Mars Attacks! (1996) Review


Earth is invaded by aliens who seem to be indestructible with unbeatable weapons and a very cruel sense of humour. Can anything be done to stop the attack?


The excitement for the alien landing really has taken grips on Washington DC with the President James Dale looking forward to welcoming them to Earth. But everything is about to turn sour when after what appeared to be a very nice meeting of we come in peace turns into an attack.

We are given many crazy characters to follow throughout the film and it really does have so truly hilarious moments. I have seen this film so many times over the years and pleased to say that I still enjoy it to this day. I am not really sure how I would feel if I was just watching it for the first time now though, it might be very different that way.

It’s very silly, funny and therefore damn entertaining with a truly outstanding cast and directed by Tim Burton. Not as dark as many of his films in the sense of gothic, but I guess the humour is pretty dark at times. It is nice to watch an alien film that is not too serious and pretty much is a parody of all of those other alien films. The aliens look hilarious and I think that really does add to the overall mood of the film.

As long as you can deal with the silliness then you will enjoy this one, come on Jack Nicholson is the President what is not to love about that? Glenn Close joins him as the first lady, along with Natalie Portman as their daughter. Everyone else popping up with some crazy characters including reports and scientists trying to decide what the aliens want. Also Tom Jones making an appearance singing it’s not unusual makes it truly fantastic and off the wall.

I guess this film certainly shows that you can spoof sci-fi and make an alien invasion very amusing it doesn’t always have to be so serious. You can have a good time with it all from start to finish, that is what Tim Burton does with this film. Did I mention the truly incredible cast? Oh yeah, sorry just constantly throughout but that is something I always seem to forget between watching this film.

I do feel a little bit dubious about recommending this one if you haven’t actually seen it before though as I am not sure what it will feel like watching it for the first time 21 years after the release. If you have seen it before though you should totally give it a re-watch and see how you feel about it now, if you liked and enjoyed it the first time round of course.

Come on my fellow Mars Attacks! lovers admit and declare your love for this film in the comments below, I know I am not the only one! A guilty pleasure and possible cult classic?

16 thoughts on “Mars Attacks! (1996) Review

  1. Love this film. In my dreams there is a three-hour directors cut with even more famous actors in scattered cameos. Maybe even a sequel ‘Earth Attacks!’ in which bumbling terran military take the fight to Mars.

    Mars Attacks isn’t perfect but its a great guilty pleasure which I return to quite often- it helps that my wife loves it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the same way that you do! I think this was my first ‘scary’ movie as a kid and so I hold it very dear to my heart. If I had to convince someone to watch it for the first time today though…that would be difficult!

    Liked by 2 people

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