Martian Child (2007)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  2 November 2007 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 17,012 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 70 user | 117 critic | 26 from

A science-fiction writer, recently widowed, considers whether to adopt a hyper-imaginative 6-year-old abandoned and socially rejected boy who says he's really from Mars.



(screenplay) (as Seth E. Bass) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $0.99 on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Family | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the 1930s, a tomboyish girl runs away from her guardian to join her single father who is 2,000 miles away, because there was work there.

Director: Jeremy Kagan
Stars: Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise
Janie (2006)
Short | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Janie, a 9-year-old girl, has a perfect life as an only daughter in a loving family. Her life, however, gets completely shattered when Ben, the little brother she never knew existed, unexpectedly shows up to live with her family.

Director: Christine Shin
Stars: Blaine Saunders, Tanner Maguire, Deborah Quayle
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.

Director: Zach Helm
Stars: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman
Snowmen (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

SNOWMEN is a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. After a surprising discovery in the snow catapults three... See full summary »

Director: Robert Kirbyson
Stars: Bobby Coleman, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Christian Martyn
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas.

Director: Tim McCanlies
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The friars of a poor war-ravaged monastery find an infant abandoned on their doorstep.

Director: Jose Luis Gutierrez
Stars: Alejandro Tommasi, Jorge Lavat, Teresa Ruiz
Igor (2008)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Animated fable about a cliché hunchbacked evil scientist's assistant who aspires to become a scientist himself, much to the displeasure of the rest of the evil science community.

Director: Anthony Leondis
Stars: John Cusack, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi
Nanny McPhee (2005)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Emma Thompson stars as a governess who uses magic to rein in the behavior of seven ne'er-do-well children in her charge.

Director: Kirk Jones
Stars: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury
Nim's Island (2008)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young girl inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading.

Directors: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Stars: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A robot boy and a human boy team up to save their respective parents, who are being held captive by the organization that funded the robot's creator.

Director: Sean McNamara
Stars: Kim Coates, David Eigenberg, Penelope Ann Miller
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A preteen's life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.

Director: Gabor Csupo
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel
Inkheart (2008)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Andy Serkis, Eliza Bennett


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud ...
Taya Calicetto ...
Braxton Bonneville ...
Samuel Charles ...
Ryan Morrissette ...


What's the nature of being a parent and of being a child? David is a widower grieving for two years. He writes science fiction and was considered weird as a boy. He meets Dennis, a foster child who claims to be on a mission from Mars, stays in a large box all day, fears sunlight, and wears a belt of flashlight batteries so he won't float away. David takes the six-year-old home on a trial. His sister and his wife's best friend offer support, but the guys are basically alone to figure this out. Dennis takes things, is expelled, and is coached by David in being normal. Will the court approve the adoption, and will Dennis stay? Can a man become a father and a child become a son? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you find where you belong! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un niño de otro mundo  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,843,767 (USA) (2 November 2007)


$7,486,906 (USA) (7 December 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Author David Gerrold publicly distanced himself from this adaptation of his novel after his screenplay was rejected by the studio. He publicly rejected the final film for deviating too far from the source novel, especially in regard to making the main character a straight man with a girlfriend instead of a bachelor with no love interest. See more »


While David and Dennis are in the car during the daytime, you see the rigging for the camera equipment visible when they pass a reflective building. See more »


Dennis: [sharply points at a photo of David] Beware! I almost disney-graded you.
David: Disintegrate me? Why would you do that?
See more »


References Amadeus (1984) See more »


Mr. Blue Sky
Written by Jeff Lynne
Performed by Electric Light Orchestra
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not Like Everyone Else
12 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

While walking with his sister Liz (Joan Cusack) in the park, widower David Gordon (John Cusack) confesses, "I just want my life to have meaning..." I think what David really is talking about is a personal legacy. David is considering adopting Dennis (Bobby Coleman), a strange little boy who spends his days in card board box with cut out holes. Oh yes, and Dennis believes he is from Mars. He is here on earth to study "human being-ness". This is the conceit of Director Menno Meyjes's "Martian Child". The screenplay by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins is based on the novel by David Gerrold. "Martian Child" really flew under the movie radar. I had heard about it earlier in the year, and got the gist of the story. Being a fan of John Cusack and Amanda Peete, I was curious to see the "Martian Child". More curious was the lack of fan fare or promotion associated with the movie. "Martian Child" plays much like an independent film, except for its talented named cast. "Martian Child" is reminiscent of "K-Pax" with Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. Where "K-Pax" crumbled despite noble intentions with its horrendously ambiguous ending, "Martian Child" has a distinct conclusion without the pretense or ambition. "Martian Child" is not a great movie. However, for what it is—it is satisfying. Meyjes's "Martian Child" is a sentimental tear jerker that is so very earnest and sweet. John Cusack is amazing.

John Cusack plays David Gordon, a successful science fiction writer. His best selling book is in production as a big budget Hollywood movie. David's agent Jeff (neurotic Oliver Platt) desperately pleads with David to finish his book sequel draft. Their publisher Mimi (Anjelica Huston) anxiously awaits the draft, so she can throw a coming out party in 6 weeks. That is a little wacky. David's wife and the love of his life died two years ago, and since then much of his life is on hold. He lives in a great home with his dog, Somewhere. David's best friend is the beautiful and radiant Harlee (Amanda Peete)—his wife's sister. This makes for a dicey storyline, given the way things usually evolve in these situations. Amanda Peete is great here. She has a naturalness and ease.

David gets a call from his social worker friend Sophie (Sophie Okonedo). Obviously David has reservations about a boy in a box who thinks he's from Mars. Sophie reassures, "You write about Mars." Thus, the experiment begins. David brings Dennis to his home on a trial basis. Dennis wears sun block and sunglasses to counteract being on a planet closer to the sun than Mars. He also wears a weight belt so as not to float away. And Dennis only eats Lucky Charms—which are magically delicious.

David struggles his way through, and begins to really see Dennis. Dennis reminds him of his younger outsider self. David also starts wondering whether Dennis is really who he says he is following meaningful coincidences at a Cubs baseball game, and Dennis's apparent ability to taste color. This seems like a clumsy narrative device.

What eventually wins over "Martian Child" is the brilliant chemistry between John Cusack and Bobby Coleman. There is an inspired moment when Dennis and David gaze above at the stars. Coleman as Dennis embodies the right awkwardness and innocence. He touchingly asks David "Is it good to be like everyone else?" John Cusack is funny, frustrated and nobly compassionate as David evolves into a caring father. In a moving scene he tells Dennis, "There is nothing you can do to change the way I feel about you…" Cusack commands the story's humanity and underlying strength.

We all want to make a difference in life. And we all want to able to love and be loved—that is what it is to be human. "Martian Child" ultimately celebrates our humanity.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Homophobia ruins another great work of literature jasonhatesspam
It'a a kid version of K-PAX cryptsaver
Am I the only one who liked this?? bonbug1
Why Only Dumb People Dislike This Movie ...questions answered Alandar565
Has any one who got the dvd noticed? martianchild2319
Did anybody notice... brbitsme
Discuss Martian Child (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page