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Mission To Mars

524 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE comes the thrilling, eye-popping science fiction adventure MISSION TO MARS -- starring Gary Sinise (SNAKE EYES) and Tim Robbins (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME). The year is 2020, and the first manned mission to Mars, commanded by Luke Graham (Don Cheadle, OUT OF SIGHT), lands safely on the red planet. But the Martian landscape harbors a bizarre and shocking secret that leads to a mysterious disaster so catastrophic, it decimates the crew. Haunted by a cryptic last message from Graham, NASA launches the Mars Recovery Mission to investigate and bring back survivors -- if there are any. Confronted with nearly insurmountable dangers, but propelled by deep friendship, the team finally lands on Mars and makes a discovery so amazing, it takes your breath away. MISSION TO MARS is an action-packed rocket ride that will enthrall you with its stunning special effects and keep you on the edge of your seat.

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If Brian De Palma directed Mission to Mars for 10-year-olds who've never seen a science fiction film, he can be credited for crafting a marginally successful adventure. Isolated moments in this film serve the highest purpose of its genre, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe in the context of a fascinating future (specifically, the year 2020). But because most of us have seen a lot of science fiction films, it's impossible to ignore this one's derivative plot, cardboard characters, and drearily dumb dialogue. Despite an awesome and painstakingly authentic display of cool technology and dazzling special effects, Mission to Mars is light years away from 2001: A Space Odyssey on the scale of human intelligence.

After dispensing with a few space-jockey clichés, the movie focuses on a Mars-bound rescue mission commanded by Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), whose team (Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell) has been sent to retrieve the sole survivor (Don Cheadle) of a tragic Mars landing. During the sequence en route to Mars, De Palma's in his element with two suspenseful scenes (including a dramatic--albeit somewhat silly--space walk) that are technically impressive. But when this Mission gets to Mars, the movie grows increasingly unconvincing, finally arriving at an alien encounter that more closely resembles an astronomical CGI video game. But this is a $75 million Hollywood movie, and no amount of technical wizardry can lift the burden of a juvenile screenplay. Kudos to Sinise, his costars, and the special effects wizards for making the most of hoary material; shame on just about everyone else involved. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

Audio Commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (524 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CWU3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,606 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mission To Mars" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You would think that the movie being reviewed here was a lame 50's or 70's B movie entitle "Attack of the Killer Blonde Bimbos" or something to that effect. I recently got a chance to view this entire film the other night and all I've got to say is "Man! This is a valuable lesson of not listening to the negative reviews before getting a chance to see the movie!! And, sad to say, this is exactly what kept me from seeing this movie for so long. I made the mistake of listening to all the negative ink about it. I can guarantee you that you will find this film at least very likable. The story is good and so is the acting, even though there may be a couple of hokey parts in the film. Most of it, though, is highly enjoyable and VERY believable. This has to be one best, as well as underrated, sci-fi films ever made. Definitely worth at least one viewing and definitely better than "Red Planet"!
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By W Arthur on August 21, 2004
Format: DVD
After having viewed the film at a cinema during its initial release, I purchased the DVD when it became available. I enjoyed the acting, the characters, the CGI, the music and the story. In short, I was entertained. Others have chosen to provide harsh comments. Personally, I enjoyed the film. I happen to be a science-fiction author and I like a good story. Mission to Mars provided that. I don't think Brian De Palma was trying to do anything more than entertain in an appealing way. As far as this reviewer is concerned, he succeeded.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. O'Blenis on October 27, 2004
Format: DVD
Possibly the best near-future space exploration epic ever filmed, surpassing even such quality fare as "Stranded" and "2001" & "2010". Realistic and believable and fairly technical, but unlike too many skeptics-concious current science fiction, not afraid to dream big and speculate grand. Top-notch performances all around and oustanding technical aspects, plus superior characterization in a genre that sometimes seems to feel it has to make its players either cold and cynical or cocky and beligerent to be believable. Gripping from the start, with a fantastic finale, "Mission To Mars" is likely to awaken a curiousity for space, a sense of wonder and adventure, and an appreciation for the night sky in even the most jaded and disinterested hearts.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Grindell on January 9, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got this on "impulse" quickly and did not read the reviews. Woe was me - I read them later and tried to can the order, expecting a real turkey.
How wrong I was. I realize that the opening shots of the film are a little domestic, but in these scenes and in the remainder of the film I started to develop a broad suspicion which was later confirmed towards the end. Brian DePalmer did not like "Aliens", nor did he like "Psycho", or "Event horizon"... and naturally, the critics do not now like Mr DePalmer!
These films, whose mere mention makes me feel a bit queasy, are so distant from this film, I'm not surprised that this effort has attracted considerable fire. Mr DePalma has cut across convention and followed his instincts, and the result is very good indeed!
What De-Palmer has done is remarkable from several points of view. He has stuck to realistic physics - and I would be quite confident about maintaining this in spite of comments everywhere to the contrary - dialogue I would really want to believe in (assuming that the future is NOT some nightmare fusion between Macdonalds in space and the Bates Motel, in which case, you can count me outa here anyway), and observations about character and goodness that I would be very hopeful for and encouraged by.
The basic premise of the film is not so crazy at all, and is far, far more believable than the almost insane backdrop of ideas behind 2001. (having said that I guess I've really torn it now)
The music was the biggest surprise. My wife noticed this immediately, and she does not always take such sharp notice as I tend to. This score is far, far better than anything I have heard ouside of the debussy / Vaughan Williams / Delius grouping, and it is a great piece of work in it's own right.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By MGA on May 2, 2005
Format: DVD
Brian De Palma's "Mission to Mars" is one of the most frequently slammed films of all time. I believe there is a psychology behind this that is rooted in the "herd mentality." Yet I also acknowledge that some of the harsh criticism is a visceral reaction by people...I know because we first saw it in the movie theater and my wife (a former college professor) had the same kind of negative reaction. In fact, I remember being somewhat angry because that almost ruined it for me.

Since then I have had a chance to view this marvelous film many times (by myself!). I keep hearing the words "cliche-ridden" and "derivative." But what movie ISN'T cliche-ridden and derivative? When it comes to dialogue, isn't most human conversation full of cliches and sound bytes? Yes, people really do talk like this. The truth of the matter is that people don't talk the way that actors do in movies. In reality, the conversation in "Mission to Mars" is probably more realistic than in other movies for that reason.

On the point of being derivative, that's one of the plot points that I believe is a positive. Obviously parts of the film are derivative of Ron Howard's Apollo 13, but what people tend to forget is that Apollo 13 really happened. Don't blame De Palma for the fact that space travel can be dangerous. What do you do when you have car trouble in outer space? And consider the fact that most unmanned missions to Mars have been failures. The "disaster" aspect of Mission to Mars was brilliant and well executed, particularly with regard to the micro-meteorites. The scene where the camera pans back to show us how badly damaged the propellant tanks were is absolutely chilling. Tim Robbins' character was not allowed to fully investigate because of the time window and angle for reentry.
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Price???
The price here is for the imported Region B/2 blu ray/dvd version, hence the expensive price. Additionally Region B/2 disks will NOT play in US players since they are Region A/1.

But you can find this movie in a Region A/1 Blu ray version for a very decent price. It comes bundled with the blu... Read More
Apr 3, 2014 by Gryphon |  See all 2 posts
Mission To Mars on Region A/1 Blu-Ray??
I'd love to purchase this title on blu-ray as well (I know for a fact I'm not the only other one here on this). Also, I sincerely hope it is NOT going to be the same price! lol
Mar 31, 2014 by Daniel Edmonton |  See all 4 posts
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