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

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

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.