The Martian

Out Now On-Demand

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).

Trailers

Awards

Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Lead Actor (Damon) at the 2016 Golden Globes

Directed by

Written by

Adventure, Science Fiction, Blockbuster

141mins

Rating: M Offensive language

USA

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.

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.

Variety (USA)

press

An enthralling and rigorously realistic outer-space survival story.

Hollywood Reporter

press

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

Empire (UK)

press

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

Time Out New York

press

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

Total Film (UK)

press

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.

Telegraph (UK)

press

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

Guardian (UK)

press

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.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

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

This is neither science fiction or comedy; director Scott Ridley can do much better.

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 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.


Matt Damon has moved Me

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!!


Funny and witty

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


The Martian

Great movie. all cast are appropriate for the roles.


Space age McGyver

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.


An intense and thrilling adventure

Very well done. It will especially appeal to those with a soft spot for space and science. But most movie goers should enjoy this tale of adventure and survival. Matt Damon is great! this film is so interesting and well thought out. You feel like you are experiencing it all, along side him. Thrilling! and by the end you have all fingers crossed hoping he will make it home safely.

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meghhh

I thought heaps of bits were really unrealistic - definitely some funny bits, think I just don't like Matt Damon.


It was good, but it wasn't anything new

I wish you could half stars on this thing, as I would give this movie a 3.5. Anyways, I did enjoy this movie, but I didn't love it, not like I loved Gravity.

That doesn't go to say though that the acting wasn't amazing, the science wasn't well thought out and the graphics and CGI weren't all very well done, because they were!

I think what was missing for me was that complete sense of loneliness and that eerie feeling that I feel being alone on a massive planet, with barely any communication with anyone, and no life besides him and his crops, honestly, that part could have been done better. Think about it, how damn scary would that be, knowing that you won't see anyone or talk to anyone in many many years. I know I would feel pretty scared.

It was a great movie though, and I assume it will be up for some awards. I recommend seeing it at the movies so you can get that atmosphere from watching it on the big screen, and when a movie with space is involved I always recommend seeing it at the movies as it creates that whole sense of a large space, a very large space.

Most viewers will love it! Matt Damon was amazing as per usual and it's worth a watch.


Welcome home Mr Scott :)

Ridley Scott is back. Finally, and at long last. Following the dire, bum-numbing banality of the likes of ‘The Councilor’ and ‘Exodus: Plods and Stinks’, and the great looking, gloriously crafted, but ever so daftly plotted, ‘Prometheus’, Scott hits a long-awaited home run with ‘The Martian’.

The script, by Drew Goddard, is the star. It takes Andy Weir’s bloomin’ excellent book, and creates that very best of cinematic pleasures – a bold tale, visually told. Easily on a par with the non-patronising, nail-biting, teamwork ethic, science-for-dummies exposition of ‘Apollo 13’, the stranded, guy-alone tension of ‘Castaway’, and the 3D sci-fi special effects dazzle of ‘Gravity’ and Scott’s own ‘Prometheus’, ‘The Martian’ is a solid, science-fiction as science-fact fan dream.

Including the likes of Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Pena and Benedict Wong, the supporting cast are great, but this is Matt Damon’s show and he steals it with wit and wisdom to spare. As Mark Watney, the astronaut stranded on Mars, Damon is always watchable, often funny and decidedly human. And there’s the key to both the book, screen adaptation and performances – a palpably real, beating, human heart at the core, which transforms this from a feel-good sci-fi flick, into a must-see tale of the triumph of humanity, ingenuity, scientific know-how and good old fashioned sense-of-humour, over those less convincing Hollywood staples of “faith”, “hope” and “love” – which may “conquer all”, but are less likely to keep you alive on Mars than a tin-opener and a Swiss army-kinfe.

Entertaining for heart and brain, ‘The Martian’ needs to be seen on the big screen, pulling off that rarest of cinematic feats – remaining true to a great source novel, whilst excelling as a standalone movie in its own right.

Welcome home Mr Scott


The Marvelous Martian

Absolutely superb - Scott is back on form with a riveting story with great emotional depth brought brilliantly to the screen by a tour de force performance from Damon brilliantly supported by the great cast. One of this years best.