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Martian Child

4.6 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews

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(Feb 12, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Martian Child (DVD)

Based on an award-winning short story by sci-fi luminary David Gerrold, this romantic drama stars John Cusack as a recently widowed science fiction writer who forms an unlikely family with a close friend (Amanda Peet) and a young boy he adopts that claims to be from Mars. The new couple ignores some sage parenting advice from the widower's sister (Joan Cusack) and gets more than they bargained for when a series of strange occurrences lead them to believe that the child's claim may be true.


Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • "Handle with Care: Working with the Martian Child" featurette
  • "The Real Martian Child" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman, Joan Cusack, Oliver Platt
  • Directors: Menno Meyjes
  • Writers: Seth E. Bass, Jonathan Tolins
  • Producers: David Kirschner, Mike Drake, Toby Emmerich, Ed Elbert, Corey Sienega
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: New Line Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPT0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,126 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Martian Child" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Being a single guy myself, looking into the adoption process of becoming a father of a special needs (older/behavioral) child, I was excited about this movie coming out. I have always believed that we need more movies such as this one that shows adopting an older child and single adoption in a good light. There are many older kids such as the one displayed in the movie that need homes. I know this because I am also a child therapist and I work with many of them. What I liked about the movie is how it shows what truly a single man goes through when trying to adopt. I have an older sister just like the one in the movie. Everything that Cusack's sister said to him, my sister said to me. "These older kids have problems, why would you want to deal with that?" she has stated to me. Also how the system looks at a single man not worthy or strange to want to raise kids is there also. It's sad we live in a society in which men are not suppose to love kids... unless they are his own or unless they are on the football field or something. The lack of positive male role models is one thing that is damaging our society.

The missing part of the movie that I thought could have made it better is I was expecting the kid to have been more difficult... displaying behavior that would have made it harder to love him. The little guy in the movie was easy to love. That's what didn't make sense to me. He was very socially odd; however, his behavior was not all that bad. I don't understand why a therapeutic foster home or family couldn't handle him. He wasn't aggressive physically or verbally and didn't have any of the significant issues such as self injurious or sexually acting out behavior. He was just a very neglected, possibly abused child that lived in a fantasy world in order to cope with his reality.
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By P. Dyer on February 16, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It was fabulous!!! We laughed, I cried.. it had all the emotions a good movie gives!! It was GREAT!!!
I cant believe some of the reviews I have seen that it's about a man becoming a father blah blah - that isn't what the movie is about at all! It is all about a little boy that so traumatized by being abandoned that he developed a belief in ORDER to survive. His relationship to John Cusak's character was the first "healthy" human connection in his life - and from the consistency of that relationship, learning to trust and believe in someone else, he was able to breakthrough his disassociative thoughts and connect with another person and enter the "real" world. Totally heartwarming! I wish Hollywood would create more movies like this - THOUGHT PROVOKING, INSPIRING, CARING
Comment 37 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
MARTIAN CHILD was marketed incorrectly - that can be the major reason for its lack of success in the theatrical release. While all the multiplex theaters are overflowing with loud, coarse, raunchy, and special effects driven financial successes (with major exceptions, of course!), little meaningful and sensitive films such as this are submerged and don't last long. Should the name of the film have been different? Should the advertisements been better designed? Who knows, but for those who now have the opportunity to buy or rent MARTIAN CHILD, there is a special experience in store.

Based on the novel 'The Martian Child' by David Gerrold (beautifully adapted for the screen by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins), Director Menno Meyjes has gathered an exceptional cast to present this story about human needs and how we all find security in the warmth of other caring beings. David (John Cusack) is a successful science fiction writer who is a widower, still grieving for his wife. His agent Jeff (Oliver Platt), his sister Liz (Joan Cusack) and his wife's best friend Harlee (Amanda Peet) aid his 'convalescence', but David feels the need for a child. When social worker Sophie (Sophie Okonedo) calls David concerning an available strange little boy Dennis (Bobby Coleman) who believes he is from the planet Mars and hides inside a box, covered with sunscreen and dark glasses, David responds: he, after all, writes science fiction and is attracted to the idea that Dennis believes he is here from Mars on a mission. Against the advice of his practical sister, David agrees to take Dennis home, feeling that he is one of the few who can relate to Dennis' behavior.

Life at home is not easy, but with time David and Dennis bond and Dennis comes out of his box to become 'normal'.
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22 Comments 71 of 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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The last person widowed author David Gordon (John Cusack) expected to call him was Sophie (Sophie Okonedo) the adoption counselor he and his wife had spoken to about getting a child. But, Sophie said she had someone special for him to see--so he went.

What he saw was a kid-size Amazon box with his adoption candidate inside. Dennis (Bobby Coleman) was telling everyone he came from Mars. Sophie thought David would be particularly adept at dealing with a kid like him since he was a science fiction author himself.

Something touches a chord with David. He was a different kid himself--he wouldn't want to bring a kid into the world, but there's one who really needs him--and maybe he needs the kid, too.

Despite advice from his sister to reconsider, David accepts the challenge and chooses to take Dennis into his home and heart. Parenthood was an adventure that David was completely unprepared for.

"Martian Child" depicts who David and Dennis come to accept each other. They face loss of a pet they've both come to love, a burgeoning love interest with Marlee (Amanda Peet) and dealing with the California bureaucracy governing adoptions. Both Cusack and Coleman do an excellent job playing their respective parts. You can tell there's real chemistry between the pair. The remainder of the supporting cast is very good too.

The film is based upon the book by the same title written by David Gerrold, a noted sci-fi and fantasy author. The book is semi-fiction. I haven't read the book, so it's not possible for me to comment on which is better. I have read Mr. Gerrold and very much enjoyed much of his work.
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