise, beginning to spin, and barely able to catch your breath.”
— Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

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Directions to the Parkway Theatre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway is located at 5 W. North Avenue (at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles St.) in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District
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