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John Carter (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  9 March 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 201,840 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 716 user | 455 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tardos Mors (as Ciaran Hinds)
Stayman #1 / Helm
Davood Ghadami ...
Stayman #3


John Carter, a Civil War veteran, who in 1868 was trying to live a normal life, is "asked" by the Army to join, but he refuses so he is locked up. He escapes, and is pursued. Eventually they run into some Indians, and there's a gunfight. Carter seeks refuge in a cave. While there, he encounters someone who is holding some kind of medallion. When Carter touches it, he finds himself in a place where he can leap incredible heights, among other things. He later encounters beings he has never seen before. He meets a woman who helps him to discover that he is on Mars, and he learns there's some kind of unrest going on. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lost in Our World. Found in Another.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Princess of Mars  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$263,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,180,188 (USA) (9 March 2012)


$73,058,679 (USA) (22 June 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The change in title from "A Princess of Mars" to "John Carter of Mars," and later simply to "John Carter" is the subject of some controversy. Conflicting reasons given include that the Disney marketing department or director Andrew Stanton wanted to appeal to a broader audience, or that the studio had hoped to create a film series with the "John Carter" banner title. Industry lore also suggests that films with "Mars" in the title tend to under perform financially, most notably Mars Needs Moms (2011) which was also distributed by Disney and proved a colossal flop for the studio. Ironically, "John Carter" would prove to be the biggest financial disappointment for Disney since "Mars Needs Moms." See more »


At the beginning Powell tells Carter that the U.S. Army needs his help in dealing with the Apaches and recites his assorted achievements while serving in the Confederate Army. Under the 14th Amendment, anyone who participated in the Rebellion was ineligible to later serve in any position of honor under the U.S. government. Not even a Presidential pardon could change this. However, the disability could have been lifted by a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Congress, something not likely in Carter's case. See more »


John Carter: Stand behind me, this might get dangerous.
[John fights the Zodangans. When he loses his sword, Dejah takes it and kills the remaining enemies]
John Carter: Or maybe I ought to get behind you...
Dejah Thoris: [Cleans the blood off the sword with John's clothes] You let me know when it gets dangerous.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Disney castle logo at the beginning and end is tinted a deep blood red. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.105 (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cheesy, ludicrous plot but highly enjoyable blockbuster Sci-fi fantasy adventure
3 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw this at a preview screening in London.

I never read any of the books so only had a vague synopsis of the story just from trailers which didn't really impress me much.

Well, this turned out to be quite a blast. Its an enjoyable if very cheesy Sci-fi fantasy blockbuster. It has the spirit and energy of Flash Gordon including its own outrageously nonsensical but fun premise. It isn't as cheesy as that film but there is a definite lean towards it. The story is quite a novel mix of Planet of the Apes, Conan, Red Sonja, Avatar, Star Wars and Superman (yep this is a superhero movie too). We even have a western thrown in the mix at the beginning. I was going to say there isn't anything original here but how can I? This story was published in the 19th century so from that perspective, I can now see a lot of plot influences deriving from this in later SF/fantasy films.

A lot of money was spent on this movie and it shows. The special effects here are pretty awesome. Not necessarily ground breaking, everything on screen has been done before but its all smoothly done at a grand scale though not quite to the scale of the Star Wars prequels. Effects that stood out for me were John Carters "Hulk" like jumps, Martian sky ship battles, green martians (as good as Avatar), and a cute monster dog sidekick that almost steels the show.

Another major feature of the film was the cinematography. Its quite spectacular and for a barren dead desert planet, its surprisingly stunning.

One of the biggest surprise for me was the 3D. Its post conversion which most often results in poorer quality than films which are filmed in 3D from the start. But an exception can be made here. This is hands down the best 3d conversion film I have seen. The 3d depth was outstanding and really shows its power in numerous landscape and action scenes. This is probably the second best 3d live action film I've seen overall (either filmed in 3d or post converted) and I am normally anti-3d when it comes to live action films.

Taylor Kitsch who plays John Carter has just about enough screen presence portraying a likable anti hero with a punchy attitude and a sense of past history haunting him. Its a Han Solo type role but he plays it more brooding. There is even a Princess Leia and the age old storyline of helping a Princess to fight a war but each with their own agendas. Its all very clichéd, yet still enjoyable.

As much fun as I had with this, there is no denying that there is a lot wrong with it too. I could pick on flaws and lack of logic all day long with this film some of which are smack on the head stupid and some elements I desperately wished more or better development on. The dialogue while often funny, also often dive bombs into cringe-worthiness (much like a Lucas script), the developing romance was very disjointed and sometimes embarrassing (think Anakin and Padme levels of embarrassment). The 3 way war politics was not very clear, major characters not fleshed out enough and there's a whole lot of story loopholes. Yet there is still a lot more fun to be had to override those flaws.

I have a feeling that book lovers will be disappointed because I can detect a lot of back story is missing here and key characters seem very short changed on their development and motives (particularly with the green martians) which I am sure would have been fully fleshed out in the book. However, I reckon if you enjoy films like Thor and GI Joe, you'll have a great time with this. This wont be a classic or even a cult movie but it is a satisfying piece of cinema escapism. And its enough for me to want to read the books!

287 of 407 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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