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Martian Child
Martian Child
Actors: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman, Sophie Okonedo, Joan Cusack
Director: Menno Meyjes
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2008     1hr 46min

After decades of playing single men in romantic comedies from the classic SAY ANYTHING to the critical favorite HIGH FIDELITY the year 2007 marks a change for John Cusack. With roles as fathers in 1408 GRACE IS GONE and MA...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman, Sophie Okonedo, Joan Cusack
Director: Menno Meyjes
Creators: Corey Sienega, David Gerrold, David Kirschner, Ed Elbert, Jonathan Tolins, Seth Bass
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Drama, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: New Line Cinema
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/12/2008
Original Release Date: 11/02/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 11/02/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 6
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 9/23/2022...
Big fan of John Cusack but could not really get into this. It seems others really liked it though.
Sharon F. (Shar) from AVON PARK, FL
Reviewed on 2/26/2021...
I absolutely LOVED this movie. A totally new plot, well played by both John Cusak and the young man who plays the boy from Mars. Cute, touching, and entertaining. Don't miss this one.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Misty K. B. from WASILLA, AK
Reviewed on 8/24/2014...
I loved this movie. There was a little disconnect between times the main character was supportive, and when he finally lost patience, with his frustration seeming to come out of the blue, but over all the movie was very good. The idea that it is alright to be yourself, even if you are a little outside the mainstream, will strike a chord with many people, as will the message that everyone needs at least one other person to love and cherish them. It is a sweet, moving movie about a child desperately trying trying to bring order to his chaotic world.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
George K. from COLCHESTER, CT
Reviewed on 9/23/2013...
Martian Child is a totally sweet, loving movie. A two-year widower adopts a broken little boy who is convinced that he is from Mars. The steps that they take together are touching and convincing, although the climactic scene is a little tough to believe.

Still, a charming movie that is well worth the time. Perfect for a stay-at-home date.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Gentle Film That Deserves Wider Attention
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"MARTIAN CHILD was marketed incorrectly - that can be the major reason for its lack of success in the theatrical release. While all the multiplex theaters are overflowing with loud, coarse, raunchy, and special effects driven financial successes (with major exceptions, of course!), little meaningful and sensitive films such as this are submerged and don't last long. Should the name of the film have been different? Should the advertisements been better designed? Who knows, but for those who now have the opportunity to buy or rent MARTIAN CHILD, there is a special experience in store.

Based on the novel 'The Martian Child' by David Gerrold (beautifully adapted for the screen by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins), Director Menno Meyjes has gathered an exceptional cast to present this story about human needs and how we all find security in the warmth of other caring beings. David (John Cusack) is a successful science fiction writer who is a widower, still grieving for his wife. His agent Jeff (Oliver Platt), his sister Liz (Joan Cusack) and his wife's best friend Harlee (Amanda Peet) aid his 'convalescence', but David feels the need for a child. When social worker Sophie (Sophie Okonedo) calls David concerning an available strange little boy Dennis (Bobby Coleman) who believes he is from the planet Mars and hides inside a box, covered with sunscreen and dark glasses, David responds: he, after all, writes science fiction and is attracted to the idea that Dennis believes he is here from Mars on a mission. Against the advice of his practical sister, David agrees to take Dennis home, feeling that he is one of the few who can relate to Dennis' behavior.

Life at home is not easy, but with time David and Dennis bond and Dennis comes out of his box to become 'normal'. It is the prolonged journey on which David and Dennis embark that holds the meat of the story. Dennis has been deserted as a small child and finds security in believing he is a visiting Martian who will be 'taken home' to Mars when his mission to understand human beings is complete. David's persistent parenting (quoting Churchill's 'Never ever, ever ,ever, ever, ever give up'), while tested to the extreme, results in a bonding with Dennis that is heart wrenchingly beautiful. And how each of the characters' lives is changed by this extraordinary relationship brings the film to a touching close.

