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Martian Child
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Product Description

After decades of playing single men in romantic comedies from the classic SAY ANYTHING to the critical favorite HIGH FIDELITY the year 2007 marks a change for John Cusack. With roles as fathers in 1408 GRACE IS GONE and MARTIAN CHILD the beloved actor grows up and deserves some of the highest praise of his career. In MARTIAN CHILD David Gordon (Cusack) is a successful science fiction author plagued by both the death of his wife and writer s block. When a group home worker (Sophie Okonedo) tries to pair him with a young boy named Dennis (Bobby Coleman) David initially resists. But once David spends time with Dennis he realizes how special the boy is. The outsider (and sci-fi fan) in David thinks he might just understand Dennis best since the child believes that he s from Mars and he ll return there soon. David and Dennis struggle to create the most unconventional of families as Dennis strives to learn more about being human.MARTIAN CHILD is a moving drama that works because of the genuine performances of everyone involved but it rides on both the experienced shoulders of Cusack and those of his young costar Coleman. Both excel at communicating their characters isolation and eventual connection but it s Coleman s work in his first major role that is such a pleasant surprise. Supporting turns from Cusack s sister Joan (who plays his sister in the film) and Amanda Peet add emotional depth to the sweet story. MARTIAN CHILD is based on the autobiographical novel by David Gerrold who is most famous for writing the STAR TREK fan favorite "The Trouble with Tribbles."Format: DVD MOVIE Genre:?COMEDY/FAMILY GATHERINGS UPC:?794043106835 Manufacturer No:?N10683

The skeptical, melancholy eyes of John Cusack anchor Martian Child, a sweet but not cloying story of a widowed man who adopts a misfit kid who believes he's from another planet. David Gordon (Cusack) is a successful science-fiction author--which is perhaps what leads a children's counselor (Sophie Okonedo, Dirty Pretty Things) to pair him with a would-be extra-terrestrial named Dennis (Bobby Coleman). Reluctantly at first, David tries to communicate with Dennis by fostering his belief--but as they grow attached to each other, the administrators of the organization that put them together sees this playing along as a failure to be a proper parent and threatens to take Dennis away. The first two-thirds or so of Martian Child are marvelous; though the scenario could be saccharine, the script and performances are full of details and complexities that make it feel genuine and affecting. The last third, unfortunately, seems to be the result of studio meddling, for the themes and emotions become awkwardly overstated. But what will stay with you are the moments of refreshing honesty and tender trust from the earlier part of the movie; the ending, clumsy and tone-deaf though it is, doesn't wipe away the delicate earlier interplay of David and Dennis. Also featuring Oliver Platt (Funny Bones), Amanda Peet (Igby Goes Down), and Anjelica Huston (Prizzi's Honor). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • Family movie
    I received this movie in a very timely manner. This is important.
    The movie is a nice family movie....more info
  • Not Since "The Sixth Sense"
    MARTIAN CHILD is based on a true story about a single man who writes fantasy novels and is trying to survive the recent loss of his wife. He thinks he wants to adopt a young boy, and there is one who has caught his attention. The boy has only one problem. He is from Mars.

    John Cusack plays the man and Bobby Coleman plays the boy. Amanda Peet is the man's best friend and Joan Cusack (John's real sister) plays his sister.

    Not since THE SIXTH SENSE has a young boy (he turned 8 during filming) carried an entire movie with such capability.

    This is a good movie about good people. This is a sweet movie about a sweet little boy trying to find a way to survive here on earth among people he does not understand, and who definitely do not understand him.

    See it. You won't regret it....more info
  • Martian Schmartian
    I'm a John Cusack fan but don't normally like PG movies. Yet this movie grabs onto you from the beginning - thanks to Cusack's performance, and no thanks to Amanda Peet's - with a fine screen play and some great directing that follows a story of an adoption of a little boy who really thinks he's from Mars. The story ends dramatically and lets you wonder if the boy is indeed from outer space or not. I'd have rated this movie PG-13... I think some scenes could be disturbing to smaller children....more info
  • For the "Martian" in all of us
    I first saw "Martian Child" because I was intrigued by the premise of a child that thought he was from Mars. After watching the movie, though, I realized that we all have a bit of the "Martian" in us. Dennis (Bobby Coleman) has been abandoned by his parents and spends his days hiding under a large box, seeing the world only through the handle slot. Although most people do not go this far in expressing their feeling of not belonging, many of us have experienced at least some degree of rejection and disenfranchisement, and this makes it easy to understand why Dennis finds it difficult to come out of his box. As science fiction writer David, played superbly by John Cusack, patiently draws him out, the two form a bond, and Dennis begins to make the transition between his isolated and lonely life to one that is more normal--although far from ordinary. Dennis still has plenty of quirks, including the need to wear a weight belt to keep him from floating away due to the fact that Earth's force of gravity is lower than that of Mars.

    The journey from box to being David's son is one fraught with troubles and humor, and watching this movie is somehow rejuvenating. Cusack's portrayal of David, with his deep affection for his new son and his humorous responses to Dennis's quirky statements and behavior is heartening. His sensitivity to Dennis's feelings is touching, as well; when Dennis is expelled from school for stealing and being "different from the others," David does not tell him he was expelled but that he (David) and the teacher agreed that a new school would be a good idea.

    Dennis continues to tell David that he is on a mission from Mars, and his acts of stealing are part of that mission; he is gathering information to take back to Mars with him. David is annoyed when Dennis still believes he is a Martian after staying with him for some time, but he begins to notice strange evidence that there may be some truth to the story. Dennis makes "Martian wishes," for example, that always come to pass exactly as wished. Could he truly be from Mars after all? The truth does not come out until the end of the movie.

    This is a truly splendid movie that treats a painful subject in a fairly light and amusing manner yet still demonstrates respect and sensitivity toward Dennis. Anyone who has ever felt that he didn't belong can identify with Dennis, and he is a character that you care about. John Cusack's work in the movie is stellar, and I was literally shocked to discover that the movie was not a hit at the box office. Even the music and the choreography of the "nice talk" scene with Dennis and David to the tune of "Satellite" are charming. This movie is a refreshing change from the usual formula films that are as predictable as clockwork. It's offbeat but thoroughly engaging, and despite some inevitable challenges that Dennis and David must go through, it is a feel-good movie that leaves the viewer feeling that anything is possible. After watching it the first time, I knew I was going to buy it. I recommend it!...more info
  • Were you expecting About A Boy meets K-Pax? ...

    The movie starts off, as expected with a soft narration by Cusack about the reality of his mundane life and how he was changed by the true events that the reader/viewer is about to see, it's not quite clear which. But this narration and slow pan to Cusack in a director's chair is not an introduction to this film, but possibly an interview to another film in the fictitious realm of the movie. Okay, is this the best way to start a movie? I don't think so.

    So let me stop right there.

    The story, while `loosely based' on true accounts and at times heartfelt, does initially come across as muddled, confused and without a real direction. The tone is supposed to be that light feeling that you might've experienced when you watched Notting Hill or About a Boy, two very decent `movies' played deftly by Hugh Grant. Now, here again we seem to have to indomitable John Cusack following the stylist coat-tails of Grant, to deliver up this strange and camp tale about a widower and his adopted son. But somewhere, the filmmakers decided that an intermittent narration is better than a full narration. Note to Menno Meyjes: "If you're going to include a narration in the movie, include it. Half-measures never bear much fruit, and what fruit there is, is usually rotten."

    I was moved once or twice while watching this, a sense of awe is created in the film that keeps you close, but sadly, it never really delivers. The real drag is when you find out that the boy is not from Mars, but it's just a ruse he employs because of personal and social detachment and Cusack, ahem ... David, does his best to placate the boy and keep him under the radar of Child Protective Services and give him a normal life, despite what he's been through. Some of the acting is very forgettable and lacking the type of angst that you would've expected from both of these actors, Cusack and Bobby Coleman.

