The Martian is set to be one of the biggest films of this year. The film’s opening weekend just barely missed breaking the record for October, set by the film Gravity. If you have not heard of this science-fiction story, we encourage you to read the book before seeing the film. You’ll follow the struggles of an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must learn to survive on the hostile red planet; while NASA and the rest of the world strive to rescue him.

Movie info:

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig,

Rating: PG-13 for strong language, injury images, and brief nudity

Run Time: 141 Minutes (2 hours 21 minutes)

Is The Martian educational?

The film is very educational. One of the continuous themes of the film is solving problems. The trailer below encompasses the idea of “Let’s get to work” which is conveyed throughout the film. It can be a great tool for motivating students when the odds seem stacked against them.

The film can also be used to ask higher level questions? What risks should be explored to save one man? If your child was in the shoes of other characters in the film would they have done something differently?

Is there profanity?

Yes. With problems, come frustrations. While the ‘F’ word is only heard once throughout the film, there are other times it is implied, but not spoken. Other words are used to express varying degrees of frustration as well as used for comedic effect.

How violent is The Martian?

There is one graphic scene within the first 10-15 minutes of the film where we learn how the astronaut became stranded after being injured in an accident. Being alone, he must tend to his wound by performing a hasty surgical procedure which can be jarring.

Is there explicit content?

There is one shot that features nudity. However this shot in no way has any explicit context. With the astronaut being on Mars for such a long time, and surviving on rationed food, he loses weight. The shot is meant to show the effects of the prolonged stay on Mars has had on his body.

Your child should see this movie if:

They have read the book. The film is a great adaptation of the book, which is being praised by readers and scientists alike.

They are interested in space. The author meant for this book to be as accurate as possible. Using real concepts and real history to flush out the plot.

Your child should not see this movie if:

You are expecting a sci-fi adventure. This is not Guardians of the Galaxy or a movie about aliens. It’s about one man’s struggle to survive, and the effort that he and everyone back on Earth go to to get him home. It features “real life” problems and theoretical solutions. Your child may get bored with the emphasis on “science” and the lack of “fiction” in the film.

Further Reading:

“Three Reasons You Should Read The Martian”

Learning Liftoff Movie and TV Reviews


Featured Image – 20th Century Fox

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