The Last Days on Mars

  • Review Date: December 6, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dreary space zombie sci-fi tale gets bloody and gross.
  • Review Date: December 6, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
There's not much going on here except humans yelling at each other as zombies attack.
Positive role models
Unless you count the idea of astronauts as brave heroes, exploring the cosmos, this movie has precious little behavior worth emulating, except for maybe the hero's final sacrifice to save mankind.
Violence
All of the violence is sci-fi/fantasy-based and not terribly realistic, nor is it terribly visible, given the camerawork. There's some blood and gore as zombies attack humans. There's a good deal of fighting and zombie-bashing. Characters get a drill to the stomach, and stabbed with scissors. A character tries to commit suicide by taking off her space helmet on the planet's surface. It can be a bit scary when people turn into zombies and their faces mutate in freakish ways.
Sex
Not applicable
Language
"F--k" and "s--t" are both used several times. "Piss" and "hell" are also heard. Characters use both "God" and "Jesus Christ" when scared.
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Last Days on Mars is a sci-fi/horror movie about astronauts on Mars who discover bacteria that turns people into zombies. Expect a good measure of sci-fi violence, with some blood and gore. Both humans and zombies are attacked, beaten, and stabbed. When humans turn into zombies, the images of their faces distorting is pretty disturbing. The other major issue is language, with several uses of both "f--k" and "s--t."

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

The first manned mission to Mars is nearing its end. Tempers flare and personalities clash when one of the crew members makes an important discovery: some kind of bacteria. Life on Mars. Unfortunately, his discovery, and his impetuous behavior, leads to a tragic accident: a cave-in. As his colleagues try to save him, they make a horrific realization. The bacteria turns dead bodies into raging zombies! It's up to Vincent Campbell (Liev Schreiber) to try and save as many of his crew members as he can before the zombies -- who don't need space suits to survive -- take over.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
It takes a certain kind of attitude to pull off a movie as ridiculous as this one, and director Ruairi Robinson simply doesn't have it. Rather than cheerful and energetic, he turns in a movie that's dreary and annoying. Worse, all of the big zombie attack sequences are shot with such awful, shaky hand-held camerawork that it's nearly impossible to see what's going on. In one sequence, a character hits an alarm, which -- for some reason -- makes the lights flash on and off so that not even the characters can see anything.
 
The humans have no depth or chemistry. The central character is given one of those handy backstories that includes flashbacks to "something terrible that once happened." The others do nothing but complain and snap at one another. In other words, if the zombies won in this movie, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the sci-fi violence. What effect does it have? Is it thrilling or disturbing? Is the movie scary? Why do we enjoy being scared in movies?
  • What is the appeal of zombies? Why have there been so many zombie movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 6, 2013
DVD release date:March 4, 2014
Cast:Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, Romola Garai
Director:Ruairi Robinson
Studios:Magnet Releasing, Magnolia Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of The Last Days on Mars was written by

About our rating system

  • 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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Quality

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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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Teen, 13 years old Written bysmileyface March 21, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

weird film

this movie started out looking like it was gonna be like gravity or something but then came the mars-zombies. the mars-zombies then chase people around and kill them with drills, stab them with scissors that just happen to be lying around on the floor... this happens for the rest of the movie... the people go from spaceship thingy to spaceship thingy for unobvious reasons and then it ends with one guy managing to go back to earth. it left me confused. -messages, role models: everyone just shouts at each other. - violence:unrealistic but bloody -language: quite a lot of f words and s words the film was funny because it was so bad... seriously...
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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