    The movie comes off as simple and blas¨¦ and the selling point or theme just doesn't sit, gel or come together appropriately. Isn't Bobby Coleman the fictitious name of Corey Feldman in that movie `Dream a Little Dream' when he takes over Jason Robards' body? No matter. I digress. Sorry for the segue way.

    Now, I've discussed bad and trite endings in other reviews that should always be avoided. Now it seems that I'll have to put `runs away to a planetarium' on the list of these no-no's because what could've been a decent film, is spoiled by the `climax' at the end where the boy does his best to sabotage his human existence with his new father David Gerrold and brings the heat of the law down on him. Joan Cusack does her best job interview for future Disney movies by standing next to Amanda Peet, feigning concern for the camera about a boy who might plunge from a height.

    Maybe I was expecting something a little along the lines of K-Pax. But, maybe if it went that direction everyone would've complained that it was too much like K-Pax. Perhaps a stronger marketing campaign for this movie and getting the message out there about it being a `true story' would've helped audience expectation. The cover of this DVD is a good example of the poor strategy that went into this project overall. It looks like an eighties Wham! poster that a tween-age girl might hang on her wall, not the poster for a dramatic film about adoption, detachment, emotional growth and bonding. Good lord, people. Could you have hashed this thing up any worse?

    And regarding the issue about David Gerrold being a gay, single father in real-life and this issue being ignored on-screen, just comes across as incredibly lame. At least Robin Williams had the guts to portray Armistead Maupin in The Night Listener and let the audience know what the real truth was with his character. Glassing over this minor point smacks of 'political correctness'. A black mark for sure on Cusack's record.

    ...more info
  • Greatest Thing in the Universe
    "Martian Child" was a film that I saw in the theatre and wanted to own. The film's director, Menno Meyjes, was previously nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Color Purple" in 1985 & worked with John Cusak in his first film as a director, "Max" in 2002. He keeps the interest and pacing of the film throughout.

    Having lost my wife (a year & a half ago) and now being a single dad, the part of the film where Cusak's David grieves over his wife affected me. Whether those were glycerin tears or real ones, that scene where Cusak looks at his wife's picture and starts to cry makes me reach for a tissue. It mirrors my living room about three times a day. Cusak is adept at these light comic roles, which may not win him a Oscar, but which he does expertly and makes me want to see his work. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for "High Fidelity" in 2002.

    Bobby Coleman who worked with Cusak in 2005's Must Love Dogs (Widescreen Edition) does a good job as the weird little kid. Coleman underplays the character, but it worked for me on film and made my heart go out to him. The unusual dance that he & Cusak perform is so utterly bizarre that it makes me smile.

    The supporting players are strong. Joan Cusak plays (SURPRISE!) her real-life brother John Cusak's sister! She was twice nominated for Oscars for "Working Girl" in 1988 & "In & Out" in 1997. Amanda Peet who was in The Ex (Unrated Widescreen Edition) plays Harlee who may become David's steady girl. The kiss they share would certainly make one believe so. Sophie Okonedo who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for "Hotel Rwanda" and did such a great job as the lady of the evening in Dirty Pretty Things plays the child care worker who encourages David to connect with Dennis. Oliver Platt plays the agent Jeff who worked with Cusak in The Ice Harvest (Widescreen Edition). Richard Schiff from TV's "West Wing" and the great 2001 film I am Sam (New Line Platinum Series) does an excellent job as the caring social worker. Angelica Huston has a cameo as the book publisher Mimi and plays it well. I found "Martian Child" to be a stunning film that affirms that love is the greatest thing in the universe. Bravo! ...more info
  • love does conquer all
    David, a widower, has consulted by a social worker to foster a child, Dennis, who believes he is from Mars. After all, David is a science-fiction writer and this should be an "interest" for him.

    Dennis is an odd child. He believes he is a Martian. He hides in a box, wears sunglasses at all times and has other eccentric beliefs. With love and patience, Dennis comes out of his shell.

    However, even after time has passes, Dennis is still a different child. Slowly, David becomes frustrated and tries to get Dennis to accept the reality of life. This frustration only causes Dennis to retreat to his little world.

    The administration that oversees foster care and adoption believes David isn't a suitable parent for Dennis. However, can David and Dennis convince them otherwise?

    I thought *Martian Child* was a wonderful film about love, along with patience, can gently break through some tough walls....more info
  • Feel Good Movie to Watch Over and Over Again
    This is a feel good movie that I watch over and over again. John Cusak and his real life sister, Joan, do a superb job of showing the brother/sister relationship where boundaries are sometimes blurred in the name of love. John does a fantastic job of being a "grown up" who is open to allowing this unusual child to be himself for the most part. The whole idea of trying to be the person you are "expected" to be and the realization that you are okay just the way you are, and that it's okay to be your unique self, as long as you don't hurt yourself or others, is what makes this movie an enjoyable experience. It is funny and sensitive and should be considered a parental training film, especially if you have one of those kids that seems to hear a different drummer. ...more info
  • Marvelous!!
    John Cusack never ceases to amaze.... and this is a great example! Great dialogue, excellent story, a tear-jerker for sure!...more info
  • Emotionally sappy and silly
    From the trailer for "Martian Child" that I saw about a year ago with "Meet the Robinsons" in theaters, I thought it was going to be a really good film. Sure, it has John Cuscak, but the kid seems really touching. Then when I heard the film was pretty bad, I was in shock. It looked like a good movie, but I didn't want to waste a lot of money on this one, so I decided to wait for the DVD. I was sick when I rented the movie and had to miss a day of school, so I relaxed and watched the film with my two little eyes.

    If you like emotional family melodramas, you'll enjoy this film. But for someone like me whose a teenager, this film was extremely silly. John Cuscak seems pretty tedious and really, he doesn't know what the heck he's really doing. He just seems to get sillier as the story goes along.

    "Martian Child" tells the story of a psycotic, science fiction writer, David Gordon (John Cuscak). He's a brilliant science fiction writer who writes nice, emotional science fiction/drama novels. As he meets his friend (Amanda Peet), he falls in love with a little homeless kid named Dennis (Bobby Coleman). However, Dennis thinks he's from Mars. (Really, it doesn't really say anything about Dennis' family, which makes the story to be a little too unpredictable. I think they might've gotten seperated or his family died.)

    So therefore, David finds a way to connect with the child's eyes and believes that he's from Mars. However, David tries to convince Dennis that he's just a normal human being who got separated from his family.

    Bobby Coleman, who plays Dennis, is a really cute actor. Though, he tries to admit that the fact that he's not really all that cute. But I have to admit. Bobby seems pretty shy when he goes through his role. Mainly that's what his character is. So unfortunately, Bobby Coleman doesn't act all that animatedly through his role, because that's what basically his character is.

    Amanda Peet, who plays one of John Cuscak's best friend, tries way too hard for her role. But the nicest performance comes from Joan Cuscak. Though, she seems pretty nice and both her and Peet try to connect with Mr. Cuscak's way of life.

    "Martian Child" was kind of like a corney version of "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" or differently from "Close Encounters of a Third Kind." It's in the heartwarming drama part where it's very corney, rather than it's a science fiction/drama. I bet the filmmakers just want to admit that it's science fiction, but it's too hard for them to admit it.

    Bottom line is this. If I were eleven years old, I would have thought "Martian Child" was the best movie ever made. Speaking of the fact that I am not eleven years old, I found the film to be a little too silly for me and a bit childish. I looked back and I liked childish stuff like this when I was eleven. So well you get the picture."Martian Child" has a little too much to get you dizzy in your bed....more info
  • I was looking for something out of this world; sadly that's not what I got...
    I really wanted to like this movie. I generally love John Cusack and with the high profile year he's had this year (why oh why did `Grace is Gone' not translate into an Oscar nomination?) I thought that `Martian Child' might be the place to go. Besides, it also stars my other favorite Cusack (Joan that is) and so it was high on my list of films to rent as soon as available. Sadly, `Martian Child' proves to be nothing more than sentimental fluff that milks the heartstrings in a saccharine and at times annoying kind of way. It's a very forced kind of sentiment; like they tried to hit you over the head with everything they could to persuade your feelings in their direction. The result is a forgettable and in moments a regrettable film that could have and should have been better.

