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Mars Needs Moms Reviews

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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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...

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

April 6, 2011
Rafer Guzman
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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.

Full Review Source: Newsday

March 25, 2011
Eric D. Snider
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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!

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C

March 21, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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So, okay, men are completely irresponsible slobs, which is why women need to be unceasing nags. Check. Great message for the kids.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

March 12, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

March 11, 2011
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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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.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 11, 2011
Mike Hale
New York Times
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It seems that it's time to admit that dressing actors in LED-studded catsuits, asking them to give performances on sterile white sets and handing the results to a team of computer animators is not a way to make a good movie.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 11, 2011
Jody Mitori
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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If Breathed's style could have been applied to the animation, this offbeat story would have a better chance at success. Instead, we're left with a kids' movie that leaves audiences cold.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

March 11, 2011
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Aside from a relatively brief appearance by Joan Cusack's avatar as the kidnapped mother, there are no involving characters or situations.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1/4

March 11, 2011
Sean O'Connell
Washington Post
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While Wells's ice-blue color scheme borrows from both "Tron" films and a litany of "Star Trek" episodes, a majestic musical score by the great composer John Powell somehow makes everything old feel fresh and wondrous again.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Talk about setting the bar too low, especially in a movie that kids will be watching.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

March 10, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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The movie is hampered by uninteresting characters, a predictable story and 3-D technology, which darkens even the brightest colors and detracts from the vibrancy of the tale.

Full Review Source: USA Today

March 10, 2011
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
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Families may be pleasantly surprised to find this an often thrilling and imaginative ride for younger kids with a big helping of heart for parents.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

March 10, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Mars may need moms, but Earth needs good movies, and this isn't one of them.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

March 10, 2011
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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Instead of breathing life into cartoonist Berkeley Breathed's cheeky kids morality tale, the movie - with all its 3-D motion capture animation flash - flatlines.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 10, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Mars Needs Moms isn't much of a movie, but it's a great teaching tool for how not to make an animated film.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

March 10, 2011
Tom Horgen
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"Mars Needs Moms" doesn't crash-land into "Yogi Bear" territory, but it definitely doesn't soar to "Toy Story 3" heights of animated grandeur.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 10, 2011
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
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"Mars'' needs Mom more than the filmmakers seem to realize.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 10, 2011
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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An entertaining, accomplished movie that shows off what its signature technology can do...

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

March 10, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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Mars Needs Moms is precisely the sort of mess that just grows more depressing the more one ruminates on it.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 1.5/5

March 10, 2011
Richard Roeper
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Red and Battle: Convoluted story, motion capture sucks warmth out of every scene

Full Review Source: Richard | Original Score: 2/5

March 10, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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It's based on a children's book by Berkeley Breathed, creator of the classic comic "Bloom County," so there's a shaggy, countercultural vibe; if you get in the groove, it's a hoot.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

March 10, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The tone baffles and wobbles. This is one of the least visually appealing films ever to go out under the Disney banner.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 10, 2011
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
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What's missing, especially in an era when we've invested so much hope for extraterrestrial life by sending real probes to the real Mars, is a sense of wonder.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

March 10, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Enhanced by nimble ad-libbing from the comedy-trained cast, the screenplay is delightful, by turns funny and emotional...

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

March 9, 2011
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Light enough in tone, but plastic.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 9, 2011
David Fear
Time Out New York
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After years of animators riding the post-Pixar renaissance and filmgoers feasting on the fruits of their labor, we may have finally hit a collective moment of big-screen-toon fatigue.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

March 9, 2011
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The skill level of this motion capture animation is getting better all the time. So Mars is accomplished at every level. But the three most important things in movies are story, story, story.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 8, 2011
Nick Schager
Village Voice
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With originality an alien concept, the film proves to be the equivalent of sci-fi-cinema training wheels.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 8, 2011
Lael Loewenstein
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Working against an ungainly title and a rather formulaic marketing campaign, pic is a modestly enjoyable performance-capture creation bearing the unmistakable imprint of producer Robert Zemeckis.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 8, 2011
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