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Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks!

3.7 18
Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening


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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Pete Segall
Tim Burton's tribute to the alien invasion flicks of the '50s is so stubbornly zany that it's hard not to like. Burton is a director with an undying penchant for glorifying the kooky, and in Mars Attacks! he constructs what is basically an epic Saturday morning cartoon -- with more cartoonish violence than Tom or Jerry ever dreamed possible. Gibberish-speaking Martians with abnormally large heads arrive in big saucers and, without motive, bring on the destruction of Earth by vaporizing all of Congress (though, in true Burton spirit, one character's first reaction is to laugh and almost cheer). The disparate cast includes every talent imaginable -- from Pam Grier to Pierce Brosnan to Jack Nicholson in a double role as U.S. President and a gaudy casino developer -- and each member plays the big joke so impeccably straight that one might ask whether Burton is lovingly honoring or outrageously mocking the genre. The answer is probably a little bit of both, but even if it isn't, the outcome is irresistibly fun.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!, like Barry Levinson's Toys, is a misguided but extremely personal vision. From the opening images of a herd of cows on fire running through a spacious Western landscape (much to the disbelief of stoic local residents), there is never a doubt that the viewer is in the world of Burton's playful imagination. While the film has many good visual jokes, the characters are nothing but caricatures that fail to get any laughs. Pierce Brosnan plays the stiff scientist, forever smoking a pipe. The pipe is as far as the satire has been thought out. The film is based on a series of collectible cards issued by the Topps Company in the 1950s, and the film feels about as thin as one of those cards. Despite some funny gags, the film does not have enough visual wonder to make the viewer ignore the underdeveloped elements that aimed to spoof sci-fi disaster films. Mars Attacks!'s lack of success is due to a personal vision that the director has failed to develop. Since most flawed movies (especially comedies) are terrible precisely because they have been homogenized to reach the lowest common denominator, Mars Attacks!'s individuality makes it an honest failure worth seeing once.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Nicholson Art Land,President Dale
Glenn Close Marsha Dale
Annette Bening Barbara Land
Pierce Brosnan Donald Kessler
Jim Brown Byron Williams
Danny DeVito Rude Gambler
Martin Short Jerry Ross
Michael Fox Jason Stone
Pam Grier Louise Williams
Tom Jones Himself
Sarah Jessica Parker Nathalie Lake
Natalie Portman Taffy Dale
Sylvia Sidney Grandma Norris
Rod Steiger Gen. Decker
Paul Winfield Gen. Casey
Lukas Haas Richie Norris
Lisa Marie Martian Girl
Christina Applegate Sharona
Joe Don Baker Glenn Norris
Jack Black Billy Glenn Norris
Brandon Hammond Neville
O-Lan Jones Sue Ann Norris
Janice Riveria Cindy
Ray J Cedric
Brian Haley Mitch
Jerzy Skolimowski Dr. Zeigler
Timi Prulhiere Tour Guide
Barbet Schroeder French President
Rebecca Broussard Prostitute

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director,Producer
Colleen Atwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Matthew Barry Casting
Richard G. Berger Set Decoration/Design
Paul Deason Associate Producer
John Dexter Art Director
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Larry Franco Producer
Jonathan Gems Original Story,Screenwriter
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Dan Kamin Consultant/advisor
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Tom Mack Asst. Director
Dennis Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Jean McCarthy Casting
Mark S. Miller Associate Producer
Jim Mitchell Special Effects Supervisor
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Randy Thom Set Decoration/Design
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
Victoria Thomas Casting


Customer Reviews

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Mars Attacks! 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie and watch it a couple of times per year. It's totally politically incorrect and that alone makes it worth watching. The casting is superb, and is an A-List of big time talent doing something fun. It's not to be taken seriously and I'm amazed that some of the acting talent could do some of the scenes without cracking up. If you're looking for a serious movie, this one is not it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
transformersgal More than 1 year ago
I thought this movie was hilarious! I loved every character and how each actor portrayed their character flawlessly. I admire Jack Nicholson the most who I thought did the best. The special effects were cheesy but that is what makes it funny. If you ask me, this movie is definitely worth watching.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie will have you comming away from it making that martian noise to all yur friends!!! You have to watch it to understand
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was funny, it just wasn't the greatest. I loved the action, the alien's costumes, how they looked, and especialy how they talked. I just didn't really enjoy the plot. It was okay, it wasn't horrible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
They are so wonderfully bad - it's great. At first, you don't know if they come in peace. After a while, you learn that they really ARE trying to take over the world - and from then on - it's a blast. They are so loathsome - and Earth's counterweapon is so effective - it's fun to watch them get their come-uppance at the end of the flick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a movie you'll really want to see again and again. The plot is perfect. The theme is right. I LOVE THE MARTIANS! Lets just say I love 1950's scifi movies!(my dad I can thank for this). This is one movie you'll never want to let go of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was easily one of the worst films ever created, just goes to show that using big names doesn't really mean it will be a good film. Horrible movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is so stupid, its funny. the counter alein wepon is really funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In what would become one of Tim Burton's greatest achievements, Mars Attacks!, an action-packed lampoon of those alien invasion films from the 20th Century, showcases a timeless combination of action-packed thrills and slapstick comedy. Headed by an all-star cast including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Annette Bening, Rod Stieger, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jim Brown, Danny DeVito, Tom Jones and Lukas Haas, Mars Attacks! gives you plenty of great laughs and pulsating action which makes it an instant success at the box office (it was more of a well-desrved hit outside North America) and a spellbinding classic. As one of the cinema's most striking and highly imaginable film directors of his generation, Tim Burton does a carefully fantastic job that satisfies the audiences as he turns the film into a time-honoured success. The film would still look spectacular on the big screen. So if you are interested in thrilling action and slapstick comedy that is out of this world, then I suggest you treat yourself to Mars Attacks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is NOT a serious movie. As a matter of fact, it is completely un-serious, unllike the '50s movies it is a takeoff on. What it is, is completely hilarious. A different type of gag humor from Mel Brooks, more like comparing Monty Python to Woody Allen, but funny all the same. This is a movie that will make more money on TV reruns and DVD sales then it ever would at the movies, just because of what it is... entertainment. You'd watch this again and again, just to howl at some of the gags. I don't know about the actors, but I can imagine that something like this appeals to craft actors like Nicholson or Steiger to just let themselves go completely...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like no other movie as you see each major role get slaughtered as opposed to the main characters always surviving. Well thought out action and just plain silly. A great movie to watch if you dont really want to pay attention, although, to pay attention really does the movie justice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am sorry but this show was not very good. I admit that the actors are great and there are some good lines in the movie (IE the aliens running around shooting people as they say they are there in peace) but the story tries too hard to be funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is hillarious and freaky. Do not watch it at night. It gave me nightmares. It is about aliens who act as friends of the world but really aren't. They breathe nitrogen so they must chew a special gum or have a tank. This movie is great for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have a heart and enjoy this strange movie. It's so bad you can't help but like it. We need more comic relief movies like it. Simple and stupid.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought Mars Attacks because the previews looked good, only to find the movie not funny, disappointing, and somewhat gross. I stopped watching and threw it away before I even reached the end of the movie.