    The story is that of David, a successful science fiction writer who is mourning the death of his wife. His wife, having been adopted herself, had wanted to adopt a child and David was determined to carry out her wishes even though he felt that kind of commitment was too much for him at the moment. He winds up being paired up with Dennis, a strange child who believes he's from Mars. Being that science fiction is his forte, David feels that he can appeal to Dennis' issues and find the root of his delusions. His approach is looked down on by board that placed Dennis in his custody and so both David and Dennis will have to learn to `grow up' together if they want to stay together.

    This reminds me of the Kevin Spacey vehicle `K-Pax' except `K-Pax' actually got to me in the end. I felt a connection there that I didn't feel here, maybe because the whole `alien' aspect of `K-Pax' (or I guess I should say that the reasons behind the `alien' aspect of `K-Pax') was at least explored deeper than it is here. Similarities abound between Coleman's Dennis and Spacey's Prot, the difference being that Spacey knows how to sell it (but I'll get to that in a minute).

    John Cusack does a decent job here. It's not his finest moment but he adds layers of believability to David that I admired. You really feel that he loves this kid even if the script itself makes that hard to believe. Joan Cusack (who just makes ANY movie worth watching) chews some scenery here and truly is the highlight of the film. Amanda Peet is really here in name and body only; she doesn't really do a whole lot. I'm not even sure who she really was.

    The biggest mistake of this film though is Bobby Coleman, the little boy who plays Dennis. I hate doing this because he's such a young kid and I feel mean saying this but he really botched this. He comes across annoying and very unnatural. Child actors are really one of two scenarios. You have your Haley Joel Osment's who are just blisteringly talented, and then you have your Bobby Coleman's, who need to learn the art of acting. His `acting' is forced. You can tell he's trying to play `strange' as apposed to just `being' strange. I'm forced to recall the effortlessness with which Osment played the outcast in `The Sixth Sense' or the way he maneuvered through very adult emotions in `A.I.' and even `Pay it Forward' and wonder to myself why they wouldn't have found a kid with his talent level to play young Dennis. In all seriousness, the sappy condition of this film could have been forgiven had Coleman delivered a memorable performance.

    In the end `Martian Child' misses, which is a sad thing since it had all the potential to be a moving and inspiring film. It has some moments that are tender but those moments are crowded out by the rest of this film. There is a thin line between an emotional resonant picture and a force-fed emotional disaster. Sometimes less is more, and more often than not it's better to let your audience slowly fall in love with you because they want to, not because you demand them to. ...more info
  • Too bad the kid was in it.
    There werent really any funny moments in this movie. John Cusack was a great actor but the kid was actually sort of unlikeable. He had this annoying raspy voice. Boring and not funny. I think they could have gotten a lot more K-Pax with the Martian theme. I dont think they went anywhere "deep" with it in this film (except with, maybe, the book part). Dont get me wrong there were some cute moments in it. So it wasnt a HORRIBLE movie. But I cant say that I really liked it either....more info
  • A Must See for Adoptive Parents
    We just went to see this movie with 3 of our daughters. It was a wonderful movie, funny, entertaining, serious, romantic, all rolled into one.

    All adoptive parents or those thinking about adopting should see this movie.
    It explores the hurt and pain of rejection, and the unconditional love of a father to his son. It explores some of the crisis adoptive parents face with their children.... stealing,lying, emotional isolation, connecting and unconditional love. It is really just a great movie....more info
  • Thank you
    Thank you for shipping this so quickly and the dvd is was in very good shape, no scratches!...more info
  • "Isn't Being Human Unique Enough?"
    Those of you looking for a good science fiction film should look elsewhere. Not that THE MARTIAN CHILD isn't a good film, it's just not science fiction.

    Based on the true life story of science fiction author David Gerrold's experience adopting a challenging child who believes he's from Mars, this story is a family drama that tugs at heart-strings and gives us a fine performance by child actor Bobby Coleman.

    John Cusack (Grace Is Gone) pulls in an equally fine performance as David Gerrold, the sci-fi author who eventually adopts Dennis (Coleman). Finding him in a box at the adoption center, David (Cusack) coaxes him out of his walled-in life and into the real world. But it takes time and strength to do it, and David wonders if he has the fortitude and abilities to bring Dennis all the way. Dealing with parenting as a single parent, David discovers the additional difficulties of having a son so different than every other child. Dennis wears weight belts (to keep him from floating away), needs an umbrella to shield him from the sun (because Earth is much closer to it than his home planet, Mars), and his significant dietary requirements (Lucky Charms ...although not explained would make sense since they contain star shapes, etc.).

    The story is told well if not predictably. The engaging portions are those surrounding Dennis' conversion from alien to human after the slow realization that David won't be letting go of him ("Why did my parents let me go?"). The significance of the weight belt (to keep him from floating away like his real parents) and the umbrella (to shield him from persecution by those the same age) are set up and knocked down with adequate dramatic flair.

    But there are no science fiction elements whatsoever. Similar in tone to K-Pax, this story focuses on the people and their mental flaws. It tells us, in no uncertain terms, that being human is okay; that we don't have to be from somewhere else in order to be unique and wanted and understood.

    No spaceships. No time travel. No green skinned creatures. Just humans trying to figure out how to live with one another in something resembling harmony. ...more info
  • No better, but no worse, than what you'd expect from a movie like this
    There are some really nice scenes in here---the operative word being "nice." I liked the line of Joan Cusack's where she says that all kids are from Mars, and at least this boy admits to it. I also liked Dennis's deadpan expression when he said something along the lines of, "I just gave you a Martian wish. Don't waste it." But overall, it was just a predictable story that we've all seen a million times before. Man seeks to add depth to his life by reaching out to a troubled child, only to find out that he's got his work cut out for him. There are the people in authority who question his "unorthodox" methods of child-raising. He has a female friend who we get the sense is one kiss away from becoming his romantic partner (actually, she's barely in the movie and kind of fades into the background once she fulfills her primary duty in the film by acting suspiciously intimate with David/Cusack). And in the end, he and the boy learn some valuable life lessons. So yeah, the movie is a little too tame for my taste.

    This isn't a bad movie. It's a "safe" movie. It's a little too safe. ...more info
  • love does conquer all
    David, a widower, has consulted by a social worker to foster a child, Dennis, who believes he is from Mars. After all, David is a science-fiction writer and this should be an "interest" for him.

    Dennis is an odd child. He believes he is a Martian. He hides in a box, wears sunglasses at all times and has other eccentric beliefs. With love and patience, Dennis comes out of his shell.

    However, even after time has passes, Dennis is still a different child. Slowly, David becomes frustrated and tries to get Dennis to accept the reality of life. This frustration only causes Dennis to retreat to his little world.

    The administration that oversees foster care and adoption believes David isn't a suitable parent for Dennis. However, can David and Dennis convince them otherwise?

    I thought *Martian Child* was a wonderful film about love, along with patience, can gently break through some tough walls....more info
  • An Exceptional Movie
    The boy (Bobby Coleman) was amazing! You will most certainly see more from him in the future. Beautiful, heartwarming tale of a widower in the midst of adopting a troubled young boy who believes he is from Mars. John Cusack is always great to watch and does not disappoint here. This movie is well worth the time invested. I would recommend it! ...more info
  • heartwarming
    this was a funny, yet sadly heartwarming movie. I could only imagine the challenges of going through an adoption, let alone adopting such a "special" child. My wife was laughing one moment and crying the next. Was definately interesting enough to keep me awake. ...more info
  • A Cute Movie
    This is definitely a movie that would be good for a Family Night. It has some cute moments and is overall a good and heartwarming story, but it also isn't anything that you'll really remember as being exceptional.

