MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 450 this week

Ghosts of Mars (2001)

4.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.9/10 from 38,127 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 449 user | 150 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Years in the future, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available now. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 09 Oct 2010
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Oct 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 04 May 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 06 Jul 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 07 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Ghosts of Mars" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Ghosts of Mars (2001) on IMDb 4.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ghosts of Mars.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to endure sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Turn It Up (2000)
Crime | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Trying to bootstrap his way out of Brooklyn's mean streets is Diamond, a rap musician. With his long-time pal Gage acting as his manager, he's trying to lay down a demo tape with cut-rate ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Adetuyi
Stars: Pras, Ja Rule, Jason Statham
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After a freak accident, an invisible yuppie runs for his life from a treacherous CIA official while trying to cope with his new life.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill
The Ward (2010)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A thriller centered on an institutionalized young woman who becomes terrorized by a ghost.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
The One (2001)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A sheriff's deputy fights an alternate universe version of himself who grows stronger with each alternate self he kills.

Director: James Wong
Stars: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo
They Live (1988)
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Mean Machine (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.

Director: Barry Skolnick
Stars: Vinnie Jones, David Kelly, David Hemmings
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Duane Davis ...
Uno
...
Dos
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

200 years in the future a Martian police unit is dispatched to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost back to justice. But when the team arrives they find the town deserted and some of the inhabitants possessed by the former inhabitants of the planet. Written by IMDb staff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

martian | mining | future | police | ghost | See All (121) »

Taglines:

Terror is the same on any planet See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence/gore, language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£104,723 (UK) (30 November 2001)

Gross:

£104,723 (UK) (30 November 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(FotoKem)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

For the film's soundtrack, director and composer John Carpenter called upon various rock musicans to help enhance his own score. They include members of Anthrax, Steve Vai, Guns N' Roses' guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars). See more »

Goofs

During a shot out the front of the police station, a crew member is visible loitering in the shadows while the leader of the Ghosts yodels in the center of the street. See more »

Quotes

Desolation Williams: [the train has not arrived] Where the hell's the train?
Melanie Ballard: I don't know.
Uno: You don't know? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Melanie Ballard: [On radio] Lieutenant to the train!
Desolation Williams: Plan A is fucked up! You got a Plan B?
Melanie Ballard: Yeah, it's the same as Plan A. You got any fresh ideas?
Desolation Williams: Yeah, what we should of done in the first place.
[cocks Uzi's and walks forward]
Melanie Ballard: Shit!
[Does the same]
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Five Million Years to Earth (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Assault on Planet 13
27 August 2001 | by (Arlington, VA) – See all my reviews

Mars has fascinated humans for years. It's the closest planet to us, and the only one that comes close in terms of livability. Its forbidding landscape and dire red color scheme are magnetic (at least in movies; I can't tell you how disappointed I was when that little NASA toy-car thing sent back pictures and Mars looks like Utah. No red sky, even.)

But Mars has a curse. You just can't make a decent movie about it. Think about all the Mars movies in history (...Attacks!, Mission to..., Red Planet, Angry and otherwise, Santa Claus vs. the Martians, etc.), none of which have been able to rise above the "not bad, not great" category, if even that. The lone exception to the Mars Curse is "Total Recall", which is a fine film, but it can be persuasively argued that it never actually takes place on Mars at all.

Throw "John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars" on the "not bad" pile. Many have argued that it's not really a Mars movie, but a Western with a weird setting, which is indirectly true. It's mostly a re-working of Carpenter's classic "Assault on Precinct 13", which was, itself, based on "Rio Bravo". (I wonder when John Carpenter is just going to give in and make a bonafide Western. You can tell he totally wants to.)

While I'm on the subject, can someone tell me why John Carpenter seems bent on titling all his recent movies with "John Carpenter's", as if we'll forget? It implies, oddly enough, that he didn't actually direct it, the way "Ian Fleming's James Bond" books were published long after Fleming was, technically, dead.

Anyway, the plot involves a squad from the Martian Police Force doing a prisoner transfer from a mining colony. Mars, it seems, is run by the "Matronage", a kind of Lillith-Fair dictatorship, which is a neat twist and gives some original zip to the movie. The transfer is quickly forgotten, as some sort of primal ghostly force is possessing the locals and turning them into a blood-crazed cabal of body-pierced mutilation enthusiasts (the movie often resembles a Slipknot video run amok). The throngs are led by a bulked-up Maximum Leader who looks like Marilyn Manson's steroid-pumped older brother. The cops and criminals join forces with the contents of the Hollywood Gun Shop, and mow down the screaming hordes in an effort to escape. One wonders why Merchant-Ivory didn't pick up this project.

The intriguing setting, the impressive visuals, and some creepy early scenes build up a lot of audience goodwill, which the film then chips away at relentlessly, as if willing itself to mediocrity. The narrative is clumsy,

with way too much reliance on flashback. The story itself is primarily told in flashback, which is understandable even if it does reveal too much about what's about to happen. But do we really need flashbacks within the movie to show us things we've already seen? There are also too many pointless camera tricks, such as time-lapse dissolves in scenes that don't merit them. The characters are needlessly stupid, especially the cops; they too often resort to using their guns in baseball-bat fashion, when they still have plenty of ammunition.

The cast, unfortunately, is not up to the task of raising the movie above the bar. Natasha Henstridge, whose onomastically-pleasing name is inevitably abbreviated in movie criticism as "that chick from 'Species'", is wooden and uncompelling as the pill-popping police lieutenant. She is standing in in the role for an injured Courtney Love, who would have been more effective, if less pleasant to look at. Clea Duvall is wasted as a spaced-out and mostly useless rookie; she seems about as comfortable with a Beretta in each hand as Quaker Grace Kelly in "High Noon". But Duvall is at least more memorable than that other rookie, whatsisname. Pam Grier puts in a good-sport appearance as the commander, but her scenes are brief. And there is the obligatory Smart Person Who Explains It All, whose line deliveries and pseudo-science are such that you will wish the others would feed her to the Manson family outside.

The only standouts in the cast are Jason Statham as the weary (but horny) sergeant, easily the most tactically compentent of the MPF contingent, and Ice Cube as the prisoner whose transfer is in such turmoil. Mr. Cube's unfocused, pinch-faced rage and dumbfounded bravado are pitch-perfect, and he has all the funniest lines. (Ironic that in a movie about a distaff-dominated society, the best performances are by men).

"Ghosts of Mars" will not rank among John Carpenter's best work (and here I am specifically thinking of "Big Trouble in Little China"), but despite its deficiencies I enjoyed it. Carpenter still has it, and when he's good, he's very good. Desperate-survival-against-the-murderous-armies has a primal power as a story archetype, and there's plenty of gun-blazing, head-bashing, flying-buzzsaw-dismemberment fun to be had by all. The music's pretty good, too. And there's something about Henstridge and Duvall in black leather SWAT uniforms that just pushes a button somewhere. Maybe it's just me.

If you fight, you can enjoy this movie in spite of its efforts to the contrary, but you will be a little battle-weary by the time the credits roll. Not everyone will be inclined to put forth the effort. But hey, can you really hate a movie whose villain is billed as "Big Daddy Mars"?


32 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Anyone else upset when... sub_ric
This film is for Sh*t. jason-mousseau
Why did they blow up the place? acustomer
It is unacceptable how lazy Carpenter became. ConnRog
Did she really want Jericho? leonaosaki
Desolation - Combination of Napoleon + Snake? lord_byron101
Discuss Ghosts of Mars (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page