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Mars Needs Moms (2011)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 111
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 70

The cast is solid and it's visually well-crafted, but Mars Needs Moms suffers from a lack of imagination and heart.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 20

The cast is solid and it's visually well-crafted, but Mars Needs Moms suffers from a lack of imagination and heart.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 27,275

My Rating

Movie Info

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli-who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind Disney's A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, Mars Needs Moms showcases Milo's quest to save his mom-a wild adventure in 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien

Aug 9, 2011


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All Critics (111) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (70) | DVD (1)

The 'Polar Express'-style CG-meets-live-action visuals are creepy and flat, the characters are largely nonexistent and the story takes so many short cuts that it becomes meaningless...

April 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film looks neither fully real nor fully imagined, which could be forgiven if Mars Needs Moms had something more to offer besides its nifty technology.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

They took a small story, made it complicated and burdensome, filmed some actors performing it, turned those actors into affectless, mechanical cartoons, converted it to 3-D, and dropped it in theaters. Wheeee!

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

So, okay, men are completely irresponsible slobs, which is why women need to be unceasing nags. Check. Great message for the kids.

March 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (3)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is just a big rollercoaster of a movie, filled with dazzling effects and funny creatures and the requisite five-hankie "I love you, Mom" ending. But then, there are some weird gender political battles at play here.

March 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (3)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even though Mars Needs Moms isn't female-friendly, mothers looking for quality time with 6- to 12-year-old boys could do worse than book group passage there soon.

March 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here is a movie that seems at war with the notion that animation can inspire or invigorate.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source:

Mars Needs Moms actually entertained me. There's the bright colors and great 3D, but there's also some touching moments and grown-up wit

June 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Mars Needs Moms isn't as bad as you've heard, nor is it as good as it could have been. Will it entertain your family? That depends on how much your kids like mo-cap technology, and how much attention they pay to the inner logic of a film.

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

A solid, vibrant family film that parents and young-ish nippers can enjoy together.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

a disposable family adventure it more than fits the bill

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: The National
The National

As with a good live-action movie, it all begins with the script, and this one is solid-well thought-out, briskly paced, funny and sweet. In the end, it's the finished film that matters, not the process...

August 12, 2011 Full Review Source: indieWIRE | Comments (2)

The whole fiasco turns out to be an excuse to let Seth Green play a (redubbed) little boy. Next time, maybe just cast a real boy, build some sets in an old barn, and have Mom make the costumes. [Blu-ray 3D]

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

An extraordinary achievement in character expressiveness and realistic movement limited by a storyline for a pre-middle school audience.

August 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

Mars Needs Moms dares to venture into some sad, tragic territory which, in a perverse way, made the film a bit more enjoyable and prevented it from being completely underwhelming

June 20, 2011 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Infused with a half-baked psychedelic ethos, incorporating some rather incongruous imagery that is supposed to tie in with its simple-minded politics regarding ideas of child rearing and gender roles.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Moviedex

If Mars Needs Moms had not have been produced using the mo-cap process -- which still hasn't fixed the problem where some folk have a spooky, neither-alive-nor-dead look -- it might have stood more chance of finding an audience.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

What really sells this fabulous, kid-friendly 3D adventure to anybody over eight (no offense, kids) is its astonishing visuals, which uses motion-capture technology to a degree that surpasses what we saw in Avatar.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

The credited director is Simon Wells (The Time Machine), but the grotesque characters and dark action bear the Zemeckis stamp.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Mars Needs Moms becomes a stunning achievement not only in the visual and action stakes but emotionally as well, with a heartbreaking clarity putting into perspective the love and sacrifices that good mothers make for their children.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

full review at Movies for the Masses

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Most kids (and any accompanying parents) will find this to be of a noticeably lower standard than many of the other children's films that have been released recently.

April 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Offers yet more proof that performance capture is a terrible idea when it comes to making fully animated feature films.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Children are unlikely to enjoy it, and parents will be aching for a few stiff drinks in a Mars bar long before it's over.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comment (1)

Mars Needs To Work Out How To Animate Humans So They Don't Look Like Possessed Shop Window Dummies.

April 9, 2011 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

Motion-capture animation takes a giant step backwards with this unappealing outer-space adventure.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Mars Needs Moms

wow. the film features an interesting concept, and then does whatever possible to muck it up. a total train wreck. one of the worst kids movies i have ever had the displeasure to sit through.
December 31, 2011
danny d

Super Reviewer

Oh dear. This was an incredibly lifeless effort. Mocap shows that it has a long way to go to capture humanity. This seems like the Mocap film least in need of being in the form. It's a story of a boy that is your usual asshat kid. Then his mom is captured by aliens and he realises how much he loves her. The film is mostly dull, with very repetitive landscapes used. Foggler has some great chances for emotional connection as a stranded kid, but he messes it up by just being a very poor imitation of Jack Black. And even Jack Black can't be Jack Black anymore. Seth Green was screwed over by having his voice completely replaced. I'm sure this is false advertising as the trailers had his voice. The film also fails to slow down, with constant chasing and shouting. In the end the main reason this film fails is because of its confusing messages. If you listen to your mom she'll be taken away by aliens. Women shouldn't work and should look after kids. Families should comprise of 1 mom and 1 dad in order to be successful. It's hard to know what the film is saying, because it just isn't articulate enough.
September 23, 2011

Super Reviewer

Mars needs more than just moms, but also a better script, funnier jokes and something to take it beyond genericness. Great visuals just doesn't cut it, however graphically impressive it may be with its astoundingly life-like animations. But I suppose with all the awesome CGI flicks we get, the price we have to pay is to endure a couple of mediocre ones every once in a while. This is one such "I'll watch it just to have seen it"-films. It got better by the end though, where it found its way into my heart with a very touching scene. Just too bad that everything that preceded it was such a mundane experience.
September 14, 2011
Mike S

Super Reviewer

    1. Milo's Mom: Milo, is that broccoli?
    2. Milo: No, that's vomit.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Milo: Broccoli makes me barf. Besides it looks like brains.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Milo: What is going on?
    2. Gribble: Mars needs moms, so the aliens are stealing them from Earth to raise their own kids.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Milo und Mars (DE)
  • Mars Needs Mums (UK)
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