The Arrival (1996)

PG-13   |    |  Sci-Fi, Thriller

The Arrival (1996) Poster

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.




  • Charlie Sheen and Ron Silver in The Arrival (1996)
  • Charlie Sheen and Teri Polo in The Arrival (1996)
  • Charlie Sheen and Tony T. Johnson in The Arrival (1996)
  • Charlie Sheen in The Arrival (1996)
  • Charlie Sheen in The Arrival (1996)
  • Lindsay Crouse in The Arrival (1996)

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26 December 2015 | SnoopyStyle
| interesting premise and good first half
Ilana Green (Lindsay Crouse) examines a green field in the middle of the frozen Arctic. Her research is being blocked but she discovers a rapid climate change underway. Zane Zaminsky (Charlie Sheen) and Calvin (Richard Schiff) working a radio telescope discover a signal from 14.6 light years away. It goes away before confirmation. Their NASA JPL boss Phil Gordian (Ron Silver) cuts the program claiming budget cuts. Then he destroys the data and blackballs Zane. The only job he can get is installing TV satellites. His marriage to Char (Teri Polo) is under stress. Using satellite dishes, he creates a personal radio telescope to search for the signal with the help of nosy neighbor kid Kiki. Both Green and Zaminsky zero in on a Mexican location.

This is a nice paranoid conspiracy alien invasion movie. I like Sheen's side of the story. I doubt that both investigations would lead to the exact same place. Climate science isn't that precise. As for assassination attempts, crushed by a bathtub is one of the most unusual and laughable. It seems so much easier and more common to simply shoot them. However, I do really like the black hole metallic spheres.

After a really good first half, the movie starts to run into problems. It's still pretty good. David Twohy is most notable for the Riddick franchise. He needs to simplify the second half and ramp up the action. It tries to be too cute with the story. The movie needs to end in Mexico or else there is an obvious simpler way for Zane to expose the conspiracy.

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