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Martian Child (2007)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 107
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 72

Despite some charms, overt emotional manipulation and an inconsistent tone prevents Martian Child from being the heartfelt dramedy it aspires to be.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 26

Despite some charms, overt emotional manipulation and an inconsistent tone prevents Martian Child from being the heartfelt dramedy it aspires to be.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 84,416

My Rating

Movie Info

Adapted from a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novelette by author David Gerrold, Menno Meyjes's Martian Child stars John Cusack as a widowed science fiction writer who adopts a boy (Bobby Coleman) who claims to be from the Red Planet. The writer believes the child acts strangely in order to process the difficulty he has had in his young life, but soon both he and his sister (Joan Cusack) begin to wonder if the boy might be telling the truth. Amanda Peet co-stars as the woman who becomes a mother


Drama, Comedy

Seth Bass, Jonathan Tolins

Feb 13, 2008


New Line Cinema - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (112) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (72) | DVD (5)

The entire cast is fully committed to this squishily sentimental tale, which is especially impressive given that it's the kind of generic dramedy you'll swear you've seen a thousand times before.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everybody is very earnest, too earnest.

November 6, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Has enough wit and unpredictability to hold your attention.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comment (1)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Martian Child wants to make us cry. It nearly made me gag. This is an exercise in shameless and inept emotional manipulation.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If all this is supposed to be so life-affirming, how come I envied the dead dog?

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's off in many directions -- false in its details, false in its relationships, false in its emotions -- but probably the first and worst thing that needs to be said about it is that it's also overlong and dull.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Directed by Spielberg protege Menno Meyjes, Martian Child is contrived, but it works.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Just more middling, forgettable fare for the movie memory scrap heap.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source:

John Cusack is the best and main reason to see this mediocre film about a self-confessed oddball and successful sci-fi writer David who adopts a misfit.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

An amusing and heartfelt exploration of the ups and downs involved when adopting a child -- in this case, one who insists he's from another planet.

March 10, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The things Martian Child gets right are strong enough to save this apparent glucose-spiker.

March 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Manipulative to an almost absurd degree...

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Though it panders shamelessly, it's not entirely unwelcome in a time when the PG movie is an endangered species. [DVD review included.]

February 3, 2008
Groucho Reviews

What works is Cusack and Coleman. When they are on screen together something interesting always seems to happen.

December 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The credits state that Martian Child stars John Cusack, Amanda Peet and Joan Cusack, but really, it stars Lucky Charms, M&M's and

November 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comment (1)
Creative Loafing

Cusack seems determined to make this work, and contributes some nice scenes. But he's better than the movie around him.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Martian Child would be a Lifetime Movie of the Week without the Cusacks

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

While David imagines other worlds for profit, Martian Child crash-lands on this one.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Sometimes, "The Martian Child" works as a weeper.Other times, you'll just hate yourself for getting wrapped in what essentially is manipulation. It's good-hearted enough, but it plays more with your emotions than it does with delivering an intelligent sto

November 13, 2007 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

John Cusack is perfect but it's Bobby Coleman who delivers one of the most uniquely original kid performances ever. You actually believe he might be from Mars.

November 9, 2007

...a betrayal of the book...

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Comment (1)
Sacramento News & Review

... features a mesmerizing kid actor. But, as good as his acting is, it's just a one-note performance ... that starts off as intriguing but ends up becoming tiresomely repetitive.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

It's rare that a movie has this little flavor. Compared to Martian Child, a jar of Gerber's mashed bananas is a taste treat.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Comment (1)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Unfortunately for Martian Child this has more maple sap pouring out of it than a neglected Vermont tree looking for a good tapping.

November 6, 2007 Full Review

After an ebullient and inventive first half, the film loses its wind and only gets it back for a sprint or two.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Audience Reviews for Martian Child

Second time I've seen this film and its everything it was when I first saw it on the big screen, outstanding. Bobby Coleman awesome child actor, had me believing he was from Mars, John Cusack played the adopted Dad, and did all he was supposed to do. And the very beautiful Amanda Peet was stellar and was everything most women are not. The move is about a orphan who thinks he's from mars and is up for adoption. 5 Stars a Good Clean Family Film.
November 15, 2010
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

This movie was soooooo cute. The kind of cute that has you in tears by the end of it. The acting was great and John Cusack is so warm.
From tragic roots these two guys find each other to form this odd couple. I really liked it. Makes me want to watch all man-finds-young-boy-to-befriend movies.. wait, maybe not all of them.
September 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

Itīs far from great, but itīs nice and cute.

For every outsider "child" that at least once thought or wanted to be from Mars or any other planet.

June 5, 2009

Super Reviewer

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