With Prisoners and Sicario, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has quietly been carving himself out a niche as a deliverer of classy, visually impressive thrillers (he’s the one cause for optimism about the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel), but he’s on cerebral form here. A brace of mysterious alien craft appear at seemingly random places on Earth, and Amy Adams is the linguist brought in to attempt communication with their tentacled crew. It’s not the end-of-the-world thriller it sounds like, but instead a thoughtful – at times chilly – meditation on communication and, ultimately, free will. This is high-end stuff, with Adams fantastic, and a wonderful score from Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson. Times
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