Tim, Chris and Rand are campus roommates. They are not the closest of friends. When it is announced as being usual to get the best possible grades as compensation for the psychic stress of a roommates' suicide, Tim and Chris decide to kill Rand. After Rand's "suicide", his girlfriend Natalie takes her life, too. She was the roommate of Chris' girl Emma. Who's tricking who?
Dr. Eleanor Arroway has spent her life searching for truth in the study of radio astronomy. Palmer Joss has spent his searching for truth through faith in God. When Ellie discovers a stunning message from an extraterrestrial intelligence, they and everyone on Earth will be forced to challenge their own assumptions. In the inevitable first contact, will humankind be able to find a compromise between science and belief?