Roving Mars Reviews

Top Critic
Ethan Gilsdorf
Boston Globe
January 16, 2009
Despite audiences knowing the happy ending from the get-go, [director] Butler manages to inject considerable drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 15, 2006
One of the most educational and entertaining large-format movies ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
August 18, 2006
Not having a way to capture images of the machines at work means that too much of Butler's film ... is disappointingly made up of computer simulations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
June 16, 2006
Capably accomplishes its mission to Mars by blending solid science with sci-fi eye candy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 4, 2006
It's harder still not to root for anthropomorphized Spirit and Opportunity as time and again they perform like whirring, beeping little robots-that-could, far exceeding the expectations of the people who designed and built them.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Gregory Kirschling
Entertainment Weekly
February 1, 2006
Only a series of pics featuring a set of strange little nodes that look like blueberries planted in a pile of red rocks carry any kind of translatable otherworldly kick.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 27, 2006
That's about what it plays like: a gigantic commerical for more space travel, from a contractor who stands to benefit financially if we go, and a government agency whose budget is threatened.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
January 27, 2006
There aren't enough pyrotechnics in the paltry 40-minute run time to justify the ticket price.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 27, 2006
A splendidly photographed IMAX 2-D film.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
January 27, 2006
While it does present a series of stirring images of the Red Planet, far too much of the film's already brief (40-minute) running time is consumed by shots of anxious-looking scientists and engineers peering intently at their computer monitors.
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
January 26, 2006
... a heartfelt tribute to a couple of robots.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
January 26, 2006
The movie is more compelling than exciting with one exception: the kind of rocket blast-off sequence for which IMAX screens were seemingly invented.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Nathan Lee
New York Times
January 26, 2006
Read no more if you want to grow up to be an astronaut; here are 40 minutes of nonstop robots, spaceships and bright-eyed NASA geeks enthusing about tangles of circuitry and nifty hydraulics.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 26, 2006
Manages to present scientific inquiry as an emotional journey, during which two exquisitely designed machines go from being gears and hinges to the embodiment of our best hopes and dreams.
Top Critic
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
January 26, 2006
[Butler] caught the tense moments at NASA as scientists waited to see whether the robots would land safely. And he got amazing pictures from them of the red surface of Mars pocked with what may be dried-up lake basins and riverbeds.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 26, 2006
As informative as it is cool to look at, this Imax documentary combines science with special effects that would be the envy of any sci-fi film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Esposito
Chicago Tribune
January 26, 2006
The sad thing is, even for NASA/space fans, a snooze isn't out of the question despite the film's scant 40-minute running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
January 26, 2006
Why shouldn't the movie be gung-ho about it all? Those plucky little robots, Spirit and Opportunity, have been up there for almost two years now, and they're still sending back dazzling pictures and illuminating data.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4