Mars Attacks!

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

This quirky science fiction comedy is a characteristic feature by iconoclastic director Tim Burton, known to moviegoers for Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The storyline affectionately harkens back to the deadpan sincerity of such '50s and '60s science-fiction films as The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds. Flying saucers have been reliably seen over the capitals of the world, and the whole world awaits with bated breath to see what will transpire. Among those waiting is the President of the United States (Jack Nicholson), who is assured by his science advisor (Pierce Brosnan) that the coming aliens are utterly peaceful. This advice is hotly contested by the military (led by Rod Steiger), who advices the President to annihilate them. When the aliens land, they are seen to be green, garish, and very cheerful. But appearances prove deceiving when the friendly aliens abruptly disintegrate the entire U.S. Congress. Hollywood notables appear in vast quantities in roles (and sub-plots) of all sizes in this zany feature.~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Jack Nicholson
  • Glenn Close
  • Annette Bening
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Danny DeVito
  • Martin Short
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Rod Steiger
  • Tom Jones

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • Hugh Grant was considered for the role of Professor Donald Kessler.
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Goofs

  • The caption of the president's press conference indicates that it occurs in the afternoon, but the president says "Good Morning".
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Quotes

    • President Dale: Why can't we work out our differences? Why can't we work things out? Little people, why can't we all just get along?
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

75

A flashy nineties flick with a campy fifties feel -- it's playful, naive, clever, silly, often inventive, occasionally uneven and, compared to studio offerings to date, the best present under this year's cinematic tree.

Metacritic review by Rick Groen
Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
50

Mars Attacks! has the look and feel of a schlocky 1950s science-fiction movie, and if it's not as bad as a Wood film, that's not a plus: A movie like this should be a lot better, or a lot worse.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
50

The result can be viewed as an uproarious satire of science fiction in the Independence Day mold, or as a rehash of Gremlins without the novelty of the original.

Metacritic review by David Sterritt
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor