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"MISSION TO MARS"
(2000) (Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Moderate Minor Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: After something terribly goes wrong with the first manned mission to Mars, a crew of four astronauts sets out on a rescue mission to the Red Planet.
PLOT:
It's the year 2020 and NASA has finally landed its astronauts on Mars. Led by Commander Luke Graham (DON CHEADLE), the small team of explorers discovers an anomaly on the surface that eventually kills everyone but Graham who just manages to send out a frantic distress call.

Jim McConnell (GARY SINISE) is a fellow astronaut who Graham replaced when McConnell's wife and mission partner, Maggie (KIM DELANEY) got sick and died. Sensing the urgent need to rescue his good friend, McConnell and another astronaut buddy, Commander Woody Blake (TIM ROBBINS), convince NASA official Ray Beck (an uncredited ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL) to send out a small rescue team. Beck reluctantly agrees, and thus McConnell, Blake, his wife Dr. Terri Fisher (CONNIE MIELSEN) and mission specialist Phil Ohlmyer (JERRY O'CONNELL) set out a long and dangerous rescue mission.

After a six-month journey, the rescue team finally arrives at the Red Planet only to encounter various dangers and unbelievable discoveries as they search for Graham, hoping that he may still be alive.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
For those who are fans of sci-fi films, this PG-rated space yarn may be enticing to them, as it probably will for anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sci-fi violence and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GARY SINISE plays an astronaut still dealing with his wife and NASA partner's death, who acts bravely (if occasionally in a foolhardy way) during the rescue mission.
  • TIM ROBBINS plays the rescue mission commander and loving husband to Terri, one of his crewmembers.
  • DON CHEADLE plays the Mars mission commander who's had to survive on the plant for more than a year by himself.
  • CONNIE NIELSEN plays Blake's wife and NASA partner who helps on the rescue mission.
  • JERRY O'CONNELL plays the youngest crewmember, a somewhat skittish mission specialist.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated, sci-fi film. Several people are killed by some sort of defense mechanism on Mars (including one whose body is shredded by a vortex - seen from a distance and with minimal and brief gore), while a character commits suicide to prevent others from endangering their lives trying to rescue him.

    Those scenes, and a few others, may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to some kids, all depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. A few passing, but certainly non-explicit references to sex are made (and will most likely go over many younger kids' heads), while profanity consists of some hells, damns, and a handful or religious phrases. A few colorful phrases are also uttered.

    Beyond that, there's some very brief drinking and smoking, while the film puts a spin on the notion of how life was created on Earth. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some people at a party drink beer or wine, including McConnell who arrives with a bottle of champagne but later has a beer.
  • In some "home movies," we see people having drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After being sucked into a swirling vortex, we briefly see an astronaut's body being shredded apart (from a distance and with minimal blood/gore beyond the brief shredding).
  • In an interference-laden transmission, we see what looks like some blood on Graham's head as well as on his spacesuit.
  • We see a bloody wound in Phil's hand as well as some of his blood floating in the gravity free spaceship.
  • We see a dead man's face (in outer space) that looks somewhat frosted, discolored and appears to have cracks in it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Woody refers to Ray's comments as being "Euro babble."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following may or may not be suspenseful (to varying degrees) to viewers, all depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.
  • Although the scene isn't accompanied by suspenseful music, Graham and his crew hear weird sounds when standing in front of a mountain. Suddenly, an odd windstorm begins sweeping around the mountain, eventually forming a tornado like vortex at the top that then bends down toward the crew (like a giant, swirling worm with an open mouth that approaches them). As the astronauts finally try to get away, a large rock strikes one of them and shatters their faceplate, another is buried, and one is sucked into the vortex and shredded apart. In the end, three astronauts are dead.
  • A scene where the astronauts must find miniscule holes in their spaceship before it loses all pressure and oxygen may be tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • The same holds true for another several minute sequence where the astronauts must float (by themselves and without any sort of space ship) through space from one spacecraft to another (over a long distance). During this, one astronaut overshoots the second spacecraft and begins to fall toward the planet while the others try to rescue him.
  • Several astronauts walk through a darkened and seemingly abandoned space station.
  • Several astronauts try to make their way back to their spaceship (through a blinding sandstorm) before it leaves them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pick ax: One man tries to attack another with it.
  • Spears: Carried and thrown by primitive men toward bison in a recreation of past life on Earth.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Nuts" (crazy), "Sucker," "Tough as hell," "You little bastard," "I'll be damned," "What the hell" and "Let's get the hell out of here."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person suddenly shows up behind another person.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 11 hells, 4 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 7 uses of "Jesus," 4 each of "God" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "My God" and "Oh God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Christ," "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A woman at a party shows cleavage.
  • An astronaut tries to "pick up" a woman at a party by saying that it's his last night on Earth and that this could be a precious moment. The woman then gets up telling him, "Nice try." He later tries to pick another woman who also shows some cleavage.
  • Terri jokes about Woody's style of dancing, stating he normally just shuffles his feet around and grabs her butt. Later, while dancing in a weightless environment, Woody jokes that once they're on Mars, it will be back to shuffling his feet and grabbing her butt.
  • Terri and Woody passionately but playfully kiss in a brief scene.
  • A comment is made about McConnell trying to explore a "heavenly body" (his wife) and join the 10,000-mile high club (a reference to having sex in outer space).
  • SMOKING
  • Blake smokes a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Graham's son worries about who will read him bedtime stories while his dad's in outer space.
  • McConnell still grieves over his dead wife.
  • A woman witnesses her husband's death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Space flight and whether humans will ever step foot on Mars.
  • Whether there was ever life on Mars.
  • A character's decision to commit suicide to prevent others from endangering their lives trying to rescue him.
  • The origin of life on Earth.
  • VIOLENCE
  • An astronaut is killed when a rock hits them in the head and breaks their faceplate.
  • Another astronaut's body is shredded to bits (seen from a distance) in a swirling vortex, while we learn that another astronaut was also killed.
  • Some miniscule space debris punches some holes in a spaceship, with one striking Phil in the hand, drawing some blood.
  • Part of a spaceship blows up.
  • An astronaut purposefully commits suicide by removing his helmet.
  • A character tries to hit another character with a pick ax (thinking he's a figment of his imagination) and the two then struggle over it.



  • Reviewed March 6, 2000 / Posted March 10, 2000

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