    The premise is a simple but inventive one. A successful science-fiction writer (played by John Cusack) adopts a child who pretends, and has actually come to believe, that he is from Mars. The core of this movie is the interaction between these two, but it goes on to pose deeper questions about children's imaginations and how far parent's should let 'games of pretend' and individuality go.

    Overall, it's a solid movie with a good cast and a fair script that won't leave you enlightened or disappointed. It's probably not something worth buying on DVD, but it's at least worthy of an on-demand rental.

    6/10...more info
  • Touching film about the ties that bind
    The Martian Child was an unexpected surprise for me.

    I REALLY enjoyed this movie, save for the fact that it REALLY reminded me of K-Pax. Oddly both books these movies were based on came out at roughly the same time.

    That similarity aside, this was a wonderful movie all around. Two lost people (weirdos really) finding each other and the love of 'family' in a very unconventional way.

    John Cusack does a great job of presenting a believable bumbling dad wanna-be, and as we watch him jump through the hoops of adoption I often thought to myself that ALL parents should have to be vetted as much.

    Soft spoke Bobby Coleman is achingly cute as 'the martian child' and for a young actor he took direction very well. His cool, almost unbreaking demeanor throughout the film exemplifies the detachment children form under such circumstances as being abandoned, emotionally abused and hesitant about opening their hope and hearts to new family.

    If nothing else, I would recommend this movie to folks considering adoption because it does a brilliant and endearing job of showing the viewer of just how easy it is to love another 'being' whether there are blood-ties or not....more info
  • The movie didnt know which way to go.
    Was it going to be: Science Fiction or Drama? ...In the begining The kid clearly was showing psychic abilities, and not made up fantasies from trama, which is comon in dysfunctual or abused children..There is a scene where David and Dennis are at a traffic light, David asks Dennis, if he has these special abilities,..asks him to make the traffic lights to turn green, and for several blocks they do...David then asks him to do it again and walla, the traffic lights go green again!... And what was it with this "mysterious" hand held device we are not allowed to see which Dennis seems to endue to have some unknown powers. This movies teases you with a science fiction slant, with Dennis clearly displaying special abilities, then it switches to plain Drama. I would have loved for him to remove his "weight belt"..and floated away in the end, but unexplictably, all these abilities are just thrown out and totally forgoten. The movie then takes on Plain Drama and they all lived happily ever after, child and single parent bond, THE END... To me this choice was a big dissapoinment and made the plot confussing and left alot of unansered questions about the "science Fiction slant" concernining Dennis. I really wanted to like this movie but just like the plot/story line, I couldnt make up my mind which way to go....more info
  • I can so relate
    This was such a emotional moving movie. I can so relate to this little boy and adoptive father. It's not easy being different. Great movie and a must see....more info
  • Heart-warming story
    John Cusack plays a man who has been recently widowed but who resolves to follow through on a plan he and his wife had made to adopt a child. He is introduced to Dennis, a little boy who spends his time inside a box, claiming that he is from Mars and is afraid of the sun. Cusack decides to take a chance and he brings Dennis home, lovingly entering his world and gently urging him to join "the rest of us". This is a touching movie and the growing relationship between Cusack and Dennis (Bobby Coleman) is delightful to see. The movie avoids a lot of possible pitfalls and succeeds in demonstrating that people can put up some unusual walls to avoid suffering further hurt. ...more info
  • Martian Child
    This is a great movie. It has it's sad moments, but overall it's a "feel good" movie. I laughed, I cried, but I will watch this one over and over. After renting it the first time, I immediately went to Amazon and bought it! 5 stars!...more info
  • Not what I was expecting
    Definately not what I was expecting. The child is not really from Mars. I couldn't even watch the whole movie, I really don't like it. It was a waste of money renting it. Oh, and I would like to meet the idiots that wrote the summary on the back of the box and in the info that it shows on Dish Network Pay-Per-View....more info
  • Bizarre, But Oddly Nice Movie
    This movie is pretty weird. The kid is beyond weird. John Cusack is the only glue holding this movie together. Overall the movie sort of works. Its not the kind of movie you would run out and tell your friends that they have to see. It was a decent, nothing to watch on tv, fill up some time rental movie....more info
  • A true and touching story!
    I saw this movie in the theaters not really knowing what to expect as I didn't hear or read much about it ahead of time. I was very glad that it was the film we chose to see that night and was crying by the end of it...not because it is sad but because it was very moving. The only thing I didn't like was the character Amanda Peet played because it didn't seem to serve much of a purpose. Aside from that aspect of the film, however, I absolutely loved it and would recommend it any day to anyone who enjoys a good emotional and inspirational film....more info
  • If you are thinking about adopting a kid...........
    watch this movie. Good movie, well done and good stars. Kinda hard listening to
    the martian kid, he whispers all the time. They should send him to a speech therapist.
    No special effects; except eating M&M's. Just an outcasted eccentric little kid, who have
    loss his parent's and is trying to find himself. Good performances. ...more info
  • Martian Child
    What can I say? Not only is this one of best movies I have ever seen, the transaction was PERFECT. I received the item only days after purchasing it and it was in excellent condition. Thank you so much. Karen...more info
  • Movie displays ignored subject in our society.. "unwanted children" Good movie but could have been better!
    Being a single guy myself, looking into the adoption process of becoming a father of a special needs (older/behavioral) child, I was excited about this movie coming out. I have always believed that we need more movies such as this one that shows adopting an older child and single adoption in a good light. There are many older kids such as the one displayed in the movie that need homes. I know this because I am also a child therapist and I work with many of them. What I liked about the movie is how it shows what truly a single man goes through when trying to adopt. I have an older sister just like the one in the movie. Everything that Cusack's sister said to him, my sister said to me. "These older kids have problems, why would you want to deal with that?" she has stated to me. Also how the system looks at a single man not worthy or strange to want to raise kids is there also. It's sad we live in a society in which men are not suppose to love kids... unless they are his own or unless they are on the football field or something. The lack of positive male role models is one thing that is damaging our society.

    The missing part of the movie that I thought could have made it better is I was expecting the kid to have been more difficult... displaying behavior that would have made it harder to love him. The little guy in the movie was easy to love. That's what didn't make sense to me. He was very socially odd; however, his behavior was not all that bad. I don't understand why a therapeutic foster home or family couldn't handle him. He wasn't aggressive physically or verbally and didn't have any of the significant issues such as self injurious or sexually acting out behavior. He was just a very neglected, possibly abused child that lived in a fantasy world in order to cope with his reality. Also I didn't understand why the so called mental health experts in the movie thought this behavior was abnormal taking into account that the kid was abandoned and likely abused. It is very common for severely abused and neglected children to live in a fantasy world. I can't count the number of group home kids I have worked with that stated that their mother just bought them an xbox360 or something else great and I know they don't even have parents. It's easier to make up false stories about being loved than to live with the reality of not being wanted. Also I wish there were more heart felt moments in the movie. The ones that were in the movie were basically ruined by watching the trailer.

    Also I have read many reviews stating that the end of the movie was terrible. I thought the last scene when Cusack told the boy how important and special he is was the best part of the movie. That scene made the movie! There are many, many kids who need to hear what Cusack said to that boy. Most people who don't have any experience working with unwanted children may think that scene was corny, however those who do have experience working with or being one of those kids, that scene was perfect. Great movie however just a little under five stars!

    By the way, to totally appreciate this movie you have to look at it as a pure drama and not science fiction. Watch the movie with the understanding that unwanted, abused and abandoned kids make up fantasy stories in order to cope with their reality and the so called "science fiction" part of the movie will make more sense. Also take into account that an adoption process takes at least a year. All of these "sappy" moments could have EASILY happened in a year time frame.

    This movie could also be used in group therapy for foster kids as a way to get them to express themselves about their current issues. Many foster and adopted kids have experienced many of the same situations the young boy in the movie faced. The movie is good to use to start a discussion and explore feelings and help kids gain awareness about themselves... just a thought....more info
  • Great Family Movie
    Watched this with my 2 daughters (11 & 12) all of us loved it!! Loved John Cusack in it and the little boy Bobby Coleman did a great job. Definitely a movie to have in your library...I do plan on buying it. If you and your family have a "movie night" this is one everyone will enjoy!!...more info
  • *Think With Your Heart!*
    A movie that shows how important it is to feel like you belong and are loved.I love John Cusack and I think he was perfect in this movie.Bobby Coleman did very well as the martian child....more info
  • Totally sappy, boring, predictable
    I watched this because I am a fan of John Cusak. In this film he does the best he can with a totally sappy predictable humdrum script. I was bored out of my mind. The film drags. The dialogue is totally predictable. The premise is silly and misleading. I have worked with special needs children and this movie gives the false impression that a little love conquers all. As such, the movie is misleading and does a disserive to needy children who need stable homes, loving parents, and a lot more than is not even hinted at in this film. I wasted 90 minutes watching this film. What a disappointment....more info
  • Out of this world
    LOVED THIS MOVIE! I don't know how I had never heard of this movie. John Cusack plays a widower who writes science fiction novels. He decides that he wants to do something meaningful in his life and decides to adopt a child. He is paired up with a child who has abandonment issues and pretends that he is from Mars. The movie is based on a true story and is a chronicle of how they relate one another, and grow closer over time. Don't miss this one!...more info
  • Excellent movie with rare presentation of male role
    This movie has very unique in that the lead char is not some cartoon character as is common in most movies where the guy becomes a father figure such as those by the Rock or Whole Nine Yards. The kids pain is quite real but not in your face while the movie builds to a well reasoned and emotinally satisifying conclusion with breakthroughs for all the lad characaters. Great movie to watch when your tired of movies that center on people dying, heros that somehow avoid being hit by hours of machine buy spray, or trite "feel good movies" ending with the the guy on microphone at some public event professing his love.
    ...more info
  • Adoption movie tops
    This is a very good movie concerning adoption.
    John Cusack and his sister Joan are very good in this movie, as is Amanda Peet. It's good to see Joan Cusack do something more than commericials. The real star in this quirky movie is Bobby Coleman. This child actor will do well in subsequent movies - he's a scene stealer.
    This movie is one to see if you are thinking about adopting "special needs" children - there are a lot of "special needs" children languishing in foster care waiting for a "forever family". This movie tells the story of the tragedies, pitfalls and triumphs of adoption and "special needs" children....more info
  • Have some tissues handy
    A very touching story about a widowed man who adopts a troubled boy. John Cusack gives a top notch performance and the young actor who plays the boy does an excellent job as well. I very much enjoyed the commentary that comes with the DVD. It gives you more insight into the movie and story. Both men and women will enjoy this movie. ...more info
  • Precious Movie
    I loved this movie. I've watched it several times, and I just ordered it on DVD. This is a heartrending story about learning how to love after total rejection and loss. For David, it's an excerise in risking loss again, and for Dennis it's a case of finding real love for the first time in his young life and learning to trust that it won't fail him again. John Cusak is wonderful as David...gentle and sensitive, but the little boy who plays Dennis, Bobby Coleman, is stellar. He is precious, and I've never, ever, ever, ever, ever seen a sweeter little actor....more info
  • Abominable Movie, I definitely agree with the critics
    When the Internet first became widely used by the public (I'm sure most people know it was initially used by the military and educational institutions), you could trust what you read, but these days who knows? At another web site I read review after review praising this awful movie, but then I skipped to the first reviews, which were at the end since they were listed in reverse order chronologically, and I saw many very negative reviews. I'd guess that someone didn't want the bad reviews to be on top.

    I saw this movie over a week ago, and it left me such a bad impression that even now I still wanted to write a review. I will say, I am glad I watched the DVD extra so that I found out that it was based on a true story, and I could see where the script writers had gone beyond dramatic license. To me there were maybe 5 or 10 minutes that were OK, the rest was neither believable nor entertaining at all, and I think that maybe 20-30 years ago, before "political correctness" became such a force that it's hard to know what's right from wrong anymore, less people would condone a movie like this.

    The movie is a series of cheap contrivances meant to play on the audience's emotions. I don't know if the young "star" is as poor an actor as he came across, or if he was told to act that way, but his "innocence," his desperate, high-pitched, wining tone, and many other manipulative demeanors meant to evoke sympathy, while in fact he had traits that were far from even decent, completely turned me off. I read a review which stated that he had a "small stealing problem," which only could be written in an age of political correctness. The boy was a thief, maybe even a kleptomaniac, a serious problem that was never resolved. And the way he would cower or speak some phony Martian lingo when criticized in the slightest way was really nonsense to me, topped off by Cusak's own cowering, apologetic retreat, after doing nothing more than telling the boy in a way that was not mean-spirited at all that he had done things that were wrong.

    As I read the glowing reviews for this manipulative garbage, I thought to myself: is this what people do with their "compassion" in a world so full of cruelties and abominable treatments of others, to condone the behaviors of an abused boy so that anything he does is to be accepted and/or pitied, and no criticism is allowed? Strange world, that's all I can say.
    ...more info
  • A True Gem for the Whole Family
    Best-selling sci-fi author David Gordon (John Cusack) grieves the loss of his wife and finds himself in a search for more meaning. Adopting a child was something they considered before she passed but David isn't sure his heart is up to it. That all changes when he meets a unique young boy named Dennis (Bobby Coleman) who believes he is from Mars. David adopts Dennis believing that he can help cure the pain that has caused Dennis to retreat into his own alternate universe. What David doesn't anticipate is how much light Dennis will in turn bring to his world.

    Martian Child is a simple movie with a powerful message about hope, love and acceptance. While this story idea is nothing new, Cusack and Coleman bring a new level of freshness to familiar territory. Cusack always brings a strong performance and he is certainly believable in his role as a single dad. Without a doubt the star of the film is the Martian Child himself, Bobby Coleman. This is an incredible performance that will tug at your heart strings and warm your soul. Amanda Peet and Joan Cusack also lend strong supporting roles to the well-rounded cast.

    My wife and I were in the initial stages of adoption when we found out we were pregnant with our little girl. Since then adoption has always been close to our hearts and something we are considering for the future. It was refreshing and encouraging to see a film about the beauty of adoption and how special it is for both the child and the adopting parents. The lessons that Dennis and David both learn throughout the film are relevant for us all. In the end we are reminded to embrace who we are and to cherish family. This film is a true gem the whole family will enjoy....more info
  • Good story, clean dialog
    These days we often think we need the overdone violence, sex, foul language, and fast pace that most films offer or we just aren't stimulated by what's coming at us from our DVD player or movie screen. Martian Child is a great contradiction to the sterotype movie of today. It's a warm, sometimes a little sappy, story about a man who had planned to adopt a child with his wife but when she died he thought he couldn't do it on his own - then he changes his mind and adopts a troubled young boy who thinks he's from Mars. There is plenty of humor atop a story that begs us to all look more closely at our own society and reach out to the many kids who don't have a family to care for them. You'll find no sex in this film, no gratuitous violence, no foul language, no sexual innuendo, which to me, was very welcome. Kudos to John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack and the other actors for giving life to this sweet film....more info
  • Martian Child
    I actually spent a great deal of this movie trying to hate it due to its fair amount of flaws. It's cutesy, predictive mush that likes to jerk hard on the heartstrings and any sensible moviegoer would roll his eyes and beat his head against the seat before him. But I guess I'm a sucker for the weird kid no one understands. If nothing else, this film had good intentions, and those intentions should count for something.

