The Martian is a sci-fi drama film directed and produced by Ridley Scott. It stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney and features other familiar faces like Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean. The movie takes place some time in the near future, when human technology has improved so that outer space travel to Mars has been achieved. Mark Watney and the other members of his crew are on an expedition on Mars when a storm hits and the team is forced to evacuate, accidentally leaving Watney behind.
What transpires for the whole movie is Watney trying to survive and NASA trying to contact him. The movie jumps back and forth between the two settings at various times. Obviously with a situation like this, tension runs high throughout the film, and indeed there are several thrilling moments. However, the high points of the film for me are the intimate, thoughtful moments that show the psychological and emotional stress Watney and NASA go through during this crisis.
It’s these quiet and well presented moments that make this movie so memorable and special. You truly grow to care about Watney and feel invested in his struggle. Matt Damon does a phenomenal job at bringing Mark Watney to life from the novel, with some of the best acting of his career. The Martian also has a very unexpected aspect: comedy. Mark Watney himself has a very good sense of humor, further increasing his likability. He is very optimistic and upbeat about each situation. It also helps that there are other great comedy actors such as Michael Peña and Donald Glover.
Overall, I found The Martian to be a really great movie. It wasn’t a huge spectacle or had the action of Interstellar or Gravity, but rather focuses on smaller moments, whether emotional or comedic, to drive its appeal. It does these very well, and I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys drama/thrillers, or science fiction films.