The Arrival Poster

The Arrival (1996)

SciFi  
Rayting:   6.3/10 33K votes
Country: USA | Mexico
Language: English
Release date: 31 May 1996

Zane, an astronomer, discovers intelligent alien life. But the aliens are keeping a deadly secret, and will do anything to stop Zane from learning it.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

ccthemovieman-1 3 May 2006

This aliens vs. earth film succeeded because it added humor to the suspense story and Charlie Sheen did a great job adding to that with an expression-filled face that made he and this film fun to watch.

Story-wise, most of it made no sense as Sheen got out of one impossible scrap after another but good sci-fi special effects and suspense helped make the story interesting and fast-moving. You get caught up in the story and don't care if their are plenty of holes in it. It's also pretty tame, language-wise. Lindsay Crouse provides the female interest and Ron Silver the villain, a familiar role for him.

The film was popular enough to make a sequel, but that horrible. Don't waste your time on that one.

claudio_carvalho 27 September 2006

When the astronomer Zane Ziminski (Charlie Sheen) receives signal from a distant star, he reports and gives all the evidences to his chief, Phil Gordian (Ron Silver), and is immediately fired. Zane becomes obsessed to locate the signals again and finds a transmission to the outer space in the same wave from Mexico, and he flies to the place. Meanwhile, the scientist Ilana Green (Lindsay Crouse) is investigating the unexplained raise of the temperature in Third World countries and also goes to Mexico for further research. They meet each other in a small Mexican town, where Zane finds that aliens are preparing to annihilate the human race and preparing Earth for their occupation.

"The Arrival" has a good story that uses the abnormal raise of temperature and change in the climate on Earth as part of a plot of invasion of our planet by aliens. Director David Twohy follows the same style of John Carpenter in this movie. However, there are two problems: the first one is the permanent lunatic expression of Charlie Sheen, who also keeps insane attitudes along the whole story, giving a total lack of credibility to his character. The second one is probably the budget, or a badly developed screenplay, with flaws along the narrative. Anyway, this good sci-fi film entertains and has a good ecological message in the end, particularly the quote: "If you can't tend to your own planet, you don't deserve to live here". My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Invasão" ("The Invasion")

note: On 23 August 2016, I saw this film again.

merklekranz 1 February 2010

At least "The Arrival" doesn't fall into the car chases and gratuitous explosions category of sci-fi. It has some semblance of scientific reason, and some pretty original ideas. The vortex balls were an intriguing touch, and the gigantic satellite dish scenes quite effective. It is necessary to suspend disbelief on several occasions, but overall the film succeeds as entertainment. Having the kid along seemed like kind of a stretch as well. If you can look past the faults in logic, "The Arrival" is totally acceptable. If you are going to tear it apart for every little thing, then I suggest you look elsewhere. - MERK

Red"V" 28 June 1999

This is a cool film. Very solid story, good performances, catchy SFX. Better than most sci-fi out there.

refinedsugar 7 November 2001

I was a little bit late getting to the theater to see The Arrival. The movie was slated to start ten minutes past the hour and I didn't arrive there until five after. Then I had to go through the concession stand crowd. When I finally reached the theater -- the large screen was engrossed by a huge satellite disk and there was some guy talking. "Damn," I thought. "I just missed the start of the movie." It wasn't three seconds after that realization that I had another one. "This isn't the movie. It's a commercial." A commercial which it turned out for one of the large multi-billion dollar phone companies. Talk about false scares.

Some people have called 'The Arrival' a thinking man's science fiction movie. While the jury is still out on that, I will say it's not stupid either. It is however one more of those 'one man saves the world' flicks. Which are never terribly realistic, but on their own terms, entertain. Charlie Sheen plays Zane Zaminski. A smart, but soon-to-be paranoid astrophysicist who has the slithery Godian (Ron Silver) for a boss. One day watching the satellites some anomaly passes his screen. Suddenly the search is on. What was it? WHO was it? Not letting the subject go gets him fired from his job and deeper and deeper he journeys into the paranoia.

The Arrival is one part use your mind, two parts conspiracy theory. As Zane takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of things and find out who's involved and to what lengths they'll go to suppress everything. Soon we start to see elements straight out of the X Files. Aliens... conspiracy... colonization. The story has it's own set of implausibilities, but things move at such a pace that there isn't much time to question them. Zane knows something is going on and the deeper he digs the more we find out. It's all about the ride. Could one man really stop such things from happening? Probably not, but that doesn't stop 'The Arrival' from being a fun time.

Li-1 18 May 2003

*** 1/2 out of ****

Writer/director David Twohy accomplished the near-impossible in the summer of 1996; he delivered a fun, fast-paced AND intelligent sci-fi thriller with The Arrival, an intriguing, thought-provoking film that was unfairly ignored in theaters at the time of its release (most viewers chose to see Twister, M:I, Independence Day). The movie has a classic premise about a radio astronomer (Charlie Sheen) who receives a signal from outer space that may or may not have come from extraterrestrial life.

To say anymore would be unforgivable, as Twohy packs in believable twists and turns throughout the plot, which is fun without insulting the brain, and complex without ever bogging down in mind-numbing confusion. The script does have a few head-scratchers here and there (I was particularly miffed that Lindsay Crouse's character, an environmentalist, wasn't familiar with the concept of terraforming) and some contrivances, but they're hardly bothersome and aren't noticeable until a second viewing.

As good a screenwriter as Twohy is, he's even more adept as a director (further proven by Pitch Black, a superbly crafted deep-space thriller with a script not even half as smart as The Arrival's). With great pacing and precise editing, Twohy builds momentum with each discovery Sheen unfolds, until it culminates to an edge-of-the-seat climax that's quite satisfying (unlike...cough...cough..."V: the Final Battle", Independence Day).

The cast is all-around effective, with Sheen delivering a surprisingly terrific performance as the paranoid astronomer. It's great to see an intelligent protagonist who thinks his way out of tight jams, rather than shooting and blowing up everything in sight. No one else gets half of Sheen's screentime, but Ron Silver is nicely ambiguous as his boss, and Teri Polo, however underused, is fine as Sheen's girlfriend. Lindsay Crouse also makes a good impression as an environmentalist studying some strange activity.

On a technical level, some sci-fi fans might be a little disappointed. Those weaned on "V" and ID4 will notice the lack of large-scale special effects. Sorry, no disc-shaped motherships here. Still, the visuals present are mostly decent, certainly passable enough that they don't become a distraction to the plot. Despite the use of CGI in its more primitive stages (this was '96, after all) the effects are still occasionally excellent and imaginative, such as the spherical object those tight-lipped men wield. Composer Arthur Kempel's score adds a bit more tension to the already excruciating suspense, and evokes a creepy atmosphere during the film's quieter moments.

Remember, folks, The Arrival is a rarity, a once in a while example of how pure movie magic can be created when we've got dedicated filmmakers who want to intrigue the audience rather than catering to demographics just for the sake of box office returns. Forget Independence Day, The War of the Worlds, or V and its sequel, The Arrival is the most satisfying cinematic depiction of alien invasion to date.

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