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

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Movie Info

After astronomer Zane Zaminski (Charlie Sheen) discovers a radio transmission that originated from space, he tells his boss, Phil (Ron Silver), who ignores him. Zane is promptly fired, and decides to investigate the signal himself. When he discovers a return radio transmission from Mexico, he goes to explore. There he meets climate scientist Ilana Green (Lindsay Crouse), who is studying anomalies in gases in the area. Zane soon makes a shocking finding that puts him in great danger.

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Critic Reviews for The Arrival

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for The Arrival

  • Dec 08, 2020
    The Arrival has an interesting story at the heart but it falls apart with each new twist. David Twohy who was just in his infancy with filmmaking and he was still finding his feet before Pitch Black. Charlie Sheen is cast against type here and he is quite good in the lead. The issues that I have with this film is the long running time and lack of coherency towards the latter parts of the film. Twohy allows the plot to stretch and it happens fast. I enjoyed the investigation more than the alien conspiracy and I found myself less interested as the film went along. I remember enjoying this film more when it crept onto video but time hasn't been kind to this film. The effects have dated and like most high concept thrillers of this era, they struggle with basic character development and cliche story beats. 07/12/12
    Brendan O Super Reviewer
  • 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

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