Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 13, 1996
6.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 118 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
63
Mixed:
38
Negative:
17
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10
WWABTT123Sep 9, 2010
Martians are look like completely not realistic graphics but a good plot
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
RobM.May 30, 2004
This movie is about past and future events. It also tests the audience listening and visual skills. If the observer is paying close enough attention then one would realize the history involved and also to catch purposefully planned mistakes. This movie is about past and future events. It also tests the audience listening and visual skills. If the observer is paying close enough attention then one would realize the history involved and also to catch purposefully planned mistakes. A well thought out movie if one is paying attention. For instance when Richy took donuts to the parents trailer house the date the mother insinuates does not match the date of the screen that was previously shown. And Jack Nicolson's statement "I'm not a crook" also is a past comment of one of America's president (Nixon). Then the way Mr. Nicolson holds his thumb while talking that is so similar to Mr. Bill Clinton's gestures while he was America's (cough, cough) leader. There are many other subtleties like these carefully placed throughout the movie. A great idea of testing our attention span in a very humorous way. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
YoonC.Sep 22, 2003
Perhaps the funniest sci-fi comedy, the one where Tim Burton finally found his rhythm and groove. It has none of the heaviness of Batman, the condescending humility of Ed Wood, the aimless wizardry of Nitemare before Xmas. Rather, it freely Perhaps the funniest sci-fi comedy, the one where Tim Burton finally found his rhythm and groove. It has none of the heaviness of Batman, the condescending humility of Ed Wood, the aimless wizardry of Nitemare before Xmas. Rather, it freely refashions all the insane and laughable elements of cheap sci-fi movies of the 50s and uses them as the basis for a never ending orgy of visual imagination and outrageous gags. Too funny to describe, zany, insane, and goodhumored thru and thru. Also features some of the best comic peformances of the 90s. Nicholson here far outshines his hamacting in Batman. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
PatC.Dec 18, 2003
Unique and memorable. Great entertainment for the family. Great commentary on entertainment personalities and how our government works. Could not have had a worse ending. What the hell does Tom Jones have to do with anything?
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
StephenS.Sep 14, 2006
I just love this movie. I'm 58 years old and have been watching sci-fi movies for over 50 of those years. This movie has all the laughs of Matinee (another terrific movie) without the slightest attempt to soften the satire or blunt the I just love this movie. I'm 58 years old and have been watching sci-fi movies for over 50 of those years. This movie has all the laughs of Matinee (another terrific movie) without the slightest attempt to soften the satire or blunt the humor with pathos. Great music, beautiful photography. It gets better with each viewing. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
8
EssenceOfSugarJan 20, 2013
This stylistic feature of black comedy has put quite a mark on reflecting and perhaps parodying America's attitudes towards culture and materialism. The fact that the design of the UFOs and Martians were less shoddy and more of what we thinkThis stylistic feature of black comedy has put quite a mark on reflecting and perhaps parodying America's attitudes towards culture and materialism. The fact that the design of the UFOs and Martians were less shoddy and more of what we think of them means that it helps to look at these in terms of our assumptions. A great ensemble of character with their own time to shine, the comedy is affectionate as well as outrageous. It's not meant to be predictable, it's the fact that the characters should have seen this one coming. Collapse
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
ILHMJan 31, 2013
The aliens are upon us, and they do not come in peace! After a fleet of warships are spotted on their approach to Earth, the world leaders prepare to welcome the intergalactic invaders from Mars, but are instead vaporized by their laser deathThe aliens are upon us, and they do not come in peace! After a fleet of warships are spotted on their approach to Earth, the world leaders prepare to welcome the intergalactic invaders from Mars, but are instead vaporized by their laser death rays! Who will save us when MARS ATTACKS? Tim Burton's irreverent black comedy combines the high camp of a Roger Corman production with Sam Raimi's particular brand of "splatstick" humor for an end result that is nothing short of hilarious! MARS ATTACKS features an all-star lineup that includes Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Annette Benning, Michael J. Fox, and many, many more playing ridiculous caricatures of our social and political figureheads. Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson and Rod Steiger stand out in particular as the two opposing heads of government. Nicholson plays the politically-correct President of the United States who overlooks the aliens' initial attacks as being a "cultural misunderstanding," while Steiger gives us a taste of DR. STRANGELOVE as General Decker, whose hand is always on the button as he anxiously awaits the authorization to deploy his nuclear deterrents. Expand
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8
SpangleDec 14, 2016
Known for his gothic films, Tim Burton embraces his weird side in Mars Attacks! Okay, he embraces his weird side in every film he has ever made, but I mean, his really weird side. Light, stupid, and incredibly funny, Mars Attacks! is anKnown for his gothic films, Tim Burton embraces his weird side in Mars Attacks! Okay, he embraces his weird side in every film he has ever made, but I mean, his really weird side. Light, stupid, and incredibly funny, Mars Attacks! is an riotously funny science fiction comedy that is more than in on the joke and knows actions on screen are absurd. With its tongue placed firmly in its cheek, Tim Burton's film offers more laughs than it knows what to do with, while also giving a humorous look at people's reactions to the attacks. From weirdos in Vegas to a pair of kids who were clearly prepared for the attack, the President, the military, and rednecks in Kansas, Mars Attacks! offers some political insight, but more or less settles for being tongue-in-cheek science fiction film and I was more than okay with this approach.

