The Arrival


The Arrival

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,649
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The Arrival Photos

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

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Charlie Sheen
as Zane Ziminski
Ron Silver
as Gordian
Lindsay Crouse
as Ilana Green
as JPL Guard
Phyllis Applegate
as Mrs. Roosevelt
Alan Coates
as Tarraformer
Leon Rippy
as DOD No. 1
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
Ellen Bradley
as screaming woman
José Garcia
as planecorp guard
Jorge Becerril
as plancecorp guard
Luisa Huertas
as security woman
Jorge Zepeda
as detective
Roger Cudney
as JPL Official
Dave Galasso
as 2nd Jpl Guard
Reed Johnson
as maintenance man
Andrea Sisniega
as weather woman
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Critic Reviews for The Arrival

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for The Arrival

  • Aug 14, 2016
    Charlie Sheen channels his inner Kevin Smith in this unique take on the genre. Sure it's a little X-Files-y, and a lot of the twists are either glaringly obvious or make zero sense, but by and large it's pretty original. The climate-change message does beat you over the head a little, but only gently, which I can handle. Obviously it didn't take anyway, considering we're here twenty years later and the problem's only gotten worse.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    Extremely underrated film. Very well written alien encounter/conspiracy film. Despite all of the humor that one thinks of when Charlie Sheen's name comes to mind, he does an excellent job in this film. Very entertaining both when it was first seen in 1996 and even more recently.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 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.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 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.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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