After the death of her father, Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) devotes her life to science. Convinced of the existence of extra-terrestrial life, she uses satellites to sweep the stars for evidence. When she receives the transmission of what seems to be a blueprint from another species for the construction of a spacecraft, she has to fight for the right to lead the ship's maiden flight to meet the alien life forms. She finds herself working with her former lover, ex-priest Palmer Joss (Michael McConaughey), now a governmental advisor.
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The film was deep but very good.
Just a warning to the fans of epic starship battles: you will not find any of those in this movie. While there are a few action sequences, this movie deals more with the spiritual devlopment of the astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway and how she becomes the first human being to visit and meet the non-human civilizations - somehow ... The story starts with her and her team finding the invitation in the radio signals from outer space they analyse as part of the SETI project. Ellie overcomes many obstacles - financial, scientific and political - to become humankinds first "ambassador" to the world outside. Technical aspects: I have owned the DVD and upgraded to Blu-ray. This is a somewhat "older"movie, so the difference is not significant but noticable. If you can and the price difference is not too prohibitive, get the Blu-ray. But most important: get this movie. It makes a perfect addition to every serious Sci-Fi collection.