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The Arrival (1996)

tomatometer

63

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 12

Stylish and inventive, The Arrival offers a surprisingly smart spin on the alien invasion genre.

71

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

Stylish and inventive, The Arrival offers a surprisingly smart spin on the alien invasion genre.

audience

44

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 12,213

My Rating

Movie Info

A shy radio telescope operator named Zane Ziminski (Charlie Sheen) picks up a series of regular signals coming from space -- and deliberately pointed toward Earth. Convinced that he has discovered alien transmissions, Ziminski is first chastised and then fired by his boss (Ron Silver). Obsessed, he builds a makeshift radio telescope in his house to find out where the signals were sent. Convinced that they're intended for aliens already hidden on Earth, he tracks them to a bleak, isolated Mexican

Jul 25, 2000

Orion Pictures Corporation

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (12) | DVD (7)

What it lacks in sophistication (everything), it partly makes up for in sheer gall.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a strong, lean piece of writing that moves quickly. Nothing is wasted, and nothing happens the way you'd expect.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that shoehorns a blunt warning into its silly but entertaining story of a young radio astronomer's one-man battle against sinister extraterrestrials.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is as smart as ``Mission: Impossible'' is dumb.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is not a dumb movie; in fact, with its heavy reliance upon real science, it's startlingly credible.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Sheen] spends most of the movie in a kind of sweaty apoplexy that makes one worry for his health.

May 31, 1996 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Less an alien invasion movie than a conspiracy film (it just hapens to turn out that the conspirators are aliens).

April 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique
Cinefantastique

You know a movie's in trouble when it's called The Arrival and nothing arrives -- the film's aliens are already here.

October 14, 2005
FulvueDrive-in.com

The aliens-among-us plot gets a very entertaining and inventive update.

October 29, 2004
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A good premise, hampered by a weak ending.

May 12, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

...The Arrival is a stylish and fast-paced thriller.

September 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Sheen is working outside of his element, but the energy he puts into his multidimensional character helps keep the story moving.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It's like Stakeout with a glossier Sheen.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

"The Arrival" is a good 20 minutes too long and heavy with useless scenes in which we learn far too much about Sheen's relationship with his girlfriend.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire
SPLICEDWire

A hokey summer entertainment that is full of big machinery, satellite dishes du jour, long embarrassing close-ups and gaps in logic through which large UFOs could hurtle.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

The Arrival is part sci-fi action flick, part conspiracy thriller, and all preposterous nonsense.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

No logic, little character development and a thin story that is supposed to be compensated for by startling effects.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Arrival

Not a bad movie. Typical science fiction - aliens are on earth, and only one guy (Charlie Sheen) does something about it - even though he gets fired, loses his girl friend, has friends die mysteriously, gets framed for murder, etc.
May 7, 2009
Redlats

Super Reviewer

Not a bad alien film.
February 16, 2007
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

Charlie Sheen playing a radio astronomer who discovers an alien base on Earth... need I say more? Fantastic. ;-)
February 4, 2007
RossCollinsUK

Super Reviewer

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