    The movie begins with David, a grieving widower (who is not gay despite the movie's origins, but hey) who decides, for some reason involving the wishes of his late wife, to adopt a kid. But not just any kid--the autistic, traumatized Dennis who hides in a box. Crying puppy sad enough for you? But never fear--David is a offbeat sci-fi writer with a quirky friend-who-is-a-girl and a sensible sister to make everything all better. We get to watch David and Dennis struggle to bond and face the real world, using all sorts of great inspirational lines. Yay for all those writers, and another roll of eyes for having the character of the editor weep fondly over the story-of-the-story.

    The filming and the score are only average, and frankly so was the storytelling. And yes, I did check my watch once or twice during the many slower parts.

    But I suppose it was a slow story, and I did appreciate the whimsical bits of comedy. Even if it were so-so writing, it was a cast of actors that can certainly hold their own, especially the little boy.

    And I was crying at the end. So sue me. ...more info
  • Charming tribute to strange kids
    David is a lonely, widowed science fiction writer. Dennis is a lonely, abandoned science fiction story. Since this is basically a feel-good story, the two misfits end up as a perfect fit for each other.

    It's a "relationships" movie, so there's no real action to talk about, except for the day to day dealings between adoptive daddy and a very troubled boy. David has a female friend - not girlfriend, except maybe - who helps, and a sister who largely doesn't. He also has social workers to deal with, who are even more clueless than David about dealing with this unique child. The difference is that David knows that he doesn't know how to turn this little martian into a human child. The pros seem all too smug in their certainty, and all too aware of their power over the fragile bond between David and Dennis.

    This narrowly avoids saccharine overload, mainly through its sympathetic regard for a kid who's really out there. Some of us have spent our lives not just marching to a different drummer, but marching down a different street completely - we see a lot of ourselves in that strange little boy. That unreal bit of reality raises this movie to a very special level.

    -- wiredweird...more info
  • Fun Movie To Watch
    This is a really fun movie to watch. It's about a guy,David played by John Cusack who adopts a little boy named Dennis who truly believes he is from outerspace. This movie has some really funny parts. It's a truly heartwarming film. At first your not sure the adoption is going to work out and everything, but it does. Dennis has some really odd quirks, he is unlike any other child you have ever seen. When David first sees him he is sitting in a box and wont come out as he doesnt want to be exposed to the sun. This movie is a great film for families or adults alike. I think people of all ages would enjoy it. It's a film I will watch again and again....more info
  • Excellent!
    It was fabulous!!! We laughed, I cried.. it had all the emotions a good movie gives!! It was GREAT!!!
    I cant believe some of the reviews I have seen that it's about a man becoming a father blah blah - that isn't what the movie is about at all! It is all about a little boy that so traumatized by being abandoned that he developed a belief in ORDER to survive. His relationship to John Cusak's character was the first "healthy" human connection in his life - and from the consistency of that relationship, learning to trust and believe in someone else, he was able to breakthrough his disassociative thoughts and connect with another person and enter the "real" world. Totally heartwarming! I wish Hollywood would create more movies like this - THOUGHT PROVOKING, INSPIRING, CARING
    ...more info
  • High reviews from one of the creatures
    I grew up feeling like "a creature" in my own childhood and I remember well how it was when I always felt like I didn't fit in because I wasn't like everybody else. This movie is sweet and easy to watch---in fact, I watched it 3 times in 3 days. John Cusack plays David, a successful young writer of science fiction. David and his wife had planned to adopt a child but she died two years earlier. David is matched with Dennis because Dennis believes he's from Mars and David writes about Martians. Be sure to watch the extra stuff, too, the movie about making the movie and the short film about the REAL "Martian child." One of the best lines in the movie is by Angelica Huston, who asks David, "why can't you just be like we want you to be?" Yeah, that's the question alright. Anyway, "Martian Child" is a wonderful little movie that you'll absolutely love. I did! ...more info
  • This Child Should Be Left Behind!
    I wanted to like this small, trying-to-be-charming movie starring the often great John Cusak. Sure, we've all seen this story before: Man meets boy-from-Mars; Man falls in love with boy-from-Mars; Man loses boy-from-Mars, etc. Unfortunately this movie offers no new elements to this worn format, and it's all been done better before. Beware of the filler characters, concocted to take up time that the thin main story line can't fill: The best friend/agent played by Oliver Platt (rhymes with FLAT). The "almost girlfriend" played by Amanda Peet, whom you actually can see wondering, "What am I doing in this movie?" The "heavy" who turns happy social worker guy. And don't forget Joan Cusak, John's sister, playing his, er, sister. A rhetorical question: Has Joan Cusak ever been in a movie that didn't star her brother, other than that Melanie Griffith empowerment pic? If it wasn't enough that the director and writers were too lazy to provide a single original element to this movie, they had to tie up the film with a totally unbelievable recycled faux "scene of peril" to get the man and the boy-who-thinks-he's-from-Mars back together. When all was said and done, this movie made me feel so bad I had to take two aspirin, go to bed, and call my doctor in the morning. He told me to take it easy for a few days and to get my strength back by watching Cusak in two small classic films that (unlike "Martin Child") are well directed and well written: "The Sure Thing" and "Say Anything." I'm on my way to recovery now... ...more info
  • Blindsided
    First some background, I am a widower and father of a daughter whom is challenged and age 13. We go grocery shopping where, attached to the grocery store is a video rental shop. I do not have a membership and not every time we go grocery shopping, we visit it, but occasionally, as a treat we duck inside before we begin to grocery. You see the thing is, we never know how long we will be able to afford cable service, so my theory is check the previously viewed, on sale, or 3 for twenty dollars rack and pick three. That way if we loose the ability to continue cable. We have built up a video library. Now that has not happened yet, but with the economy in such unsure times... well you never know. Anyway about the movie, the Martian Child. I always give my daughter first pick, and she picked hers. Now, I have always been a fan of Mr.Cusacks, so when I saw his picture on the dvd box and read the title, I knew... I had never seen this before, not on cable... or even in the movie list at theaters, I choose this. I am totally serious, (I never read the back of the DVD case, so when we got home of course we watched my daughter pick first and when it was over, I put on this movie, not knowing what to expect and the only thought that crossed my mind was "My Favorite Martian". I watched this sight-un-read. Well my little girl fell fast asleep before 3 minutes of it was played. I watched it all and by the end, I realized; I had struck gold. Now I may sound bias because I am a long time fan of Mr. Cusack. But never has any of his films struck a chord in my heart as this one has and I am telling anyone who reads these reviews... and by the way, this is my first. If stars of Gold are the way it is rated then (5) Gold stars was not enough. If I could, I will give this one (10) Gold Stars. I am honored to have bought this no matter what. When it was over I rushed over to my computer and dialed in Amazon to read if there was indeed any reviews. I read a few of them to see what was written and was compelled to write this. If anyone should read this, whether your a fan of Mr. Cusack or not, and use these as a "Do I Buy It or Not?" I my humble opinion, You will "absolutely" not being throwing away your money. I am so delighted with this film, if not for the late hour I would wake up my daughter and have her enjoy it with me again. I already know I will watch this many more times myself. It is going on my list of "Favorite films" and in e-mails to all my friends. Thank you for taking time to read this, my first review and using the words of another famous and never forgotten hero of our time and I hope he rests in peace..."I hope we pass the audition" ...more info
  • Wow, what a father-son relational movie!
    THis is well done and extremely good acting. Slow in a few places where there is a need to give details but in general is fantastic. A lot of emotion in this movie about learning how to react to a child who has withdrawn emotionally into himself.
    The first half is very complex and detailed which adds to the charm and honesty of a widowed, foster parent getting to know what makes his new son tick. About in the middle things go off a little bit too much maybe to an awkward point but the ending brings back all that happened up front to finish in a feel good and nice way. ...more info
  • You have to see this
    This is the best film John Cusack has done in years, though I didn't find Joan so convincing. I also enjoyed the performances of Sophie Okonedo and Amanda Peet, who are both too cute for their own good. Bobby Coleman is an awesome child actor. What's even more cool to watch after the film is the real martian child, and his father the author. I was lucky to find the last copy of this at Blockbuster, it's a very touchy-feely type movie, about a sci-fi author adopting a troubled kid....more info
    This is a very touching movie, which will leave a tear in your eye. It is a heart warming movie for the whole family....more info
  • If he is a Martian, so am I!
    A well written novel becomes a very good movie in which we get to know a very disturbed child.
    The adoptive parent is himself a very strange fellow.
    This is a good chick flick and very heart warming
    and tear jerking. I think kids will like this movie as well, so it is a good family movie....more info
  • Hope leads to Love - Touching Story Line
    I decided to view this movie since my wife and I really like Cusack in Serendippity and Must Love Dogs. Seeing him here in a much more serious role, was really quite revealing to me regarding his ability to act seriously and to really make it believable.

