11 Movies Like Arrival That You Should Watch

11 Movies Like Arrival

If you are a real devotee of sci-fi movies and are always ready to watch such movies, my friend, you are in the right place. First, let me guess, have you watched that film? Where humans try to communicate with aliens and the tension of human and alien war. Isn’t this sound exciting and makes you watch this movie? No more drama, okay? Let me disclose the movie’s name. We are talking about Arrival, a 2016 sci-fi movie based on extraterrestrial beings.  

Arrival was a blockbuster, and Denis Villeneuve directed this amazing sci-fi film. It was not an adaptation but an inspiration for Chiang’s 1998 short story “Story of Your Life”. The film’s major stars are Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Tzi Ma. The movie got many nominations and won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. If this is not enough to hook you to the movie, let’s hook you to the story. 

Now first, let me tell you about the story of the movie so you can understand how deep we are going to move into this black hole. The movie “Arrival,” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, chronicles the first time that humans made contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. In the movie, Adams plays Louise Banks, a linguistics specialist tasked with understanding the strange language of the alien creatures that land on Earth.

Arrival (Credits: Medium)

She realizes that the alien existence is completely different from the linear existence of humans and speculates that their means of communication may also involve time dilation.

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11 Movies Like Arrival

Now you know what we are talking about. But if you really think this is it, then you are wrong, my friend. The alternative movies are some bigger planets, and you are going to live on all of them one by one. One more thing, if you have read my other articles, I have never put movies according to their numbers. It’s just my thoughts, and I present them to you now. 

11. The Thing (1982)

Starting with an old one, but as I have said earlier, old is gold, and this movie is one of the best sci-fi horror movies of all time. The Thing was directed by John Carpenter, and Bill Lancaster did the screenplay.

It was an adaptation of the Novel 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. “Who Goes There”?. At the time of release, it wasn’t the best as it took many negative reviews and critics, but after some time, when it was released on TV, it got a bigger audience, and the movie fever spread like a virus. 

The Thing
The Thing (Credits: Creepy Catalog)

It tells the tale of a group of American scientists who discover the titular “Thing” in Antarctica, an extraterrestrial life form that mimics and absorbs other living things. As they come to realize that they can no longer rely on one another and that any of them could be the Thing, paranoia and conflict overtake the group.

Arrival and The Thing got an extraterrestrial thing in common, but this movie is much more horror than Arrival. 

  • Release Date: June 25, 1982
  • IMDB: 8.2
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video
  • Runtime: 1h 49m

10. Solaris (1972)

A 70s-era movie, Solaris was also an exceptional movie. Andrei Tarkovsky directed Solaris and also co-written it. A Russian sci-fi movie based on the 1961 novel of the same name.by Stanisław Lem. It’s the ideal companion piece to “Arrival,” as it deals with the same problems of navigating family and memory in a situation of alien interaction.

Solaris (Credits: MUBI)

The action takes place on a space station orbiting the fictional planet Solaris, where a scientific mission has been put on hold because the three scientists who make up the skeleton crew are experiencing emotional problems.

When visiting the station to assess the situation, before realizing there might be an alien life form at work, Kelvin himself starts to experience what he initially takes to be illusions of his deceased loved ones. He then realizes he must find a way to communicate with this alien life form.

  • Release Date: February 5, 1972
  • IMDB: 8
  • Where to Watch: Max Player
  • Runtime: 2h 46m

9. Moon (2009)

The plot and story will have you for sure. Sam Rockwell played an amazing role and made this movie more real. They released Moon in 2009, and Duncan Jones, who was having his debut in the directional career, directed it. Nathan Parker wrote it in which he got inspiration from a story by Jones. They also awarded it with Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2010.

Moon (Credits: Into Film)

Sam Rockwell plays astronaut Sam Bell, whose drawn-out lunar mining mission is about to come to an end. As his return date approaches, he starts to experience unsettling illusions, including a strange man and a young girl. He has been alone for three years with only a robot named GERTY for the company.

Bell eventually loses the ability to distinguish between his dreams and reality, and a startling finding turns his peaceful mission into a nightmare.

  • Release Date: 23 January 2009
  • IMDB: 7.8
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video
  • Runtime: 1h 37m

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8. Sunshine (2007)

A big-cast movie with a lot of success. Sunshine is a psychological sci-fi theme-based film directed by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland wrote the script. It is a fictional story but seems very realistic, and the core of the tale is fixing the Sun, something we all get excited to hear. The cast is Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, and others. 

Sunshine (Credits: Jordon and Eddie The Movie Guys)

In an effort to resurrect the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb, a group of international students are dispatched on the hazardous Icarus II mission. The 2057 setting of Sunshine paints a picture of a dying sun and vanishing earth. It remains to be seen if the crew’s efforts to revive the star are successful. What the journey involves will depend on a number of unforeseen difficulties.

A movie that you can definitely recommend if you have loved Arrival. 

  • Release Date: 6 April 2007
  • IMDB: 7.2
  • Where to Watch: amazon
  • Runtime: 1h 47m

7. The Martian (2015)

A trip to another planet. Isn’t this similar to Arrival? Well, The Martin is a blockbuster with a proper sci-fi story and marvelous acting from the entire cast. Ridley Scott directed The Martin, and it was his highest-grossing movie ever. It was the adaptation of Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name. Including several nominations and awards makes it more stirring to watch. 

The Martian
The Martian (Credits: Hotstar)

As an unfortunate mission goes awry and his crew deserts him on Mars’ surface, they leave astronaut Mark Watney on his own. The lone space traveler must rely on his understanding of biology and botany to survive, while the team back on Earth fights to keep him alive so that a second mission will find him. The loneliness and all the adventure will captivate you in a no words describing manner. 

  • Release Date: September 11, 2015
  • IMDB: 8
  • Where to Watch: Disney Plus
  • Runtime: 2h 21m

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Ok, this is the oldest movie we have on this list, but not going to lie. The era will not disappoint you in any certain way. This is one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. 2001: A Space Odyssey is directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick did the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke, who was a sci-fi author. A 1951 short story of Clarke’s named “The Sentinel” inspires this movie. The theme is going to make you remember Arrival, and this is worth watching, guys. 

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (Credits: BBC)

Now the story goes with Astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole being dispatched on a covert mission to Jupiter in the movie, but their mission is jeopardized when their ship’s artificial intelligence, code-named HAL 9000, appears to turn against them. They might have to give up on their mission in order to survive in a life-or-death conflict with their own ship.

  • Release Date: 2 April 1968
  • IMDB: 8.3
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video
  • Runtime: 2h 23m

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5. Annihilation (2018)

Not the best, but still, you can give a shot to this movie. Said to be a horror sci-fi movie, but you won’t get the horror as they claim but applauds the big cast who did an amazing job. Alex Garland, the director again, maintained his reputation.

Annihilation was based on the 2014 Jeff VanderMeer novel of the same name. Among its well-known cast members are Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac.

Annihilation (Credits: Paramount Pictures)

Scientist Lena’s husband Kane went missing while on a military mission into the strange area known as “The Shimmer.” But when he comes back a year later without reasoning, Lena is forced to return to The Shimmer and guide a fresh group of investigators there to discover what happened to him even as the area and its peculiar characteristics start to grow.

This movie is very underrated according to its critics, but my suggestion will tell you to go for it. Maybe you will rewatch it. Who knows? 

  • Release Date: February 13, 2018
  • IMDB: 6.8
  • Where to Watch: netflix
  • Runtime: 1h 55m

4. Contact (1997)

Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar) and Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs). I think this is enough to convenience you to watch this movie. Well, I am kidding. Even though the cast is a blockbuster, I am going to make you understand how amazing this movie is.

Contact is a 1997 sci-fi drama directed by Robert Zemeckis, and the story outline was written by Sagan and Ann Druyan. The movie is based on a 1985 Novel by Carl Sagan. 

Contact (Credits: Tilt Magazine)

Dr. Ellie Arroway, a radio astronomer, loses her research funding after having little success in obtaining crucial information from an extraterrestrial program. She finds an encrypted contact from the Vega star system just as the show is about to end. Due to the delicate nature of the program, she will be dealing with high-pressure National security after she is able to demonstrate first contact with extraterrestrial intelligent species.

  • Release Date: July 11, 1997
  • IMDB: 7.5
  • Where to Watch: amazon
  • Runtime: 2h 30m

3. Dune (2021) 

Dune is a sci-fi film with an amazing cast directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is the third adaptation, whereas the first one was adopted in 1984 by David Lynch, and the second was John Harrison’s 2000 television miniseries.

Dune is one of the big sci-fi movies of this decade. Denis, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth did the screenplay of the movie. Also it is an adaptation of the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert of the same name. The epic cast of the list: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, and Javier Bardem.

Dune (Credits: Variety)

The story takes place almost 20,000 years in the future. The plot of Dune centers on teenager Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the Stewardship of the planet Arrakis.

Although Arrakis is an uninhabitable and sparsely populated planet, it is the only place where the drug “spice,” which lengthens life and improves mental abilities, can be found. If you have noticed, then he is the same director who made Arrival. So a big reason to watch. 

  • Release Date: September 3, 2021
  • IMDB: 8
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video
  • Runtime: 2h 35m

2. Inception (2010)

One of the best of the best. I am confused. Seriously this movie is something extraordinary. Cast, director, story, plots, name it! Everything is perfect, and maybe most of you have watched this movie. Now the director Christopher Nolan’s name says everything (A director who never used CGI in his movie but uses real action). He is also the producer and produced the film with Emma Thomas, who is his wife. 

Inception is the all-time high-rated sci-fi film of this decade. It won four Oscars and was nominated for four more. The cast is now set, and it includes Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, and Ken Watanabe.

Inception (Credits: Outlooks India)

The idea that dreaming can be used to read people’s minds is presented in the film. Don Cobb is a highly skilled dream thief, making him a valuable asset for corporate spying. Cobb is desperate to escape the circumstances that have kept him from being reunited with his children.

Cobb assembles a team with an impressive array of special skills when given a task that seems impossible by a powerful man who claims that he can make arrangements for Cobb to return home.

  • Release Date: July 8, 2010
  • IMDB: 8.8
  • Where to Watch: netflix
  • Runtime: 2h 28m

1. Interstellar (2014)

This movie deserves to be on top of everyone. What a remarkable movie it is. The exceptional storyline and the reality of it make you watch this movie again and again. Interstellar twists and makes you question the universe and space all at once. No aliens like Arrival had it, but an adventure in outer space is something that excites everyone. 

Christopher Nolan never disappoints his fans and also in casts in choices. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Matt Damon, and Michael Caine are among the actors who appear in it. 

Interstellar (Credits: The Workprint)

It begins in the future when humanity is searching for other planets to colonize because Earth is slowly dying. Astronaut Joseph Cooper sets out on a perilous mission through the wormhole after discovering a singularity that leads to distant planets that might be habitable in order to explore the worlds they find there.

The movie will take you the space and fascinate you towards another galaxy, how time works differently in space, and how humans will evolve in the upcoming generation to survive such events. 

Believe me; this movie is something that I will watch again and again without getting bored. 

  • Release Date: October 26, 2014
  • IMDB: 8.7
  • Where to Watch: netflix
  • Runtime: 2h 49m

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