The Arrival (1996)



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

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some sci-fi violence and terror, and for brief language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: David Twohy, David N. Twohy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 25, 2000
Orion Pictures Corporation


as Zane Ziminski

as Ilana Green

as JPL Guard

as Mrs. Roosevelt

as Tarraformer

as DOD No. 1

as co-worker

as N.C.A.R. Woman

as Computer Tech

as Skeleton Man

as screaming woman

as plancecorp guard

as security woman

as detective

as JPL Official

as 2nd Jpl Guard

as maintenance man

as weather woman

as planecorp guard
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Arrival

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Critic Reviews for The Arrival

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 31, 1996
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Arrival

I remember very little about this film to give it a higher rating than this. I'll have to revisit it one day.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Not a bad alien film.

Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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