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If Brian De Palma directed Mission to Marsfor 10-year-olds who've never seen a science fiction film, he can be credited for crafting a marginally successful adventure. Isolated moments in this film serve the highest purpose of its genre, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe in the context of a fascinating future (specifically, the year 2020). But because most of us have seen a lot of science fiction films, it's impossible to ignore this one's derivative plot, cardboard characters, and drearily dumb dialogue. Despite an awesome and painstakingly authentic display of cool technology and dazzling special effects,Mission to Marsis light years away from2001: A Space Odysseyon the scale of human intelligence.

After dispensing with a few space-jockey clichés, the movie focuses on a Mars-bound rescue mission commanded by Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), whose team (Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell) has been sent to retrieve the sole survivor (Don Cheadle) of a tragic Mars landing. During the sequence en route to Mars, De Palma's in his element with two suspenseful scenes (including a dramatic--albeit somewhat silly--space walk) that are technically impressive. But when this Mission gets to Mars, the movie grows increasingly unconvincing, finally arriving at an alien encounter that more closely resembles an astronomical CGI video game. But this is a $75 million Hollywood movie, and no amount of technical wizardry can lift the burden of a juvenile screenplay. Kudos to Sinise, his costars, and the special effects wizards for making the most of hoary material; shame on just about everyone else involved. --Jeff Shannon

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CastDon Cheadle, Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Jerry O'Connell, Connie Nielsen, Elise Neal, Jill Teed, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Peter Outerbridge, Kim Delaney, Kavan Smith
DirectorBrian De Palma
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date:  March 10, 2000
MPAA Rating:  PG
DVD Release Date:  June 4, 2002
Runtime:  1hr 52min
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review by . January 07, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Not being a SciFi fan, I got this film thanks to a friend's recommendation (Thanks, Joe!), and to my surprise I found "Mission to Mars" a sound concept for the eternal questions of What is out there, Where did we come from, Is there senisble life on other planets etc. This is a beautifully drawn little story one mught tell to children. But the special effects and the overall human qualities and motivations are a breath of fresh air. This is not just another noisy war of the worlds with gooey monsters …
review by . September 30, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
This was the most disturbing movie I saw this year. The movie is about a crew that go's on a 2 year mission to Mars to study Mars and live there for awhile. While there something tradgic happens and all but one soul survives the incident. Soon another crew is asigned to save this pour soul from Mars. It takes about a year but the crew finaly land on Mars and find the man that was stranded there for a year (Am I the only one who see's something wrong with this picture?). While there they decide to …
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