Parent reviews for The Martian

Common Sense says

Excellent space thriller mixes peril, charm, real science.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 45 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 132 reviews

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Adult Written byfuzzycat October 2, 2015
Great for anyone who loves science. A good story about how one should never give up and that one can find a way even in a hopeless situation. There wasn't anything objectionable for my 7-year-old to see, but I thought he would be squeamish about the scene early on where Watney has a wound which he has to staple, and there is some blood.
Also, kids might find some slow parts boring when nothing much is going on. It is not non-stop action. As for swearing, there were a few f words, all in appropriate context, but, trust me, they use worse words in kindergarten.

This title contains:

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Positive role models
Parent of a 3 and 7-year-old Written byletticepalmer November 3, 2015

No bad guys. Cooperative problem solving. ZERO weapons.

My son is on the very extreme side of things when it comes to sensitivity. He still refuses to watch most Pixar films. Finding Nemo would be WAY too intense for him, and he even has trouble making it through My Little Pony.

With The Martian, there was just one scene that he had trouble with, and it was early on in the story and involved some very explicit self administered surgery.

After that hurdle was passed, this movie was a pure joy for my son, who responded well to the intelligent and deliberate pacing of the film. What helps this movie a lot is that it doesn't attempt to milk the suspense.

The use of the F word in the film was entirely appropriate in my opinion. It is exactly how that word is used, and any 7 year old has almost surely heard an adult use those words in that way. The back nudity was a total non-issue for me as well.

It was a fantastic film that was a showcase for creative and cooperative problem solving. It is a film I would hope almost every child could see, because it provides such a great positive message about what all those school lessons in science and math can be used for.

Some children really have a tough time sitting through a movie that doesn't have an easy plot to follow, and that is really the main challenge.

The other MAJOR issue is that the previews for other films that appear before this one are going to have EXTREMELY violent and disturbing imagery, because the film is rated at PG-13. My advice is to take your child to see it in the theater, but don't enter the theater until the previews have ended.

This title contains:

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Adult Written byUnknown Agent November 17, 2015

Good

Great Movie has language some violence and brief male nudity.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byxX_Reed_Xx October 2, 2015

Great, but the language is a bit strong

I think that this is a truly good movie and is good for a family except for its multiple uses of the f-word. If your children can handle that though, and t really is an amazing sci-fi thriller.

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Language
Adult Written byastroman October 16, 2018

Good man vs nature story

There is a little swearing, but less than I normally hear in real life, so it isn’t gratuitous. The dust storm at the beginning was too scary for my 6 yo daughter, but was ok for my 8 yo son. The self-surgery soon was almost too much for me, and was too much for my 8 yo son, so I had him close his eyes until it was over.
I like the survival against all odds theme of the movie. The special effects are great and believable.
Parent Written byarther d. January 29, 2018

some language but nothing a nine year old wouldn't know

a few uses of F**k but not to bad. is very educational and even I learned some. he does get impaled by an antenna and is kind of gross but not to bad.
Adult Written bySzymon J. May 13, 2017

Some Gory Scenes

I watched this when it first came out. me an my 9 year old son loved it.

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Parent of a 1 and 10-year-old Written byAnonMom September 11, 2016

A few things to watch out for, but otherwise great movie.

My 10 year old son loved this movie - he was even talking to the TV on a few occasions (so was I).

1) There's some cursing - hard to avoid these days.

2) There's a man's naked butt for a few seconds - my son turned his head and said something like "ew" or "eek." :)

3) There's an intense bloody scene (not violent, just gross) that lasts a few minutes - my son covered his eyes and told me to tell him when it was over (and also said he felt like throwing up, but I laughed and told him he'd be fine...he was).

4) Someone says something like "sex with himself."

Otherwise, there's not really anything else to mention. Great movie - and if my somewhat sheltered/squeamish 10 year old son can watch it, I think most 10 year olds would be OK?

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Adult Written bykidosophically ... June 9, 2016

It's PG-13 for a reason

Lots of F bombs. Very intense film for any child under 13. I'm stunned by how many parents allow their children (under 13) to watch this. Why are parents in such a HURRY to cut childhood short? Don't you people have friends you can go to the movies with?
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bytooprecious April 24, 2016

Has sexual comment.

A statement is made that he would have sex with himself which is not appropriate for children.
Adult Written byDarylTheStudent March 10, 2016

The Martian

The Martian is a great movie about Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars after a mission goes awry. The protagonist perseveres to live on Mars and the NASA team work tirelessly to bring him back to Earth. There are some disturbing scenes (particularly one where Damon's character removes a piece of shrapnel from his body, with blood in the wound), and a few uses of the f-word.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of an infant, 6, and 9-year-old Written byHattonized February 13, 2016

Science of Survival with a lot of "S" words

This is a good family movie that teaches kids valuable lessons about perseverance, "never giving up," problem-solving, the power of science and the benefits of collaboration. It also makes puts a spotlight on the space program that really hasn't been en vogue during our kids lifetimes. For those of us who grew up in the 80s during NASA's heyday or who witnessed the first moon landing, it may be hard to believe but most kids don't dream of a Mars mission anymore. If they've grown up on Star Wars they probably think it already happened. Mine kept asking if this was a true story. Anyway, my 14 year old niece is into robotics and science and she recommended it for my kids and said they could handle it. They are 9 and 6. And yes they could handle it, but there was a lot of cursing. So if your kids haven't been exposed yet or would be likely to repeat "S" words and "F" bombs, then maybe that's an issue. My 6-year old shut his eyes during a bloody scene involving surgery. And they both shut their eyes and giggled when they saw Matt Damon's butt. I can live with that. It's worth it to watch a "grown up" movie once in a while on family movie night.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Language
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byMeerkat.dog.yo January 17, 2016

