Directed by Ridley Scott
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
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★★★★½ review by Evan on Letterboxd
I absolutely love space. Between the unknown, the grand scale, and the unlimited possibilities; space is something I find fascinating. As a kid there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to become an astronaut when I grew up. As I got older I knew that it wouldn't be a possibility. It's no surprise that space films are my favorite types of films. Science Fiction is my favorite genre and when the sci-fi movie takes place in space, oh man I'm like a kid in a candy store while watching a science fiction space film. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, Gravity, Alien, Aliens, Moon, and Interstellar are all films that I consider to be some of my all-time favorites. After seeing The Martian its not too far off from those other films. This is great, but not quite on the same level as the space films I mentioned above.
As of late, Ridley Scott hasn't exactly been top notch. I did like Prometheus, but many did not. I hated The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings was incredibly boring. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about The Martian despite its fantastic cast and great subject material (I read the book).
The Martian has restored my faith in Ridley Scott's ability as a director. In all honestly, I think Ridley deserves an Oscar Nomination for best director. The direction in this movie is nothing short of outstanding. This movie looks absolutely fantastic. Mars looked incredible. Space looked incredible. Everything looked incredible! From a technical standpoint, this is phenomenal.
Like Ridley Scott, Matt Damon gives his best work in years. A great comeback film for both of these guys. All the performances are great. I was most surprised by Kristen Wiig. I don't think I've ever seen her in a non-comedy role and to my surprise she ended up being pretty great here.
My one problem with the movie is that it drags on in some parts. Also, the book is better. Which isn't a knock or an issue I had with the movie. I'm just saying that I preferred the book over the movie.
★★★½ review by adrianbalboa on Letterboxd
no offense but wizards of waverly place did this entire concept first in the season 1 episode "disenchanted evening" where they leave max on mars :/
★★★★ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd
Rigorously grounded and minimalist, The Martian succeeds because it feels like a wondrous celebration of Ridley Scott's gorgeous eye for expanses and the turmoil that bellows within. More than anything else, The Martian worships science and its ability to overcome problems, and as a result, terrifying horror and distinct victory oozes from Scott's tight direction. This is a 2 hour and 20 minute adventure, and it feels longer than that, but in a good way of course. It's a drawn-out spectacle that surprisingly flows as a cohesive story of intimacy and vast discovery. I found it inspiring.
★★★★★ review by Travis Lytle on Letterboxd
An effortlessly engrossing and excellently rendered science fiction epic of survival, Ridley Scott's "Martian" immediately ranks as one of the director's most satisfying works. A love letter to the power of science, problem solving, and human will, the film provides a smart and soaring experience that rivets as much as it satisfies. Scott and company tell as story that is buoyant, nail-biting, and life affirming.
Based on Andy Weir's novel, Drew Goddard's script is a grown-up look at a botanist's attempt to survive on Mars after he is marooned on the red planet. Played with a self-effacing charm and energy by Matt Damon, the man, Mark Watney, uses his wits and scientific prowess to extend his existence and wait for rescue.
While Watney's arc drives the narrative, the story is flush with enriching character beats, plot threads, and themes. Every narrative element flows from Watney's particular quest, but those elements create a bigger picture that observes not only the importance of scientific thought, but the distraction of media, the impact of bureaucracy, and the necessity of the global village. Passion, risk, and duty guide characters. It all, however, comes back to the imperative of ingenuity, idea, and science.
Goddard weaves a tale that is smart, subtle, and thrilling. He never beats the audience over the head with themes and narrative undercurrents, instead creating something with a fluid, witty grace. Allowing God, science, and humanity to form interlocking pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is human experience, Goddard's exhilarating screenplay has its forward-thinking politics in the right place.
Scott's direction of this narrative leads to a film that focuses on human successes, failures, and the need to persevere. He blends expansive scope with intimate emotion and drive. He allows for large-scale set pieces to coincide with quiet character moments. Scott does not permit the drama to be overwhelmed by the technological; at the core of what he exhibits is the human, the organic, and the thoughtful.
Using his tried and true collaborators, Scott's film is visually rich and sonically exciting. Layering Dariusz Wolski's cinematography, Pietro Scalia's editing, and Arthur Max's designs with Harry Gregson-William's score, Scott assembles a film that looks grand and moves with liveliness.
Scott's cast is as grand as the film's aesthetic. Damon shines, carrying the film with a performance that is upbeat and alive. He provides the film with an undeniable sense of fun while never ignoring the quiet heartbeat of fear that tempers Watney's actions. Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Pena, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, and Benedict Wong fill out a collection of actors where each is given an opportunity to contribute memorable and meaningful energy to the film.
With "The Martian," Ridley Scott has put together something remarkable. Thrilling, thoughtful, intense, and hopeful, the film is a rewarding adventure of human spirit and mental fortitude. Personal and universal, harrowing and amusing, the film is an intelligent and masterfully crafted piece of work. "The Martian" is, quite simply, triumphant.
★★★★ review by DirkH on Letterboxd
I'm not a very optimistic person, but that doesn't mean I don't respond well to something that is naively optimistic. The Martian is infectiously so; a single minded, unobfuscated, trope heavy entity of self aware naivete and hopefulness.
Stepping over the a bit too on the nose 'Geeks of the world unite!', The Martian is thoroughly enjoyable, relishing in its light tone and delivering a surprising amount of humour around a subject matter easy to invest in, but only because the premise is handled so well.
Scott paints a absolutely stunning picture of Mars and outer space.This is without a doubt one of his most beautiful looking films. I often have issues with Scott's pacing, but the Martian eases by at a pace that is comfortable, making the 141 minutes of running time seem relative (very suitable for a film set in space predominantly).
The script is outstanding, actually making me want to read the book, which is about as big a compliment you can get in my opinion. I am a man of language. Math, science, numbers, they just don't work well with me. I cannot imagine what this film must feel like for the more Beta oriented people. I'm pretty sure a plethora of 'geek' will be 'got on'.
The cast is well balanced, but this is truly Damon's film. He proves here yet again that his charisma and natural acting abilities make him a strong and likable screen presence. I have nothing but respect for his performance here. He perfectly captures the essence of the film in his performance. If done by a lesser actor it could have been a grating experience, but Damon strikes a perfect balance in his performance.
The Martian is a positive film without being condescending or manipulative. It is classic in the way the old Hollywood films approached their craft. Tell a compelling story and entertain, something The Martian succeeds at admirably.
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