(1996)

Critic Reviews

56

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
The Arrival fulfills one of the classic functions of science fiction, which is to take a current trend and extend it to a possible (and preferably alarming) future. The Arrival gives its aliens credit for reasoning that we might almost be tempted to agree with. We're just finishing what you started, one of the aliens tells Zane, referring to the smokestacks, auto exhausts, rain forests and so on. What would have taken you 100 years will only take us 10. He, or it, has a point.
75
While this particular film doesn't boast any radical or surprising ideas, it combines numerous familiar plot elements into a suspenseful, entertaining whole. Best of all, perhaps, is the realization that some thought went into writer/director David Twohy's script. This is not a dumb movie; in fact, with its heavy reliance upon real science, it's startlingly credible.
75
It's a strong, lean piece of writing that moves quickly. Nothing is wasted, and nothing happens the way you'd expect.
70
IGN
A wonderful slice of pulp alien-invasion sci-fi with a dash of conspiracy thriller tossed in for good measure. It plays as a clever X-Files knockoff and as a funny camp classic all at the same time. Low budget sci-fi pictures like these are rarely this entertaining, or good for that matter.
60
Empire
No masterpiece, but a decent rental prospect. Twohy works the Sci-fi genre well yet again.
60
This risible hokum cashes in on TV's The X Files and invasion mania, but what it lacks in sophistication (everything), it partly makes up for in sheer gall.
50
TV Guide Magazine
Whip together TV's The Invaders and V. Fold in cult classic Enemy From Space and season with a dash of Species. The yield: an agreeable cocktail of paranoid sci-fi conventions that bubbles along energetically, despite surprisingly low-tech trappings
40
The Arrival, like so many science-fiction films, begins as a promisingly eerie mixture of pseudo-scientific exposition and chilly paranoia. But once its plot has been bared, it turns into a muddled chase movie filled with glaring inconsistencies.
38
A hokey summer entertainment that is full of big machinery, satellite dishes du jour, long embarrassing close-ups and gaps in logic through which large UFOs could hurtle. No need to go into that here. Anyone who might enjoy The Arrival would be impatient with logic.
25
The Arrival looks and feels awfully small and cheap. In that way, the movie does feel like those science-fiction classics of the ’50s. But back then, sweaty heroes didn’t utter lines of ’90s dialogue like ”I look like a can of smashed a–holes.”

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