When alien spacecraft suddenly appear all over the world, a linguist (Amy Adams) and a physicist (Jeremy Renner) are recruited to try to communicate with the visitors to find out why they came and what they want. Immersing herself in the aliens’ written language, the linguist finds her perception of the nature of time itself undergoing profound changes. The trailers seem to promise a variation on Independence Day, but readers of Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” can relax: writer Eric Heisserer and director Denis Villeneuve have presented a master class in how to film an unfilmable story. They take major liberties with the letter of Chiang’s award-winning tale, but they stay absolutely faithful to its time-and-mind-bending spirit. The result is a genuine sci-fi thinkpiece, challenging and exhilarating. J.L.