Mission to Mars

  • Review Date: May 5, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Common Sense Media says

So-so sci-fi; may be too intense for some kids.
  • Review Date: May 5, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 114 minutes





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Characters in peril, some killed.

Sexy stuff



A few strong words.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that characters are in peril and there are a number of tense moments and several deaths, one graphic. Creationists will also be upset by the way the plot develops.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

MISSION TO MARS takes place in 2020. Don Cheadle plays an astronaut who leads a team to Mars to investigate the possibility of colonization. When a huge tunnel-like dust storm kills the rest of the team and communication with the space station is cut off, four of his colleages, played by Tim Robbins, Jerry O'Connell, Gary Sinese, and Connie Nielson, go on a rescue mission.

Is it any good?


Director Brian DePalma is known for movies that have two qualities -- striking visual flair and frustrating narrative incoherence. If you are the kind of person who talks about the plot after seeing a movie, this is not your kind of movie. But if you would enjoy seeing an old-time Flash Gordon-style movie with 21st Century special effects and computer graphics, you just might want to see it twice.

The movie makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind seem like rocket science. It even makes The Day the Earth Stood Still look like rocket science. But the pictures are pretty.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the choices made by the characters, including one who commits suicide to save the lives of others, and about the prospects of space exploration and colonization. And it is worth pointing out to kids who watch today that they are the same age as the characters in the movie, who would have been children back in the year 2000. Point out the brief home movie footage showing two of the characters circa 2000, around 11 years old, and already dreaming of going to Mars, and ask kids what their dreams are, and help them think about what they will need in order to get there.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 10, 2000
DVD release date:June 4, 2002
Cast:Don Cheadle, Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins
Director:Brian De Palma
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Adventures, Space and aliens
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sci-fi violence and mild language

This review of Mission to Mars was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague April 15, 2010

Mission to Mars

Great movie that your kids will love. As mentioned by Spud, there are 2 scenes that could be disturbing for younger audiences. Other than that, its a film thats definitely worth the watch.
What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written bySpud April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
I’m pretty surprised they rated this PG. The language was pretty excessive (even for a PG-13), including the “G” word. Two scenes get pretty disturbing. One person literally flies apart in a wind funnel, and another scene shows a frontal view of a person’s face frozen solid. Definitely no less then PG-13 content.


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