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Movie Review

In the year 2020, the first manned voyage to Mars meets with disaster. Three-fourths of the crew die violently, leaving one man marooned on the red planet while his colleagues back home scramble to organize a rescue mission.

The recovery operation, led by a married couple, a wise-cracking computer whiz and a widowed copilot with lifelong dreams of walking on Mars, faces challenges of its own. Even if the astronauts reach the planet safely, what strange force decimated the first team ... and how do they keep it from happening again?

Mission to Mars is a character-driven cross between Apollo 13 and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It takes its science seriously in an attempt to lend credibility to its fiction. But it gets them confused. The movie promotes macroevolution, suggesting that Martians "seeded earth" by launching a spaceship to our barren planet billions of years ago. Its cargo? The organism that set in motion man’s climb out of the primordial ooze. So much for Genesis.

That’s not to say that God’s name isn’t mentioned in Mission to Mars. It is. Frequently. Most often in moments of extreme panic or awe. Jesus’ name in particular is blasphemously invoked eleven times, eclipsing worthwhile messages about teamwork, friendship, self-sacrifice and deep affection in marriage.

Recognizing the persuasive power of film, Mars Director Brian De Palma says, "I hope this movie will inspire some political candidate to pick up the cause for space exploration." More likely, it will reinforce our culture’s disrespect for God in name and in deed.

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Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Don Cheadle, Jerry O’Connell


Brian De Palma ( )


Touchstone Pictures



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Bob Smithouser

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