Mars Attacks!

December 13th, 1996


Mars Attacks!

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Still of Pierce Brosnan, Jack Nicholson and Rod Steiger in Mars Attacks!Still of Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!The Martian Ambassador greets Congress unexpectedly.

The Earth is invaded by Martians with irresistible weapons and a cruel sense of humor.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.3/10 (96,908 voted)

Critic's Score: 52/100

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker

It is a normal day for everyone, until the President of the United States announces Martians have been spotted circling Earth. The Martians land and a meeting is arranged, but not everything goes to plan, and the Martians seem to have other plans for Earth. Are they just misunderstood beings or do they really want to destroy all of humanity?

Writers: Len Brown, Woody Gelman

Jack Nicholson - President James Dale / Art Land
Glenn Close - First Lady Marsha Dale
Annette Bening - Barbara Land
Pierce Brosnan - Professor Donald Kessler
Danny DeVito - Rude Gambler
Martin Short - Press Secretary Jerry Ross
Sarah Jessica Parker - Nathalie Lake
Michael J. Fox - Jason Stone
Rod Steiger - General Decker
Tom Jones - Himself
Jim Brown - Byron Williams
Lukas Haas - Richie Norris
Natalie Portman - Taffy Dale
Pam Grier - Louise Williams
Lisa Marie - Martian Girl

Taglines: YIKES! They've Landed!


Official Website: Warner Bros. |

Release Date: 13 December 1996

Filming Locations: Buenos Aires, Federal District, Argentina

Box Office Details

Budget: $70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,384,272 (USA) (15 December 1996) (1955 Screens)

Gross: $101,371,017 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

A flying saucer is shown flying through the clouds during the normal Warner Brothers logo title sequence showing the company's trademark shield with the cloudy sky background.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the movie, it's revealed that the Martians breathe nitrogen and need to have it supplied through their life vests or, in the case of the Martian girl infiltrator, through special gum. However when the scientists analyze the special gum they say that it is "nitrogen, NO2". NO2 is called nitrogen dioxide and is poisonous to humans, while nitrogen is the primary component of the Earth's atmosphere which means that the Martians probably did need any extra.

Jason Stone: [Reporting in Pahrump where the Martians are landing] The teeming masses have gathered from who knows how many states. Waiting and watching. Why have they come? Curiosity? Or is it something more? Or is it simply to say "I was there. I was there when first man met Martian." Jason Stone, GNN. Pahrump.

User Review

Misunderstood ???

Rating: 8/10

There's one guarantee in life : When you're reading 5 reviews on Mars Attacks, FOUR of them are negative ones! Why, I ask?? It's really hard for me to believe that all these movie-lovers fail to see the film like Tim Burton intended it. Mars Attacks! is a great film and - above all - a very effective parody. Burton takes the opportunity to spoof and laugh with almost every form of nowadays filth...Politics, religion, the army, television, greed in Las Vegas and God knows what else. Mars Attacks! is the purest form of cinema anarchy I've seen so far, and I really want to encourage you to see it again if you didn't like it the first time. Tim Burton is a genius. Practically all movies he did before ( and after ) Mars Attacks! prove that. Do you really believe that he would deliver a failure? Or do you think the entire brilliant cast would agree to starring in an inferior production?? They all acknowledged the genius of this movie...why can't the audience do the same?

Mars Attacks! is a very remarkable achievement for yet another reason. This very well might be only film that cost a fortune in order to look cheap! Burton probably wasted a huge budget to make the settings and the design look like they did in the typical 50's Science Fiction movies. Burton is a big fan of these movies and he saved neither money or trouble to make his satire look like those films. The direct tribute to Edward Wood in the opening credits is an obvious example of this as well, I think. Perhaps, this would be the only real thing you can accuse Tim Burton of...Mars Attacks! is a very personal project of his. I really doubt he worried much about the question whether Mars Attacks! would become a success or not. He told his tale and he clearly enjoyed doing so...Why wouldn't you enjoy watching it then?

Note: This review is dedicated to Mailen. A great regular user here on this site and I know for a fact that she adores this film as well...


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