Would you guess that the greenhouse effect and global warming is caused by aliens trying to make this planet more hospitable? I wouldn't, but that's the premise behind The Arrival. Given all the theories about the global warming phenomena, this doesn't seem that incongrous, and that's what makes The Arrival a decent sci-fi flick.
Zane Zimnski (Charlie Sheen) and Calvin (Richard Schiff), two SETI operatives, intercept a communication signal from the alien planet, Wolf-336. Zane passes it on to his boss (Ron Silver) and he is immediately fired, and Calvin is found dead. However Zane doesn't give up and intercepts another signal, this time from planet earth to the aliens. In an attempt to track down the location, he flies to Mexico where he finds everything isn't quite what it appears to be.
This is really a great movie as far as sci-fi movies go, and I regret not seeing it on the big screen. Sheen is convincing as a paranoid nerdy astromer. The plot itself is reasonably rigourous, and it avoids many of the cliches and easy solutions found in other movies. There is also quite a bit of suspense, one in a scene involving the scorpions, and in not knowing who Zaminski can trust. The cinematography is quite novel, which sometimes leads to a horror-movie atmosphere. The Arrival also teaches us a lesson about environment pollution. This is definitely worth renting.