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Mars Attacks! (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Sci-Fi  |  13 December 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 162,844 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 395 user | 131 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.



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2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Jones


It is a normal day for everyone, until the President of the United States announces Martians have been spotted circling Earth. The Martians land and a meeting is arranged, but not everything goes to plan, and the Martians seem to have other plans for Earth. Are they just misunderstood beings or do they really want to destroy all of humanity? Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nice planet. We'll take it! See more »


Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi fantasy violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Marcianos al ataque!  »

Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,384,272 (USA) (13 December 1996)


ITL 2,580,967,000 (Italy) (18 April 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Martian Girl dress had no zipper or buttons (to make it as smooth as possible), so Lisa Marie had to be sewn into it every day. See more »


When General Decker is preparing his pistols in the war room, he pulls back the slide, then pushes the slide release to release it forward - this is only necessary to do if the weapon is not loaded; on a loaded gun, racking the slide chambers a round and lets the action move into the forward position, ready to fire. See more »


Jason Stone: [to Jerry Ross] When the Martians land, will the press have access? Can we do interviews?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special effects: No living animals were barbecued during the production of this film. See more »


Referenced in Eight Legged Freaks (2002) See more »


It's Not Unusual
Written by Gordon Mills and Les Reed
Performed by Tom Jones
Courtesy of Decca Record Company Limited Deram Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Misunderstood ???
7 January 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

There's one guarantee in life : When you're reading 5 reviews on Mars Attacks, FOUR of them are negative ones! Why, I ask?? It's really hard for me to believe that all these movie-lovers fail to see the film like Tim Burton intended it. Mars Attacks! is a great film and - above all - a very effective parody. Burton takes the opportunity to spoof and laugh with almost every form of nowadays filth...Politics, religion, the army, television, greed in Las Vegas and God knows what else. Mars Attacks! is the purest form of cinema anarchy I've seen so far, and I really want to encourage you to see it again if you didn't like it the first time. Tim Burton is a genius. Practically all movies he did before ( and after ) Mars Attacks! prove that. Do you really believe that he would deliver a failure? Or do you think the entire brilliant cast would agree to starring in an inferior production?? They all acknowledged the genius of this movie...why can't the audience do the same?

Mars Attacks! is a very remarkable achievement for yet another reason. This very well might be only film that cost a fortune in order to look cheap! Burton probably wasted a huge budget to make the settings and the design look like they did in the typical 50's Science Fiction movies. Burton is a big fan of these movies and he saved neither money or trouble to make his satire look like those films. The direct tribute to Edward Wood in the opening credits is an obvious example of this as well, I think. Perhaps, this would be the only real thing you can accuse Tim Burton of...Mars Attacks! is a very personal project of his. I really doubt he worried much about the question whether Mars Attacks! would become a success or not. He told his tale and he clearly enjoyed doing so...Why wouldn't you enjoy watching it then?

Note: This review is dedicated to Mailen. A great regular user here on this site and I know for a fact that she adores this film as well...

339 of 416 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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