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Red Planet
Red Planet
Actors: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker
Director: Antony Hoffman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2001     1hr 46min

Houston, we have a very big problem! In the mid-21st century, the nations of a dying Earth look starward for a solution and set out to colonize Mars. But something no one could have expected awaits this latest mission to t...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker
Director: Antony Hoffman
Creators: Andrew Mason, Bruce Berman, Charles J.D. Schlissel, Chuck Pfarrer, Jorge Saralegui, Mark Canton, Stephen Jones, Jonathan Lemkin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Robots & Androids, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/27/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Michael P. (heavensgems)
Reviewed on 1/24/2010...
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Heather F. (8izenuff) from PHOENIX, AZ
Reviewed on 9/12/2009...
A very good space drama. Very believable.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
James V. from BISMARCK, ND
Reviewed on 8/26/2009...
Riveting from start to finish. Great graphics and the surround sound blows you away. Highly recommend to all scifi lovers.
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kristine K. (GoldenGryphon) from EAST BERNARD, TX
Reviewed on 2/3/2009...
I guess, since I actually *like* Val Kilmer's acting, I have to start off with a disagreement with previous reviews. I loved this movie. The reason the team went to Mars, the plot twists and the pseudo-science that actually almost worked all made for an entertaining sci-fi action adventure with some very scary bits. Even the inter-personal relationships made sense.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Better than "Mission to Mars" and "Pitch Black."
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 04/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Out of the three space-related films of the year 2000, "Red Planet" is definitely the best. The movie towers over the slow-moving "Mission to Mars" with a nicely-paced sequence of events, and takes a front seat to "Pitch Black" by not going too much into violence and gore. The characters are intelligent and likeable, and the plot develops itself to cover all of its bases once the final moments settle in. I had to remain skeptical in watching this, due to the flack it received from numerous other critics, yet I found myself enjoying the movie immensely. The movie begins with the narration of Commander Kate Bowman, as she describes how, after fifty years, the earth is running out of resources, and becoming increasingly uninhabitable. This is the reason for their mission: the first manned space mission to Mars in order to determine whether or not human life could exist on such a planet. This is a nice setup, far more intellectual and interesting that the setup for "Mission to Mars." Unlike that film, there is an actual stated reason for this mission, and the astronauts actually have a purpose in going instead of just going there to observe. The characters are introduced to us at this time, giving us a chance to warm up to them before throwing them into the expected mayhem to come. Commander Bowman is highly intellectual and fervent in giving orders, and expects nothing but the best from her ship and her crew. The crew consists of Robby Gallagher, a maintenance operator, Dr. Quinn Berchenal, Ted Santen, Chip Pettengill, and Dr. Bud Chantilles. The crew and commander get along well for the most part, with some minor tension between certain characters as well as developing love interests among Gallagher and Bowman. In the first attempt to attain an orbit around the planet, a solar flare disables the spacecraft, and everyone is able to land on the Red Planet but Bowman, who must stay behind and revive the spacecraft. Their landing on Mars proves to be quite eventful, and as the group begins to make their way across the landscape, they make some interesting discoveries: there is oxygen within the atmosphere, which allows them to breathe without their helmets. A machine which was designed to move about in places they cannot goes berserk, threatening their lives. And there is the constant feeling that they are not alone on the planet, that something else is inhabiting the very terrains they are searching. The only real reason that this material works is that there is an explanation for each and every one of the above-mentioned events that never gets too out-of-hand or confusing. The available oxygen is there because of algae-carrying pods sent to the planet many years ago from Earth in order to create life-giving plants and organisms, which would also provide an explanation for the presence of life forms on the planet as well. There is an actual reason for their mission, as stated above. The malfunctions of the spacecraft that are caused by the solar flare also have a purpose in the film, and are explained by the