In addition to the fine performances by both Cusacks, Peet, Platt, and Okonedo, there are brief but noteworthy cameos by Anjelica Huston and Richard Schiff among others. This is a film that makes a major statement about parenting and single parenting in particular and does so with kindness, tenderness, and sincere emotion. Please see this film. Grady Harp, February 08"
Movie displays ignored subject in our society.. "unwanted ch
D. Crawford | Hoover, AL United States | 02/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Being a single guy myself, looking into the adoption process of becoming a father of a special needs (older/behavioral) child, I was excited about this movie coming out. I have always believed that we need more movies such as this one that shows adopting an older child and single adoption in a good light. There are many older kids such as the one displayed in the movie that need homes. I know this because I am also a child therapist and I work with many of them. What I liked about the movie is how it shows what truly a single man goes through when trying to adopt. I have an older sister just like the one in the movie. Everything that Cusack's sister said to him, my sister said to me. "These older kids have problems, why would you want to deal with that?" she has stated to me. Also how the system looks at a single man not worthy or strange to want to raise kids is there also. It's sad we live in a society in which men are not suppose to love kids... unless they are his own or unless they are on the football field or something. The lack of positive male role models is one thing that is damaging our society.

The missing part of the movie that I thought could have made it better is I was expecting the kid to have been more difficult... displaying behavior that would have made it harder to love him. The little guy in the movie was easy to love. That's what didn't make sense to me. He was very socially odd; however, his behavior was not all that bad. I don't understand why a therapeutic foster home or family couldn't handle him. He wasn't aggressive physically or verbally and didn't have any of the significant issues such as self injurious or sexually acting out behavior. He was just a very neglected, possibly abused child that lived in a fantasy world in order to cope with his reality. Also I didn't understand why the so called mental health experts in the movie thought this behavior was abnormal taking into account that the kid was abandoned and likely abused. It is very common for severely abused and neglected children to live in a fantasy world. I can't count the number of group home kids I have worked with that stated that their mother just bought them an xbox360 or something else great and I know they don't even have parents. It's easier to make up false stories about being loved than to live with the reality of not being wanted. Also I wish there were more heart felt moments in the movie. The ones that were in the movie were basically ruined by watching the trailer.

Also I have read many reviews stating that the end of the movie was terrible. I thought the last scene when Cusack told the boy how important and special he is was the best part of the movie. That scene made the movie! There are many, many kids who need to hear what Cusack said to that boy. Most people who don't have any experience working with unwanted children may think that scene was corny, however those who do have experience working with or being one of those kids, that scene was perfect. Great movie however just a little under five stars!

By the way, to totally appreciate this movie you have to look at it as a pure drama and not science fiction. Watch the movie with the understanding that unwanted, abused and abandoned kids make up fantasy stories in order to cope with their reality and the so called "science fiction" part of the movie will make more sense. Also take into account that an adoption process takes at least a year. All of these "sappy" moments could have EASILY happened in a year time frame.

This movie could also be used in group therapy for foster kids as a way to get them to express themselves about their current issues. Many foster and adopted kids have experienced many of the same situations the young boy in the movie faced. The movie is good to use to start a discussion and explore feelings and help kids gain awareness about themselves... just a thought."
Will leave you with a tear in your eye, but a smile in your
R. Kyle | USA | 11/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The last person widowed author David Gordon (John Cusack) expected to call him was Sophie (Sophie Okonedo) the adoption counselor he and his wife had spoken to about getting a child. But, Sophie said she had someone special for him to see--so he went.

What he saw was a kid-size Amazon box with his adoption candidate inside. Dennis (Bobby Coleman) was telling everyone he came from Mars. Sophie thought David would be particularly adept at dealing with a kid like him since he was a science fiction author himself.

Something touches a chord with David. He was a different kid himself--he wouldn't want to bring a kid into the world, but there's one who really needs him--and maybe he needs the kid, too.

Despite advice from his sister to reconsider, David accepts the challenge and chooses to take Dennis into his home and heart. Parenthood was an adventure that David was completely unprepared for.

"Martian Child" depicts who David and Dennis come to accept each other. They face loss of a pet they've both come to love, a burgeoning love interest with Marlee (Amanda Peet) and dealing with the California bureaucracy governing adoptions. Both Cusack and Coleman do an excellent job playing their respective parts. You can tell there's real chemistry between the pair. The remainder of the supporting cast is very good too.

The film is based upon the book by the same title written by David Gerrold, a noted sci-fi and fantasy author. The book is semi-fiction. I haven't read the book, so it's not possible for me to comment on which is better. I have read Mr. Gerrold and very much enjoyed much of his work.

"Martian Child" was well worth the matinee price my husband and I paid to see the film, but we both agreed the viewing was a once in a lifetime event. Our chief problem with the film was we couldn't really see a niche for it. It's really not a date film. Children would probably tire of the film long before it was over. While both my husband and I are fans of Gerrold's, "Martian Child" may have a limited appeal to science fiction fans as well."