The Arrival (1996)



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

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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 village, where he joins forces with a female scientist (Lindsay Crouse), who has suspicions of her own after witnessing an acceleration of global warming. The villagers turn out to be aliens, and the village a front for an underground alien complex. The aliens are here to "terraform" Earth and prepare it for the arrival of the rest of their race, who will die unless they leave their homeworld and colonize elsewhere. Only Ziminski can stop them. Written and directed by David N. Twohy, The Arrival is a throwback to the genre chillers of the '50s. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
PG-13 (for some sci-fi violence and terror, and for brief language)
Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Orion Pictures Corporation

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Charlie Sheen
as Zane Ziminski
Teri Polo
as Char
Lindsay Crouse
as Ilana Green
Ron Silver
as Gordian
José Garcia
as planecorp guard
Leon Rippy
as DOD No. 1
Luisa Huertas
as security woman
Roger Cudney
as JPL Official
Mónica Dionne
as reporter
Jorge Zepeda
as detective
as JPL Guard
Jorge Becerril
as plancecorp guard
Alan Coates
as Tarraformer
Dave Galasso
as 2nd Jpl Guard
Buddy Joe Hooker
as DOD No. 2
Phyllis Applegate
as Mrs. Roosevelt
Reed Johnson
as maintenance man
Ellen Bradley
as screaming woman
Javier Morga
as co-worker
Catalina Botello
as N.C.A.R. Woman
Georg Lillitsch
as Computer Tech
Angel De La Pena
as Skeleton Man
Alejandro Usigli
as reporter
Andrea Sisniega
as weather woman
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Critic Reviews for The Arrival

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (7)

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

Full Review… | February 8, 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… | December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
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… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 30, 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
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
Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Not a bad alien film.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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