conversations between Bowman and her computer, which seems to have a mind of its own. The movie is a techie's paradise: all sorts of little gadgets and machines bring a futuristic sense to the story. The robot Amee is one such example: it can be controlled by humans, but once it develops a mind of its own, it is virtually unstoppable. This is a nice testament to machine-building getting out of hand, as we are creating machines smarter than the human race everyday. I especially liked the tie-back to our present day with the modem/radio that is used to establish contact between the Mars survivors and the spacecraft, providing me with a hearty chuckle while keeping the story moving. Story movement goes at a steady pace, never getting too slow and agonizing or too fast and incomprehendable. The story may be viewed as simplistic by some, but it ccertainly never reaches the juvenile likings of "Mission to Mars." This story is much more intelligent, and through its dialogue and plot execution, it shows us that it's aware of this factor. It never dives into too much violence or gore, either. The life forms that inhabit Mars are dangerous, but it never gets to the point where we must turn away. The special effects are spectacular, vividly creating an almost dream-like place where fantasy and reality are undiscernable. Mars, yes, is a red planet, but it is during the night that this planet reveals its breathtaking vistas and algae-covered landscapes. Scenes in space are convincing and well rendered. Sound design is extremely bass-heavy, adding to the presence of the spacecraft while also creating a sense of unease with its chords of music. Casting is uniquely done as well, with a group of actors that seem out of place with one another. Carrie-Anne Moss is Commander Bowman, with Val Kilmer as Robby Gallagher. Their chemistry never really has a chance to get off the ground, but while it's in take-off stage, it's believable and well-acted. Moss is especially convincing in seriousness as a captain of a ship. Benjamin Bratt, playing Ted Santen, is arrogant and forceful, while Simon Baker as Chip Pettengill, and Terence Stamp as Dr. Bud Chantilles are humorous and mysterious. Tom Sizemore does not attain enough screen time for us to get a feel for his character, who indulges in philosophy, but his early death keeps us from needing to know any more than that about him. "Red Planet" may seem like another addition to the failing sci-fi genre, but it's not without its good points. It has a nicely crafted story that is told lucidly and effectively, with moments of intensity and suspense that fit into the plot. The performances are convincing and well-acted, while the special effects are dazzling and meticulous. I didn't expect much out of this movie, and I guess that helped me to like it as much as I did."
Better than average sci-fi fare
Todd Guthrie | Houston, Tx | 05/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Red Planet has flaws (many of the plot twists are fairly predictable, some of the science is screwy), but overall is a pretty good value pick. Kilmer's wise-cracking "space janitor" is a character we can care about, Sizemore provides good counterpoint, and Moss is an eyeful. The problem-solving aspects of the plot lift it above the morass of most sci-fi; the characters actually use math and old Mars probes to try and save themselves, and ANY movie that features realistic, scientific approaches to solving problems is OK in my book. I teach science in a public high school, and actually use some clips from the movie to illustrate problem solving. This is not high-art science fiction, but neither is it campy or schlocky; Red Planet has some intelligence and wit, which makes it pretty good in my book."
May be too simple and monochromatic for most SF fans.
Donald E. Strong | Mesa, AZ USA | 03/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"15 years from now, people are going to pick up this movie and wonder why so many people thought it was bad--there's actually very little wrong with it: memorable performances from Sizemore, Stamp and Kilmer, better science than the average Hollywood flick, a nifty mystery, a logical triumph of man over machine (aren't we all a little tired of omnipotent, indestructible robots?), and crisp suspense as the astronauts race the clock to escape the tightening noose of a mission gone awry.It was promoted as a SF/Horror flick similar to ALIEN, and it really isn't--it's more like Alfred Hitchcock directing THE RIGHT STUFF.All the SF movie fans I know tend to like byzantine tales, historic in scope, filled with quirky characters roaming rich new landscapes, so this simple tale of a small group of men trying to escape a desolate red planet within a short span of hours might not be rich enough for them. (The SF fanboys won't like it because Carrie-Anne Moss's shower scene is too short and doesn't show's definitely worth a rental, but you won't want to own it unless you're a suspense fan that revels more in how a film is put together than in how it turns out."