These days, Mars is all the rage.
In the midst of all this activity, the fourth planet from the sun is garnering a lot of attention. United Arab Emirates’ spacecraft recently entered orbit and two rovers (one from the US and one from China) are scheduled to land soon.
The fact that Mars is farther from the sun than we are doesn’t mean it’s any less interesting.
It’s not necessary for you to inform Hollywood producers that Mars is awe-inspiring. In the past, they’ve scoured the red planet for awe-inspiring tale ideas.
One of the earliest offerings was “A Trip to Mars,” which was produced by Thomas Edison’s cinema production business in 1910, and was one of the earliest examples of the genre. To avoid confusion with the 1918 Danish film of the same name, this is not to be confused with.)
1. “Total Recall” (1990)
First-rate Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, possibly a notch or two below the first two “Terminator” pictures, and replete with plenty of outstanding special effects and an engaging storyline about a rebellion on Mars as the 21st century draws to a conclusion. One of the most popular films of the year, starring Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct), was a huge success at the box office. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
2. “Rocketship X-M” (1950)
“Expedition Moon” and “Rocketship Expedition Moon” are two other names for this classic black-and-white sci-fi film, which depicts a fictional tale of humanity’s first trip to the moon and back. Getting to the moon is our ultimate goal. However, they miss their target and land on Mars instead. Oops! There is a group of barbarous Martians still struggling with the repercussions of nuclear warfare, so they’ll have to deal with them now Using Google Maps will teach astronauts a lesson. (Amazon Prime members can have it for free.)
3. “The Martian” (2015)
As Mark Watney, an astronaut who is stranded on Mars owing to a big dust storm, Matt Damon proves once again that he is one of the best performers in the solar system. Filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien) is behind the camera, and the ensemble includes Jessica Chastain (Jeff Daniels), Jeff Daniels (Jeff Daniels), and Kristen Wiig. It’s based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
4. “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (1965)
“Mystery Science Theater 3000” and “Elvira’s Movie Macabre” have both featured this film, and we believe everyone should see it at least once throughout their lives (preferably very late at night). Consider the fact that the film incorporates an 11-year-old Martian child, Pia Zadora, in the character of one of the protagonists. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
5. “Mission to Mars” (2000)
In spite of the fact that it’s only the 173rd best Disney movie, every picture by horror master Brian De Palma (“Carrie,” “Scarface”) is worth seeing, and this story of a Mars expedition gone horribly wrong is no exception. Along with Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins and Don Cheadle and Connie Nielsen and Jerry O’Connell and Kim Delaney it has a stellar cast. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
6. “Ghosts of Mars” (2001)
Do you recall our remarks on De Palma? That’s doubly true for the iconic Halloween director John Carpenter, whose latest film, starring Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham and Pam Grier was a box office flop despite the star power of the film’s cast. The film’s campiness may or may not have been an accident, but we’re delighted anyway. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
7. “Mars Needs Moms” (2011)
Don’t confuse this film with Larry Buchanan’s “Mars Needs Women,” which was released in 1968. Adapted from Berkeley Breathed’s best-selling book of the same name, this animated Disney film depicts the story of a young boy who is punished for feeding broccoli to his cat, but finds redemption by saving his mother from Martians. As well as on Disney+ and a number of other platforms,
8. “Watchmen” (2009)
With Dr. Manhattan, the incomprehensibly powerful blue super being who doesn’t wear pants, one of the most important narratives occurs on Mars. There is some merit to the film but it pales in comparison to the original DC comic book. If you like this one, you should check out the fantastic HBO series of the same name if you have time. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
9. “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” (1964)
When Daniel Defoe sat down to write the classic 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe,” we’re pretty confident this was the tale he had in mind. So, if you’re a literary historian, you should definitely see this movie. Aside from that, it features Adam “Batman” West and, as one Twitter user points out, “deserves to be featured here just for the chimpanzee in an astronaut’s helmet.” (Available on a wide range of platforms)
10. “Species II” (1998)
‘Species’ returns with a new installment in its outrageous sci-fi horror saga, this time setting its story in space. During their time on Mars, several astronauts conclude that bringing soil samples back to Earth would be an excellent idea. They had it incorrect. (Available on a wide range of platforms)
11. “The Angry Red Planet” (1958)
One of those classic ’50s sci-fi films best appreciated with a huge bowl of popcorn and an ample supply of Red Vines on a wet Sunday afternoon. There are numerous reasons to watch this picture, including a ridiculous narrative, loads of accidental comedy, and fantastic special effects, but the true reason to see it is because it features one of the best monsters in film history, also known as “Invasion of Mars” and “Journey to Planet Four.” Don’t get too close to the Martian Rat-Bat-Spider, though! (Available on a wide range of platforms)
12. “Capricorn One” (1978)
We’ll wrap up our list of the best Mars movies with this sci-fi thriller, even though it doesn’t quite fit the bill. The narrative of this film involves a government effort to fool the public into believing that astronauts are on their way to Mars, but we’ll make an exception because we enjoy a good conspiracy film. Elliot Gould plays O.J. Simpson in the film, which also stars James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and James Brolin.