5.6/10
66,064
964 user 185 critic

Mission to Mars (2000)

When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Lowell Cannon (story), Jim Thomas (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,857 ( 705)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Red Planet (2000)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Astronauts, and their robotic dog AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion), search for solutions to save a dying Earth by searching on Mars, only to have the mission go terribly awry.

Director: Antony Hoffman
Stars: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Redacted (2007)
Crime | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Body Double (1984)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" murder investigation.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Sinise ... Jim McConnell
Tim Robbins ... Woody Blake
Don Cheadle ... Luke Graham
Connie Nielsen ... Terri Fisher
Jerry O'Connell ... Phil Ohlmyer
Peter Outerbridge ... Sergei Kirov
Kavan Smith ... Nicholas Willis
Jill Teed ... Reneé Coté
Elise Neal ... Debra Graham
Kim Delaney ... Maggie McConnell
Marilyn Norry ... NASA Wife
Freda Perry Freda Perry ... NASA Wife
Lynda Boyd ... NASA Wife
Patricia Harras ... NASA Wife
Robert Bailey Jr. ... Bobby Graham
Edit

Storyline

When a mysterious storm kills all but one crew member of the first manned mission to mars, a rescue mission is launched. Once on the red planet, the crew finds the sole survivor of the first mission who informs them that this was no ordinary storm. It was meant to protect something. But what? Written by Eric Thal

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For centuries, we've searched for the origin of life on Earth...We've been looking on the wrong planet. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi violence and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Cinopsis [Belgium] (French)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

M2M See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,855,247, 12 March 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$60,883,407

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,983,407
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Sinise's fancy convertible in the beginning of the barbecue scene is an Isuzu Vehicross convertible, a halo car produced for a very short time from '97-2001, selling only 4,153 units in the U.S.. It was never introduced as a convertible in the US. The jet sounds were added to give it a futuristic engine effect. See more »

Goofs

The Mars rover shown appears to be moving at several miles per hour, zooming through a small canyon. In actuality, mars rovers tend to be significantly slower, with the MER rovers Apirit and Opportunity having a top speed of five centimeters per second, stopping every few seconds to survey its surroundings. See more »

Quotes

Jim McConnell: There's pressure in here.
Terri Fisher: Above Mars atmospheric? That's impossible.
Jim McConnell: We're millions of miles from Earth inside a giant white face. What's impossible?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's cooperation and assistance does not reflect an endorsement of the contents of the film or the treatment of the characters depicted therein. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes: Episode #1.52 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday To You
Written by Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A difficult derivative sci-fi film
21 May 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

After a second viewing, I can say that I am still not sure what to make of this film. Many will see this as something of a remake of 2001. And yes, the film is visually almost plagiaristic of the Kubrick masterpiece. The two biggest problems are a lack in originality and thoughtfulness. From my rating, you can see that I did not despise this film. It's visually nice, and the performances are all good. However, I am not sure I can recommend it.

I'm a sci-fi fan, and a scientist, so I was initially intrigued by the notion of a big-name dramatic film-maker doing a sci fi epic, which appeared, at least initially, to be hardcore sci-fi. By hardcore sci-fi, I mean fiction based on scientific reality, not fantasy with a tiny bit of science thrown in for decoration. An example, also using Mars as a vehicle, is Ben Bova's novel "Mars" - which focuses on the very edge of plausibility, only occasionally overstepping the bounds of scientific possibility. Film has rarely achieved this - a few interesting exceptions are Alien (the original), Outland and Silent Running. Hardcore sci-fi, which, I argue, this film could and should have been, is careful about that boundary. And 3/4ths of the way through Mission to Mars, it's still a hardcore sci-fi flick. Then suddenly, it's something else. I will leave that something else for you to discover, and stay focused on what the director and screenwriter were trying to do here.

What we have here is not really a single plot, but a pastiche of plots that have been strung together into one long, mysterious and grandiose story line. The film starts out with a couple of scenes which might have been lost in Appollo 13 - providing a little bit of character development and letting us know that we are about to witness the first manned space flight to Mars. That flight ends pretty quickly, as virtually everything goes wrong. And as a rescue mission begins, the question then becomes, why is everything going wrong? Up to the point where the rescue mission enters Martian orbit, this central question is sustained and developed skillfully, but then , in my opinion, things start to go wrong with the film itself.

There are major problems with what could have been the best aspects of this film. The spaceships are remarkably flimsy and poorly designed, but they look great! The safety protocols for the mission, about which we hear so much, are either not followed or incredibly naive. The heroes are not particularly clever about heroism, and seem to forget, at times, what the actual possibilities are for mobility in space (why not use the tether three times - twice out to Woody and once to get back after you run out of fuel, Terry?). The guy who authored the safety protocols does not appear particularly concerned with safety, or even protocols. The evolutionary biologist on the crew is amazingly poorly informed about the Paleozoic period of earth history and the evolution of species. I could go on.

The film is broadly derivative of 2001 A Space Oddyssey, The Abyss, Star Gate, Event Horizon, Fifth Element, Contact, and a few dozen other somewhat entertaining but not particularly believable space / sci-fi adventures, but while it resembles, and in fact pays homage to these films (especially 2001), it never entertains quite as well. Why? Because these films do not pretend to be based on scientific ideas, but rather, aesthetics and humanism. While most of these films invite interpretation, Mission to Mars simply repeats ideas from previous films and doesn't even bother to recast them into an interesting new light. Mission to Mars is something that has been done many times before, and in more interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking ways.

Technical proficiency, which is something this film exudes, is no substitute for a compelling story and interesting individual characters. Unfortunately, even in terms of technique, the film has some flaws. Some will disagree, but I found the soundtrack irritating, and the pace of the film very uneven to say the least. And the characters lives are so intertwined in the few character development sequences that only Sinise, Robbins and Bennings' characters develop rudimentary individualities.

Despite his reputation, I can not hold Brian De Palma up to standards which are different than those of other film-makers, and I can not condone creating a special vocabulary or a sophisticated argument to permit interpretation of his films as part of some over-arching theme which only he and a few of his fans understand. There is a fine line between flattering imitation and shameless copying, so I'd rather not get into an extrapolated meta-film discussion of this film's relationship to 2001. I don't think this film is worthy of such a sophisticated analysis.

There are some truly great moments in Mission to Mars. This should not be too surprising with the wonderful cast, big budget, and talented production team. What did surprise me about this film was the 2001-like 180 degree turn it took off of the map of scientific possibility 3/4ths of the way through the film, and I can't say that turn and its outcome really impressed me.

If you're a sci-fi fan, or somebody with a very casual interest in science, you should probably see this. But if you haven't seen 2001 first, by all means, wait until you have. And don't take this one too seriously when you do get around to it. This has much more to do with fiction than science fiction.


169 of 277 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 964 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed