When her father passed away when she was 9, Dr. Ellie Arroway devoted her life to find proof that there are intelligent beings outside our solar system. While working at the Very Large Array, she discovers a radio signal that turns out to be extraterrestrials contacting the planet. During her discovery her team manages to decrypt the signals into different fields and numbers revealing plans that call for the construction of a machine. Nobody knows what it’s for but it might be a gateway between our world on theirs. This is one of Zemeckis’s underrated films. It’s such a beautiful study of character development laced with a compelling story, real emotion and a more unique look at alien contact. Despite its subtle Hollywood moments it’s a piece that always seems to hit me in the right spot.