The Arrival

May 31st, 1996


The Arrival

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David Twohy in The ArrivalStill of Lindsay Crouse in The ArrivalStill of Charlie Sheen and Teri Polo in The ArrivalStill of Charlie Sheen in The ArrivalStill of Charlie Sheen in The ArrivalStill of Charlie Sheen in The Arrival

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.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.2/10 (14,435 voted)

Director: David Twohy

Stars: Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Crouse, Richard Schiff

Zane Ziminski is an astrophysicist who receives a message that seems to have extraterrestrial origins. Eerily soon after his discovery, Zane is fired. He then embarks on a search to determine the origins of the transmission that leads him into a Hitchcockian labyrinth of paranoia and intrigue.

Charlie Sheen - Zane Zaminsky
Lindsay Crouse - Ilana Green
Richard Schiff - Calvin
Shane - JPL Guard #1
Ron Silver - Phil Gordian / Mexican Guard
Teri Polo - Char
Phyllis Applegate - Mrs. Roosevelt
Alan Coates - Terraformer
Leon Rippy - DOD #1
Buddy Joe Hooker - DOD #2
Javier Morga - Co-worker
Tony T. Johnson - Kiki
Catalina Botello - N.C.A.R. Woman
Georg Lillitsch - Computer Tech
David Villalpando - Cabbie

Taglines: For centuries we've bee watching the skies, when we should have bee watching our backs.

Release Date: 31 May 1996

Filming Locations: Grove Street, Bishop, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $14,048,372 (USA) (18 August 1996)

Technical Specs


Miscellaneous: The large black scorpion above the light switch in Llana's room has no stinger.

[right before he kills an alien]
Zane Ziminski: Do you want to see the ruins, my friend?

User Review

A very intense film

Rating: 8/10

What makes The Arrival so good is that it's paranoia could be real. Where as scientists tell us that global warming is the result of smokestacks and deforestization and factories, this film has other ideas. And the ones that are in here are a little more frightening than what the scientists think. Think for one second all that has happened over the last decade or so. Think of all the ecological changes that we are facing right now. These crisis are all a result of our greed and our industrializaton, which in a way can be a euphanism of greed. And this film takes all that we know about ozones and animal extinction and global warming and such and puts its own little spin on it. What if a species that is greater than us has looked at what we are and decided that we are too stupid to take care of our own planet so they will take it away from us. After all, according to the theories that this movie subscribes to, we are wasting and destroying this planet anyway, why not speed up the process?

Charlie Sheen stars as an astronomer who thinks he hears a definitive signal from outer space. But when he brings it to his boss he learns that due to budget cut backs his department is being eliminated. So his signal theory falls on deaf ears. But from here on out the movie becomes almost Hitchcockian in the way that you have a character that knows something that no one will believe, not his superiors, not his girlfriend, not even his friends. And so it is up to him to try and find a way to convince everyone that he is not crazy and that he is telling the truth. And what makes this film work so well is two things really. The first being the story that was written David Twohy. He also wrote The Fugitve so we know right away he is a good writer. Here he has some excellent characters and crisp dialogue for them to speak. The script is a real positive here. But the second thing about this film that really makes it work is the portrayal that Sheen gives of Zane. Sheen always looks confused and amazed at the same time. He can't believe what it is that he has uncovered and his expressions and his mannerisms really do his character justice. I can honestly say that the last time I saw fear like this from anyone that saw aliens first hand was in James Cameron's incredible 1986 film Aliens. It has taken ten years for someone else to get an actor to show true fear when it comes to the subject of ETs. Most films have the stars crack clever jokes about the aliens that they are meeting for the first time. They rarely show fear but in The Arrival, Sheen is always afraid. He is never shown as anything more than a normal human being that has uncovered an ugly truth about the true agenda of what the aliens are realy up to. His performance is one of the best things about this film.

The Arrival is intense. It doesn't stop for a breather too often and it is very intelligent. It has interesting opinions and it also makes you question our own intentions when it comes to the well being of our planet. Most people passed this one over when it came out because Independence Day came out a mere month later, but as good as ID4 was, this is a different kind of movie. It is more serious and has an opinion on some very political issues. It never runs out of steam and it is very entertaining. I highly recommend that you give it a chance.


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