The remains of a crashed spaceship, over three centuries old, is found on the ocean floor somewhere in the South Pacific, and a psychologist and his crew of scientists are selected to investigate. On board the ship, they encounter a strange spherical object, and after one of them enters the sphere, strange and not-too-pleasant things begin happening to them.
Jodie Foster stars as scientist Ellie Arroway, who has dedicated her life to searching for possible intelligent lifeforms outside of Earth and our solar system. An orphan from an early age, her faith in God has wavered since the days of trying to futilely contact her mother in heaven through the radio, replaced by a firm belief in science and facts as the pinnacle of what’s true and right. While her faith that we are not alone in the universe is unwavering, as a scientist, she won’t rest until she has absolute proof. Scanning the skies for radio waves of intelligent extraterrestrial origin, she and her team at SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) wait diligently for a message. That day finally arrives when they pick up a repeating signal emanating from Vega, a star system 26 light-years away. As the scientists work diligently to try to decode the message, the Earth erupts in a series of science vs. religion debates on what this all means, and who should be the one who represents our interests should we come face to face with the originator of the message.
For this fourth entry in the series, out are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Instead, we get two new characters to follow working for the super-secret government organization to protect Earth from interdimensional threats and to keep knowledge of alien lifeforms away from human knowledge. The two are Tessa Thompson’s newly on-board Agent M and Chris Hemsworth’s roguish veteran named Agent H. The two “Men in Black” get their assignment from their boss, High T (Liam Neeson), to look after an alien of some renown and influence that is sought after by sinister forces for reasons come to learn more about through the course of the film. In the ensuing attempt at assassination, M is given a mysterious crystal object, one she knows must be important enough to make her a target, but something that serves no use to her until she can unlock its secret purpose. F. Gary Gray takes over the series from Barry Sonnefeld.
The plot, initially set in 1992 after a prologue with a tragic event in Jean Grey’s childhood back in 1975, continues with the First Class set of mutants and involves a presidentially sanctioned trip into space in order to rescue a space shuttle. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) commits an act of heroism in trying to keep the space shuttle together as the crew is rounded up to safety, absorbing a massive wave of energy that should have easily taken her life. She ends up surviving the ordeal, much to everyone’s relief. But something is a bit off with Jean, finding herself with enhanced senses, and growing even more powerful than she had ever been before. Exhilarating at first, but now she’s becoming increasingly unstable, scared she’s beginning to lose control to her new nature, with an internal fight going on that is an even bigger match than the external one that involves her in a battle with fellow mutants who are trying to contain what is rapidly becoming the most powerful, perhaps even unstoppable, mutant of all. Simon Kinberg writes and directs.
Shane Black tries to do what no one has done thus far, and that’s to make a good follow-up to John McTiernan’s 1997 action classic, PREDATOR. Here, the Predators are back searching for their old technology, and possibly taking over the Earth, having to confront a rag-tag group of disgrace military vets in their way. Boyd Holdbrook, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Jacob Tremblay also appear.