Spoofing 1950s science fiction films, Mars Attacks! features an ensemble cast led by Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman, Jack Black, Pam Grier, Christina Applegate, and Ray J before his Kim Kardashian sex tape. This cast hams it up a ton in their various roles with each of them engaging in hysterical encounters with the attacking alien forces. As for standouts among this cast, Nicholson is a big highlight in a duel role as the President and, in Vegas, as real estate developer Art Land. Offering two very different performances between the serious President and the outlandish and crazy Art Land, Nicholson is both a calming presence and a great source of dry humor in the film. Natalie Portman is also hysterical here as the President's daughter. Though incredibly young, her deadpan delivery and comedic timing make every word that leaves her mouth comedic gold. Pierce Brosnan as a cocky professor, Sarah Jessica Parker as a fashion talk show host, and Martin Short as the White House press secretary, are also highlights here.

Plot-wise, Mars Attacks! is pretty typical with a lot of the film focusing on determining whether or not the aliens are hostile or not. However, once they get their answer ("spoiler": they are going to attack), all hell breaks loose. Burton steps on the gas, pours fire on it, and laughs maniacally as the film spirals into control. With entertaining deaths, great one-liners and gags along the way ("they killed Congress!"), and fun action set pieces, Mars Attacks! embraces the absurdity and has a ton of fun with it. In particular, an encounter between Martin Short and an "attractive" alien is hysterical. Additionally, the running dialogue between Pierce Brosnan's severed head and Sarah Jessica Parker's head attached to a dog's body is both absurd and even more comical when considered in the context of the situation they find themselves in during the film.

With purposely cheap-looking aliens, the film reaches great heights as a spoof with oddly comical aliens that openly mock the science fiction genre and dedication put into making realistic looking aliens. Yet, in terms of spoofing the genre, its depiction of the United States is great. Dignified, advanced, and self-assured, the generals and President are quickly bamboozled by the aliens who use their own inventions as comedic tools (the translator running gag is great). Even better, the use of nuclear weapons being quickly embraced by the aliens is tremendous, as is the full-scale invasion of Washington DC, the use of the Washington monument, and the mayhem in the White House. All are uproariously absurd and keep making you wonder, "Did that really happen?", but the answer to this question is also, unequivocally, "Yes and it was glorious." By mocking the death of a useless Congress, the ineffectiveness of the nuclear bomb, the gung-ho general, and peace-loving President and Professor, Mars Attacks! really satirizes many elements of politics and it is hard to say what side the film comes down on. At the end of the day, both the pacifists and war advocates wound up dying. If anything, Mars Attacks! seems to say, "F*** it we all die anyways."

With gloriously terrible computer animation, hilarious dialogue, purposely awful music (that Grandma deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor for listening to that stuff), and a lively cast who deliver their lines with the right amount of cheese, Mars Attacks! is a great comedy film. Spoofing B-movies and 1950s paranoia-laced science fiction horror, Mars Attacks! demands that its audience be willing to go along with it throughout. This does not mean shutting off your brain or anything stupid like that. Rather, its brand of humor is all its own and requires that the audience just accept this oddity that will unfold and tries to enjoy the ride. As a result, Mars Attacks! is wildly divisive, but I found myself to be firmly residing in the "Yay" section.
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