Amazing, slightly gory thriller

I would like to point out that The Martian does slightly push the limits of
PG-13. It is extremely violent. There is a scene, early in the film, where a group of main characters are on Mars. Suddenly, a storm hits. They think astronaut Mark Watney was killed. There is a funeral scene which could be upsetting to younger children. The following is one of the reasons this review says 14+: there is just after Watney becomes conscious again, where he gets a piece of debris run through him. He takes off his space suit and rips out part of it. But, there's more still in his skin. So, he takes this tool and you can tell he's really yanking, because blood starts to flow. finally, he gets it out. THEN, he staples his wound shut. And as if it's not enough, he leans back, panting, and says,"f--k you, Mars." And that brings me to language. There are countless uses of both "f--k," and, "s--t." Other strong language includes, "bulls--t," "goddamn," "d--k," "a--hole," "damn", and "hell." Also, one scene shows Watney naked from behind. My rating: R| for gory imagery, and very strong language.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent Written byBeckyDee January 2, 2016

You can survive anything with math and duct tape

Brilliant movie that incorporates science and math into the adventure. Using his intelligence and humor to keep himself going, the lost astronaut doesn't abandon hope, which is a strong theme in this film. Also highlighted is the importance of teamwork, loyalty, and resolve. Great role models in this regard. Highly recommend. P.S. If you can live with a brief shot of a man's backside and (frequent) cursing, this film is a good choice for students and for families because it is such a smart film. Regarding the cursing, I checked off the "too much swearing" option because there's a lot of it, however, this character deserves to say a few considering what he goes through, so it fits and the film would be a little off if he didn't, IMO. And, the brief shot of him coming out of the shower (where his backside is shown) is meant to show the audience something, so it's not out of place. Depends upon your family, just a warning and some context as to why these things are in the film.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Parent Written bybrianshiro November 9, 2015

The Martian serves up inspiration to kids

I read The Martian book and saw the movie on opening night with some friends. I couldn't stop talking about it when I got home, so my 7-year-old started asking lots of questions. It was clear that he wanted to see it. To test the waters, I showed him Apollo 13 first, and he loved every minute of it. With the successful test, I took him to see The Martian in the theater in 3D. He was trilled. For over a week now, he's done nothing but pick apart the plot and ask me questions about space exploration. He's spent most of his time building rockets with LEGOs, air pressure rockets out of paper, and reading space science books since then. The Martian movie clearly made an impression on him. He even asked me if we can read the novel together. On that point, I think I'll wait until the kids version comes out since the full novel is laden with some pretty bad language. However, the movie cleans up 95% of this language, making it a perfect entry point for the young to all things space. My own personal review of The Martian movie is that it's visually stunning but a little flat character-wise compared with the book due to the "cleaning up" of the language that they did. However, this does have the most welcome side effect of opening up the story to a wide audience of any age. My 4-year-old, who watched Apollo 13 with us too (and found it a little too scary), wants to see The Martian as well, so I plan on buying the blu-ray when it comes out and showing it to her at home. Go see The Martian!

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Positive role models
Adult Written bycharleswoerner November 10, 2015

my little guy loved it

I took my 5 year old to this movie and he loved it, of course, but I think he got a lot out of it. I definitely had to maintain a near constant narrative of what was going on - basically interpreting the significance of each major plot turn, and the science details were beyond his grasp but when your kid tells you the next morning that he "won't give up, just like Mark. Because if you're stuck in space your friends will save you." it's worth the price of admission.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Adult Written bySfparent October 5, 2015

Gripping story that makes science fun

Don't let PG 13 rating keep you from taking younger kids. It is an old fashioned adventure yarn that is great for them with the bonus that it makes science fun! No violence, no sex, some brief language that I am sure kids have heard in the schoolyard, brief nudity when he comes out of shower from the back.

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Parent of a 5-year-old Written byGummy'sDad January 27, 2016

A surprisingly teachable movie

Yes, 5 years old. We covered her eyes for the worst part of the Watney injury. She also, sadly, knows what bad words are. Those aside, she has watched with parents the movie 3 times in a week (at her request). It gives us opportunities to teach about problem solving, the importance of math, and a small flock of scientific concepts.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Adult Written byhybridauth_user 639 October 24, 2015

Has language

This movie is a great movie for teens age 14+ because there is some language and some other suggestive things. Overall great movie for 14+

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Language
Adult Written byflsinder October 3, 2015

Sends Right Messages

Agree with everything fuzzycat wrote.

Also agree with all the science sites explaining how the movie gets enough of the science right. You should probably explain to your kids, if they don't tell you first, that the atmosphere on Mars is too thin to kick up such a dust storm. Other than that, it's close enough for teaching and prompting questions that will lead to more, and better, learning than if it were all perfect at the expense of a good story.

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