    You are right there with him as he goes from the challenges of single life long after the loss of his wife. His sister and sister of his deceased wife play prominently in his life and as he goes from being a lonely widower to the adoption/foster parenting process for a young boy who has socialization problems.

    Cusack plays an author of SciFi thrillers and has a very short time to write his next big novel. All this while he is learning and rearing a very troubled child who requires so very much attention. Through it all, David (Cusack) learns to show consistency to his Dennis as Dennis continues to act out his Martian fantasy. We learn that parenting is a matter of learning as you go many times. For each child has his or her own individual ways of viewing the world from experience. David learns to love when he is faced with being accepted or rejected for who he is 'right now.' He is faced with a take it or leave it scenario that wakes him up to what life means to Dennis at that time.

    This is a great story to use to build up ones sense of compassion for others. More of a touchy/feely movie, it may not and possibly will not appeal to many, however, it has a great message of hope for all who are lost in the world where rejection can seem the norm. ...more info
  • Highly recommended
    This movie made me fall in love with John Cusack again. It's a touching film that resonates with those of us who don't feel we fit in all that well - as kids and even as adults. It's also about healing from difficult things in the past, whether they were hurts caused viciously or without malice. ...more info
  • Out of this world
    My wife & I loved this little movie for it's important view of children and the value each one has. We are Sunday School teachers and this just totally charged us up on pouring our lives into these little people. Martian Child was a good reminder to never take children for granted....more info
  • Wonderful movie!
    I was in awe of the talented young actor (Bobby Coleman) who plays a confused little boy abandoned by his own parents and so frightened of having people disappear from his life that he wears a 'gravity belt' to keep from floating away. John Cusack plays a lonely widow who writes science-fiction novels and isn't sure he is the best pick for a parent for a child who needs extra TLC, but who better to understand a boy who believes he's from Mars? Also a funny performance from the always amusing Joan Cusack.

    Chrissy K. McVay - Author...more info
  • Gib has grown up and is a great father!!!!
    "Martian Child" is a very enjoyable film which has taken on a special personal meaning due to the enjoyment my daughter takes from watching it with me. I have two adopted daughters and while the circumstances of their adoptions are quite different than the one portrayed in the film, parental love is the same no matter how a child becomes yours.

    I am about the same age as John Cusack and I have "grown up" with him ever since I saw him in "Sixteen Candles." When I was young, I loved to see Mr. Cusack in his various 80's guises. While I have enjoyed many of his film roles, "The Sure Thing" and "Martian Child" stand out as two of my most favorite. I felt a connection with Walter "Gib" Gibson when I was an eighteen year old college freshman; and now, as a father, I feel the same about David Gordon. As a father in my early 40's, it was very touching to enjoy "Martian Child" with my six year old daughter. Although she has only seen the film about three or four times, he memories of it are very vivid and she often talks recalls the smallest details. As such, she is now a big "Lucky Charms" fan and loves to listen to Guster's "Satellite" and get me to dance with her.

    "Martian Child," while sometimes a bit syrupy, is a lovely portrayal of a father's love for his child and how they spend meaningful time together. I hope others can find the same magic with their children, and for you Cusack fans, it's nice to see that "Gib" has turned out to be a great dad.
    ...more info
  • Better than the movie
    I saw the movie first and thought it was the best of it's genre (no it's not about a little boy from Mars)

    The book from which the movie was taken, is far deeper and thought-and- heart-provoking than the movie, considering the drawbacks of putting true feelings onto plastic. I have already passed the book on to a friend who has a special needs child and she joins me in praising this book. I would buy it again. ...more info
  • Great family flick...
    A sweet story. The acting is fine but could have been better if Amanda Peet wasn't in it or was in the story line a bit deeper. John Cusack made parenting look like a piece of cake!

    A widower decides to adopt a little boy from Mars or at least he thinks he is from Mars. ...more info
  • Martian Child
    David (John Cusack) has never really gotten used to his wife's death. Years later he is considering adopting a child despite his sister Liz's (Joan Cusack) advice. His friend Sophie (Okonedo) has the perfect child for him. Dennis (Coleman) is a child who believes he is from Mars. He hides in a box during the day because the sun bothers him. He wears a "gravity belt" to keep him from floating away. Once home, David finds that it is more difficult than expected to connect with Dennis. In these tough times, doctors from the orphanage are checking in on things, and David realizes he must make a breakthrough if he wants to keep Dennis.

    While "Martian Child" is a fictionalized account of author David Gerrold's adoption of a child, one can't help but hope that there were less sappy moments in real life. "Martian Child" is full of them, just begging the audience to shed a tear at the characters' plight. Cusack does his usual best with what he is given here, but the script hinders him more than usual here. Sure there is a nice story here, but it seems to be buried under a layer or two of sap. This was not a bad movie, but it definitely wasn't my thing. I recommend this to those who enjoy tear -jerker type films.
    ...more info
  • "Hysterical is the New Calm" ...
    The most reviled review is the "three-star" review. Most people interpret it as a failure to commit. One either (allegedly) "loves" a film or "hates" it ... thumbs up or thumbs down. Well, however I try to spin this film, it still ends up "okay." A big three-stars.

    I enjoy what John Cusack brought to the role (vulnerability, sensitivity, quiet contemplation etc...). But, his spot-on portrayal of a widower dealing with a psychologically damaged child could not save the film as a whole.

    The "K-Pax" grumblings here hold true. I remember thinking that this film was treading an awfully thin line ... precariously teetering to the side of plagiarism. The sunglasses (!!!), the seemingly extraordinary abilities, the alien language (inclusive of the "click consonant"), the use of stellar maps, the disappearing acts, the picnic scene ... and that's just the beginning. Yes, the similarities are uncomfortable. But then, something else was nagging at me ... and, I realized what it was when the adoptive father realized (too late) he could not allow his eccentric child to wear whatever he wanted/be whomever he wanted. This was "Big Daddy" ... inclusive of gross food-scenes and abandonment issues. (Believe me, you will notice!) A weird amalgamation of films, but true enough.

    Now, I realize this film is an adaptation of David Gerrold's "The Martian Child: A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son." And, here's the thing: Gerrold's work is great, but this film is a mediocre translation. (And, inventing a dead wife ... well, why? Why not just tell the true story as Gerrold told it? Very frustrating. And, adding Amanda Peet to the equation is even more bizarre ... considering the reality of the situation.)

