The Arrival - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Arrival Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 24, 2007
I remember very little about this film to give it a higher rating than this. I'll have to revisit it one day.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2007
Not a bad alien film.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2007
Charlie Sheen playing a radio astronomer who discovers an alien base on Earth... need I say more? Fantastic. ;-)
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
This is one of those direct-to-video gems that every b-movie fan hopes to find. There was virtually no advertising or information about this film when it first came out. It just showed up on the shelves at blockbuster and people had to take a chance on it. I'm glad I did, because it is one of the best original science fiction films of the 90s. Charlie Sheen was terrific as the nerdy scientist Zane. Zane works for NASA and when he brings some strange readings to his bosses they ignore it and fire him. Unwilling to let it go, Zane travels to Mexico to uncover the truth, and you won't believe what he finds. It's a strong cast and a great story that is full of surprises. If you enjoy sci-fi, than this should be on the must see list!
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2012
The story is mostly unrealized potential (its clear that David Twohy was hoping to start a series that would go to more places, so most of whats here is setup without a payoff), but the elements that are explored are interesting. I like that its sort of an "anti-Independence Day" take on alien invasion, with an enemy that uses espionage and terraforming to make conquest easier.
Super Reviewer
½ January 6, 2011
A refreshingly different alien invasion movie in which the Aliens are really quite weird by human standards. That's nice as most sci-fi uses aliens as metaphors for various aspects of human behaviour rather than allowing for the possibility of them being just plain not-human - or "alien" in fact. Nice locations and performances abound in this underrated film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2007
Charlie Sheen stars as Zane, an astronomer that discovers alien life. But his boss (Ron Silver) is covering up his discovery.

The movie is well made, despite Sheen being a little over the top. The Arrival came out the same year as ID4 and wasn't as big of a hit of course. It was a lot more original though.

Just don't expect alien death rays or any big budget stuff. The aliens just use scorpions to kill people that uncover too much. David Twohy (Pitch Black) directing his first movie showed skill as well. The movie has some good visuals and is well shot despite a not so big budget.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
Great movie!
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2007
A solid scifi offering. If you're a fan of scifi there's no reason not to see this well crafted story.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2007
It was OK for a B sci-flick -
March 25, 2012
Very good movie. The plotting is fairly solid, jumping on the aliens in plain sight formula before X-Files, the pacing keeps the viewer interested, the visual effects are pretty good for the time and budget, and the performances are strong, especially Sheen.
½ April 27, 2015
Didn't expect much but got a really surprising inventive Sci-fi movie from Charlie Sheen....who da thunk it.
January 8, 2015
Starts off alright, but quickly becomes disjointed and confusing. For a movie about a secret alien invasion, you never get the sense that there is one. Just a couple of people who infiltrated space-based agencies. That's it. There's not even the threat of some overt alien invasion or something. And the last like 30 minutes of this film are completely pointless. This is not a 2 hour film. It's 90 minutes at best, even considering it takes nearly an hour to get to the fucking aliens.
½ December 16, 2012
While the monumental and most expensive alien invasion picture of 1996 was declaring our independence, a small budget sci-fi thriller overachieves with an intriguing storyline and a well-written script. David Twohy, a screenwriter ("Waterworld," "The Fugitive") makes his feature debut as both a writer and director with "The Arrival." It's a lean piece of writing that moves quickly, and has some unexpected twists along the way. Those who crave conspiracy theories and cover ups, your time will not go to waste.

Radio astronomer Zane Ziminsky (Charlie Sheen) believes he's picked up a cosmic noise that signals extraterrestrial intelligence. But after turning over the tape to his boss, Zane loses his job, his girlfriend gets transferred, and his once partner is found dead. Zane's desperate search for answers leads him to a mysterious power plant in Mexico generating much more than just electricity, and run by people who are not what they appear to be.

The film's main strength arises from Twohy's writing, which manages to maintain decent dialogue, even when the plot mechanics take over. The movie never sinks into the realm of straight-to-video disaster. Sheen isn't ideally cast in the role of a scientist, but he is respectable and maintains a high level of intensity. The responsibility for the movie lies fully on Sheen's shoulders, and he carries the burden admirably. A overachieving low-budget sci-fi film with an interesting premise that is hampered by only a weak ending.
October 16, 2014
It's not bad but I can't say its exactly good either. Sheen's character is so powerfully douchey it's hard to care too hard about his wellbeing. He's like if Guy Fieri was a SETI scientist.
All in all, I dug the premise though... also the creative take on global warming. If they could shave a half hour off of this and add some more atmosphere it coulda been pretty good.
June 28, 2013
A guy finds the holy grail for SETI nerds---an alien transmission coming from a planet light years way. And oops, he just got himself caught up in a major conspiracy. The movie is a fresh spin on the whole "aliens are invading Earth" thing.
½ March 14, 2011
Fifteen years before he dedicated himself to full-time winning, Charlie Sheen starred in this awesome underrated film. It's smart, well acted and unpredictable. Highly recommended viewing.
½ June 10, 2012
First off a full star is purely for nostalgia. Otherwise this movie really isn't that good but it has some cool sci-fi aspects and if it had the budget of contact it would have been what that movie should have been instead of the bad movie that contact was. If you can imagine terminal velocity, species, and contact as one thing its kind of this movie. Plus i'm pretty sure one of the aliens is william forsyth (the thin dick detective from deuce biggalo (rofl a thin dick dick HA)) But yea back in the day this was real good time for me.
May 19, 2012
Pretty regular body snatchers stuff, except without the snatching. Sheen spends most of the film running around trying to figure out what's going on. There is one twist at the end that I didn't expect, but other than that it was formulaic, but still good, even with the environmental warning crammed in there.
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