This 2016 first-contact feature offers a twist on the alien invasion premise by focusing the plot on last-ditch efforts to communicate with an alien race across an utterly imposing language barrier. It's a slower, more low-key movie, much of the the runtime given over to Amy Adam's expert linguist as she makes progress with the interstellar visitors. Throughout, the narrative is interspersed with flashes of her character in another life, caring for a daughter doomed to die young of disease.
While the natural inclination is to presume that these are flashbacks, it turns out we're witnessing a tragedy that hasn't happened yet. We learn at the film's climax—along with Adams' character—that the aliens are unbound by the laws of time, and their bond allows her to see into the future. For some viewers, the twist threw an extra wrench into the end of a plot that some audiences felt had already established its own rules. The movie, while among the year's most critically acclaimed wide releases, earned a B Cinemascore, suggesting a decent number of people walked away somewhat confused. Well, there's always Men in Black.