    So, while I genuinely did laugh and I genuinely did feel compassion for Cusack's character, it just was not enough for me to recommend this film. If you are struggling to fill your queue at Netflix, then toss this one in ... if not, catch it on TBS a year from now. ...more info
  • Meaningful, Touching, Beautiful
    Martian Child is one of the most touching and moving films out there. John Cusack gives a brilliant performance as David Gordon and the audience can really feel his frustrations as well as his unconditional love for Dennis. Bobbie Coleman is phenomenol as Dennis, the Martian child. Bobbie Coleman has what very few child actors have - he has depth, maturity, but also an honesty that is apparent on screen. Joan Cusack is wonderful as David's caring sister. This film is beautiful and it's one that you'll want to watch over and over again! I know I ran right out and bought the book the day after I rented the film and read it in an hour and the day after that I bought the movie. I had to have it. I've watched it 4 or 5 times since and it still gets me....more info
  • Sickly sweet
    Sticky sweet story about a widower who adopts a kid that no one wants (and who thinks he's from Mars). If this wasn't John Cusack, I wouldn't have made it through the first 15 minutes without throwing up. By-the-book storytelling, cliches abounding, and sappy, happy ending. Cuscack is so watchable though that he can make even this dreck seem okay. This was the perfect airplane movie - it passed the time, but I'm glad I didn't watch it at home when I could be doing something else....more info
  • A Gentle Film That Deserves Wider Attention
    MARTIAN CHILD was marketed incorrectly - that can be the major reason for its lack of success in the theatrical release. While all the multiplex theaters are overflowing with loud, coarse, raunchy, and special effects driven financial successes (with major exceptions, of course!), little meaningful and sensitive films such as this are submerged and don't last long. Should the name of the film have been different? Should the advertisements been better designed? Who knows, but for those who now have the opportunity to buy or rent MARTIAN CHILD, there is a special experience in store.

    Based on the novel 'The Martian Child' by David Gerrold (beautifully adapted for the screen by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins), Director Menno Meyjes has gathered an exceptional cast to present this story about human needs and how we all find security in the warmth of other caring beings. David (John Cusack) is a successful science fiction writer who is a widower, still grieving for his wife. His agent Jeff (Oliver Platt), his sister Liz (Joan Cusack) and his wife's best friend Harlee (Amanda Peet) aid his 'convalescence', but David feels the need for a child. When social worker Sophie (Sophie Okonedo) calls David concerning an available strange little boy Dennis (Bobby Coleman) who believes he is from the planet Mars and hides inside a box, covered with sunscreen and dark glasses, David responds: he, after all, writes science fiction and is attracted to the idea that Dennis believes he is here from Mars on a mission. Against the advice of his practical sister, David agrees to take Dennis home, feeling that he is one of the few who can relate to Dennis' behavior.

    Life at home is not easy, but with time David and Dennis bond and Dennis comes out of his box to become 'normal'. It is the prolonged journey on which David and Dennis embark that holds the meat of the story. Dennis has been deserted as a small child and finds security in believing he is a visiting Martian who will be 'taken home' to Mars when his mission to understand human beings is complete. David's persistent parenting (quoting Churchill's 'Never ever, ever ,ever, ever, ever give up'), while tested to the extreme, results in a bonding with Dennis that is heart wrenchingly beautiful. And how each of the characters' lives is changed by this extraordinary relationship brings the film to a touching close.

    In addition to the fine performances by both Cusacks, Peet, Platt, and Okonedo, there are brief but noteworthy cameos by Anjelica Huston and Richard Schiff among others. This is a film that makes a major statement about parenting and single parenting in particular and does so with kindness, tenderness, and sincere emotion. Please see this film. Grady Harp, February 08 ...more info
    this beautiful masterpiece of a kids movie will make even the most manley of men cry!...more info
  • Meaningful!
    This movie is filled with more meaning than I see in most movies coming out of Hollywood today. It shows a touching example of unconditional love. That message is very powerful and moving. I must admit it is neat to watch Joan and John Cusack knowing they are really brother and sister. They are both excellent actors....more info

    Love any movie with John Cusack. And where there is John Cusack, there is Joan Cusack, who is also a favorite of mine. The brother/sister team always work well together. The saying goes actors should never work with children and animals -- however, this movie really worked well with everyone involved being awesome.

    Cusack plays a sci-fic writer who is dealing with the passing of his wife and having writer's block. He feels he needs something/someone in his life and applies to become an adoptive parent.

    Enter Bobby Coleman, a cute, sweet, talented little actor. He is Dennis. Dennis is odd, a misfit, one of those kids that everyone picks on and makes fun of. However, all of this doesn't seem to bother Dennis and he truly believes he is from Mars. He has his own little language, is super intelligent, walks to the beat of a different drummer.

    Cusack takes him into his heart and home and tries to help Dennis overcome all of his problems. Dennis steals, lies, and doesn't have any friends. Add all of these factors to him believing he is from Mars and you have a child who is crying out for attention, affection, stability, and love.

    This is a great family movie. The Cusacks are always good in everything they do. Bobby Coleman who plays Dennis had this role down pat. He had great facial expressions, his voice was always in a different tone zone, and he was marvelous. Hope to see more of this young man in the future.

    Great family movie, for people of all ages. This movie was fun, interesting, and heart-warming. Highly recommend!

    Thank you!
    Pam...more info
  • Awesome movie
    I finished watching this when I rented it (a couple weeks ago) and thought "That was awesome!" I almost restarted it right then and there! I bought it the next day.
    This movie just touches the heart in ways that few movies really do anymore. This is the kind of documentary I like. It has comedy, love, I cried, I gasped. One will go through a bunch of emotions watching this movie.
    Just seeing this person agonize over the idea of adopting a child, "special needs" or not, of whether he is able to raise a child, is a great opening. And then watching these two connect, the way David sees how Dennis thinks, and helps Dennis deal with the world in his own way, it's touching, that's just all I can say.
    I loved this movie. ...more info
  • "Life From A Safe Distance" ~ Lucky Charms, Hot Coffee And A Dog Named Somewhere
    The veritably unknown '07 film release `Martian Child' stars John Cusack, one of my favorite actors. His presence is always a sure sign that the movie will be witty, articulate and funny. Joining John in this touching and entertaining feature is his sister Joan Cusack, Amanda Peet and an enchanting little boy named Bobby Coleman in the role of Dennis, a vulnerable orphan who disguises the pain of abandonment by pretending to be a Martian.

    While the plot is predictable, the dialogue and on-screen relationships come across as real and completely believable. What really won me over was the profoundly touching interaction between John and Bobby, they are absolutely magical together. There's one particularly memorable scene where the two do a hilarious little robotic dance together to the song `Satellite' by Guster. I smile every time it comes to mind.

    My Ranking: 'Martian Child' may move a little slow for some viewers but I found it to be a truly rewarding viewing experience....more info
  • Look Beyond the Title....

    I loved K-Pax, I also loved I Am Sam and in spite of the title, Martian Child is more I Am Sam than K-Pax.

    I am a huge fan of both Cusacks. John always gets to me with his "aw shucks' demeanor, his puppy dog eyes, and his quick wit. He delivers in Martian Child. Joan. Is there anything she can't make funny? I love that they team up in movies. I hope the brother sister relationship they have on film is a reflection of what they have in real life. I do agree that Amanda Peets' character needed a little more explaining or meat, though.

    This is a movie about broken and tossed aside people coming together and finding love and life. A lost little boy, a grieving man, and together they make a family. I shed a few tears and I laughed. It is family friendly and could be an excellent tool in the lives of parents who might have to explain death and/or abandonment to a child who's hurting.

    The title can be misleading. The movie isn't about space. Or alien life. Nor is it a knee-slapping comedy. It's a tragedy that turns into an affirmation that love is a key for what ails us. So if you don't look too deeply into young Dennis' claims to be a Martian, but instead see him as a wounded little boy with a rich imagination and a healthier-than-the-alternative emotional avenue to deal with issues like abandonment and lack of hope, I think you will be touched by this film. ...more info
  • An unexpected joy...
    Wow. I wasn't expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I'm a fan of John Cusack. I love him. I know, I know. Shut up. But I do. The kid though... wow. The kid nearly stole the show on this one. This was such a warm, heart felt film. Every single person in it did a wonderful job of acting, I lost myself in this one for a while. It was really - really - really good. Watch it....more info