The Martian

The Martian

(2015)

Space survival thriller from Ridley Scott, adapting Andy Weir’s best-selling novel about an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars when his crew leave him behind – presumed dead. When NASA discovers “the Martian” is still alive, the clock counts down to plan and execute a seemingly impossible rescue mission. Co-stars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Kate Mara (127 Hours) and Michael Peña (Fury).

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Flicks Review

Ridley Scott’s previous journeys into outer space have been bold leaps of imagination paired with visual flair. The Martian, on the other hand, is a scientifically-grounded thriller set for the most part on a planet that’s got heaps of red rocks. Having more in common with Castaway than the horrors of Alien, it’s the nerve-wracking situation that Matt Damon’s smart-arse character Mark Watney finds himself in, stranded on the surface of Mars, that does the heavy lifting, rather than wonders of the cosmos or previously unseen terrors.... More

Scott’s in economical mode here, a more fitting match for Andy Weir’s novel (largely told in the first person in journal form), than the recent bombast of Exodus: Gods and Kings or Prometheus. Weir delved deeper into Watney’s scientific reasoning, but Scott still proves adept at bringing far more detail to proceedings than your average sci-fi pic. This is just one of the many ways he’s aided by Damon, whose monologues, liberally peppered with humour and a dashing of profanity, not only help his character cope with isolation and panic, but keep us invested in his circumstances.

Gravity is the obvious comparison, but The Martian is more predicament problem-solving than thrill-ride, and seeing Mars brought to life more an intellectual than visual spectacle compared to Bullock’s orbital adventure. Thankfully, The Martian does a much more successful job at conveying the invisible environmental threat of Mars’ atmosphere than the invisible environmental threat of Earth’s ecosystem seen in the admittedly-terrible The Happening.

A superior survival thriller, and one that doesn’t need to trade on a body count of real life victims, The Martian shows that true stories of endurance aren't always better than fiction. That it does so in largely solo fashion, in a familiar-looking environment, makes it all the more impressive.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 32 ratings, 23 reviews
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BY cinemusefilm superstar

Watching this genre-factory produced sci-fi left me feeling that its faults outweighed its virtues by a solid margin and it was not worth reviewing. Now that it has been controversially nominated for a Golden Globe in the comedy category it is clear to me why it is a profoundly compromised addition to the sci-fi genre. It wants to be a credible tale of mankind’s scientific and dangerous exploration of outer space, with all the usual tropes of shiny buttons, computer screens, weightlessness... More and the vast black void that holds the secret to the origin of life…and be funny too. Excuse me? Ridley Scott, director of the iconic Blade Runner (1982) should have known better.

It’s a well-worn plotline: a tirelessly glib astronaut Mark Watney is abandoned and presumed dead after a space-storm hits Mars. Behaving as if he simply missed his taxi, he starts home renovations and adds a vegetable farm fertilised by little packets of poo left behind by his departed friends: after all, it could be four years before NASA can send a rescue cab. The orange-tinged Mars landscapes look so earth-like that is sure to dim enthusiasm for future space tourism. At least we know that outer space is deep, but the film’s dialogue is unbelievably shallow. This does not need to be so, as proven by the much-praised Gravity (2013). Mark’s heartfelt message to mom and dad “dying is big and beautiful in space” just does not cut through, and when the Mars crew that left him behind decide to extend the mission for another 533 days in order to collect him, they do so with as much deliberation as they would in choosing pizza topping. Science fiction or comedy, this is neither.Hide


BY Colttany superstar

Gosh I've never been a fan of Matt Damon but this Role has changed my view on that!! Thanks Ridley Scott!!! One of best Ive seen in a Long time!! Very moving Movie. Have a copy on Blu- ray now and our family Love this Movie!!


BY Gaspardation superstar

I almost forget it's a sci-fi film!


Great movie. all cast are appropriate for the roles.


BY flapper123 superstar

I really enjoyed this movie immensely. With a great cast and a well prepared script and storyline it really got my thinking cap going, A space age McGyver is how I would put it. Oh it was great to see Sean Bean in there as well.


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The Press Reviews

93% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • An enthralling and rigorously realistic outer-space survival story. Full Review

  • An uncustomarily cheery and upbeat film from Scott, a number of whose works range from the despairing to the nihilistic. Full Review

  • Anchored by another great turn from Matt Damon, The Martian mixes smarts, laughs, weird character bits and tension on a huge canvas. Full Review

  • Bringing optimism, nerd-itude and a touch of crazy to his character's solo ordeal, Damon is the key to the movie’s exuberance. Full Review

  • It’s not iconic sci-fi to match Alien or Blade Runner but it is a topical, supremely crafted, intelligent, heartfelt spectacle with gallows humour to die for. Full Review

  • It’s a film about micromanaging, fixing things on the fly, and a lot of Ridley’s gruff, technocrat personality shines through. Full Review

  • A wide-eyed tribute to human ingenuity that packs enough snark to pull itself out of the black hole of earnestness, even if its fuel runs out partway through. Full Review

  • None of the stylistic elements serves to make for especially compelling viewing; it's overlong and occasionally irritating when it should be moving. Full Review

The Talk
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