Metascore
34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 36
  2. Negative: 14 out of 36
Watch On
  1. The picture is equally long on eye-dazzling camera work and New Age sentimentality.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    You can feel the movie going wrong in the first scene.
  3. Trying to make sense of this shaggy dog story is like climbing a mountain with glass-smooth sides and quarter-inch toeholds.
  4. It's a wonderful piece of filmmaking, but once any mouth is opened the magic is immediately tarnished.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    He does gorgeous work, but in Mission to Mars he's only going through the motions.
  6. Plot-wise, this is strictly paint-by-numbers stuff.
  7. Reviewed by: Gary Thompson
    50
    It's low-energy, and it's also depressing to know that people are still listening to Van Halen 20 years from now.
  8. 50
    Dazzling to look at but dreadful to listen to, the film is a tug-of-war of coolness and dreck.
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    50
    For a good 40 minutes or so in the middle of this movie, De Palma is in his element.
  10. In the presence of profound questions, the filmmaker goes profoundly shallow.
  11. 40
    Halfway through, De Palma literally explodes his narrative to orchestrate a superb deep-space float-opera replete with runaway modules, high-tech lassos, dramatic self-sacrifice, and, in the most surprising maneuver, a montage-driven modicum of actual suspense.
  12. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    40
    All such good intentions collapse by the third act, when Mission to Mars becomes a tediously late pastiche of chimerical nonsense from the early 1980s.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    40
    It's a gorgeous bad movie, the folly of a great visual stylist.
  14. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    40
    The final scenes, which suggest an earnest science lesson presented by a weepy extraterrestrial in an alien planetarium, play like the work of an amateur filmmaker.
  15. 40
    The script is heavy on platitudes about friendship, but since there isn't a single fully fleshed character in sight, who cares?
  16. 40
    There doesn't seem to be an original moment in the entire movie, and the score is so repetitive that it could have been downloaded directly from EnnioMorricone.com.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 4 out of 17
  1. Oct 5, 2011
    7
    I don' really remember the precise details of "Mission to Mars" (I was a kid back then). But I do still remember the wonderful performance ofI don' really remember the precise details of "Mission to Mars" (I was a kid back then). But I do still remember the wonderful performance of Tim Robbins as well as his prominent sacrifice for his team. Overall, I believe I liked it. Full Review »
  2. Jun 15, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I think the people who rated this film low,were probably expecting some action film,& dont 'get' what this film is meant to be about,or religious types,who dont their beliefs challenged.This film never claimed to be an action movie.Its a subtle & thought provoking film,that challenges the ideas & presents other theories of what started life on earth.The acting was top notch,& i was gripped from beginning to end.& so what if the Aliens were not bad guys! not every film has to be sinister,& it was refreshing to see the mystery at the end was not sinister at all,but something else.a paragon. Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2014
    10
    A space movie that is about hope, awe, and wonder rather than the anti-human-aliens and space-horror fest that has been the norm in this genreA space movie that is about hope, awe, and wonder rather than the anti-human-aliens and space-horror fest that has been the norm in this genre for the last 35 years. A rare gem in science fiction cinema. Full Review »