Wind River is no Hollywood crime thriller. The plot has some genuinely unexpected turns and the acting is fine, but the star is really the mountain landscape, which is striking beautiful yet clearly dangerous. As the main character says: “Luck is for those in the city; here you either survive or surrender.”
Arrival is a thoughtful science fiction film, about as far from “Independence Day” as it is possible to get, though the special effects are impressive in their own way. The basic premise is that aliens have landed around the world in twelve huge spaceships, but their intent is unclear. At intervals the ships open a gate and admit visitors, and the aliens show themselves behind a huge screen, but what do they want?
I always felt Jeremy Renner to be a B-list actor who got lucky. The Hurt Locker was great, but I thought that was more down to the script and photography than Renner’s acting; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was just a fun watch but too silly to remember, his role in The Avengers is fairly irrelevant, and The Bourne Legacy was just a disappointing movie all around.