6.3/10
192,306
418 user 131 critic

Mars Attacks! (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 13 December 1996 (USA)
Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.

Director:

Tim Burton

Writers:

Len Brown (trading card series), Woody Gelman (trading card series) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
444 ( 895)

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3 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... President James Dale / Art Land
Glenn Close ... First Lady Marsha Dale
Annette Bening ... Barbara Land
Pierce Brosnan ... Professor Donald Kessler
Danny DeVito ... Rude Gambler
Martin Short ... Press Secretary Jerry Ross
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Nathalie Lake
Michael J. Fox ... Jason Stone
Rod Steiger ... General Decker
Tom Jones ... Tom Jones
Lukas Haas ... Richie Norris
Natalie Portman ... Taffy Dale
Jim Brown ... Byron Williams
Lisa Marie ... Martian Girl
Sylvia Sidney ... Grandma Florence Norris
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

YIKES! They've Landed! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

¡Marcianos al ataque! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,384,272, 15 December 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,771,017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,371,017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jack Nicholson, Natalie Portman, and Rod Steiger; and six Oscar nominees: Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Winfield, and Barbet Schroeder. See more »

Goofs

The president's inconsistent tie during his speech is an in-joke reference to a similar continuity error with Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. See more »

Quotes

President Dale: I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain't bad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

A television ad had Marsha Dale saying (over the desicion of what to do about the Martians): "Kick the crud out of them!" which was an edit to what she said in the theatrical version: "Kick the crap out of them!" See more »

Connections

References Superman II (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Champagne Fanfare
Written by George Cates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Outstanding Entertainment; Burton's Most Underrated Film
29 November 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

What a wild movie! I've begun to appreciate this more and more with multiple viewings. I think it's Tim Burton's most underrated film. Unlike many of his previous films, this seems pretty impartial when it comes to the satire: everyone gets it here, not just the usual Christians. Here, New Ange devotees and Liberal advisers and generals are also made to look stupid. This is probably one reason the national critics - who are overwhelming Left Wing - didn't like this movie. They weren't used to the same abuse some of us put up with all the time.

Politics aside, this is one funny movie. It's a combination of science fiction, drama and comedy. It's a parody of the 1950s flying saucer films except it has 1990s color and good special-effects. Burton was a fan of those corny '50s sci-fi films so he made his own!

The story quickly moves from one character to another, from the low-key President of the U.S. played by an unusually-reserved Jack Nicholson to the wacky New Ager Annette Benning to Martin Short with his goofy smile....well, there are so many characters here - most of them completely whacked - it's too many to mention. The diversity of these people and the subtle humor in which they are all presented is just as much fun to watch as the special-effects. The Martians are a real hoot. They have to be seen to be believed.

I didn't like all the characters but, most people won't either. For me, showing elderly people as senile (Sylvia Sidney's role) is mean-spirited; Rod Steiger has the stereotypical war-mongering General is getting tiresome and the obvious politically-correct role for Jim Brown also went overboard.

All in all, however, this is about as entertaining a film as I have ever found, nd one that gets more enjoyable with each viewing.....which is why I rate it so high.


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