The Martian

"Excellent"

The Martian Review


Just as people began to write off veteran director Ridley Scott after a series of merely OK movies, the 77-year-old casually releases his most entertaining film in years. This sci-fi adventure is lithe, humorous, thrilling and genuinely moving. In other words, it's one of Scott's best films, mixing eye-catching visuals with a story that resonates with both emotion and deeper meaning. And it's also a lot of fun.

In the very near future, the first manned mission to Mars is caught off guard by a sudden storm. With their ship in danger, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) orders the crew to evacuate, but in the chaos botanist Watney (Matt Damon) is knocked away and presumed dead. As Lewis and her team (Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan and Aksel Hennie) begin the long trek back to Earth, Watney wakes up alone on Mars and understands that he will need to survive until the next mission arrives in four years' time. But his habitat is only designed to last for 30 days, so he has a lot of work to do. Eventually, he thinks of a way to get a message back home to Nasa, letting them know he's alive. Now the experts (including Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean and Kristen Wiig) must figure out a way to rescue him before he runs out of food and water.

The story plays out on three fronts: with Watney using his expertise to survive, Lewis and her crew on their long journey back home, and the Nasa officials mounting a rescue mission. All three plot-strands are riveting, using convincing science to explore the conundrum while cranking up the emotional urgency of the situation. Intriguingly, the script never gives Watney a family back on Earth to sentimentalise things; the film simply doesn't need that. And Damon more than holds the audience's sympathy. He's funny, smart, tenacious and thoroughly identifiable, the kind of person we wish we would be in the same situation.

Chastain gets the film's other layered role as a leader with a series of very difficult decisions to make. And there's just enough detail to the supporting roles to allow the unusually strong cast to make each one feel like a fully fledged person with a private life of his or her own. Meanwhile, Scott and screenwriter Drew Goddard pack the film with astounding set-pieces that are visually inventive and grounded in both human behaviour and the laws of physics (unlike the similarly themed Gravity). And it's the film's edgy sense of humour that gives it an extra kick, adding wonder and suspense to both the quiet drama and the bigger action moments. 

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Martian here:




The Martian

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 130 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd October 2015

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Scott Free Productions, Mid Atlantic Films, International Traders, Genre Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 9.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood

Starring: as Mark Watney, as Melissa Lewis, as Beth Johanssen, as Teddy Sanders, as Venkat Kapoor, as Rick Martinez, as Alex Vogel, as Chris Beck, as Annie Montrose, as Mitch Henderson, as Rich Purnell, as Mindy Park, as Ryoko, Lili Bordán as Blair, Gruffudd Glyn as Jack, as NASA psychologist, as Brendan Hatch, Dilyana Bouklieva as Police Woman, Szonja Oroszlán as Launch Control, Nikolett Barabas as Reporter 1, Karen Gagnon as Reporter 2, Mark O'Neal as Guidance, Brian Caspe as Timer Controller, Nick Mohammed as Tim Grimes, James Fred Harkins Jr. as Pathfinder developer, Björn Freiberg as Nasa Staff Member, Scott Alexander Young as Pathfinder 2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Advertisement
Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.