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.


David Twohy


David Twohy
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





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


Zane (Charlie Sheen), a young, mild-mannered astronomer discovers an extraterrestrial radio signal. After being fired from his organization for reporting this to his superior, he takes a chance on discovering the truth: that his workplace is not quite what it seems to be and a sinister conspiracy is at work. The aliens are keeping a deadly secret, and will stop at nothing to prevent Zane from learning it. Written by vishakbt1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The greatest danger facing our world has been the planet's best kept secret...until now. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi violence and terror, and for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This movie and Independence Day (1996) both deal with hostile aliens from another world, and both came out in theaters in 1996. Twenty years later, Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) and Arrival (2016) were released, although the latter has no connection with The Arrival (1996) beyond a similar title and dealings with extraterrestrials. See more »


(at around 34 mins) Lindsay Crouse is informed about increases of several greenhouse trace gases, but the presentation shown is adding percentages of different gases to make a total sum of the per cent increase. Though the calculation is mathematically correct, it makes no sense, since it mixes different gases. See more »


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


Followed by Arrival II (1998) See more »


Moy Pronto Te Hiras
Written by Barbara L. Jordan, Pete Peterkin, and Christopher Rhyne
Performed by Pete Peterkin
See more »

User Reviews

Better than some reviews suggests.
15 February 2015 | by ravegudrunSee all my reviews

It is not as bad as some writes in their reviews. Charlie Sheen is not a super great actor, and never has been, but he pulls it off good enough. The other actors are not bad either. Sometimes the script feels weak, but most of the time it's OK. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad that I went against the reviews and gave it a chance although I hesitated at first.

It's not as good as Contact, but not that far away. Give it a chance if you like Contact and other sci-fi flicks of that kind. I've seen a lot of worse movies with higher score than this one, that's for sure. It's not Alien, but it's not species-bad either.

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Official Sites:

Vidio [Indonesia]


USA | Mexico


English | Spanish

Release Date:

31 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Making of the Arrival See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,806,763, 2 June 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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