2015: #9 The Martian


Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Drew Goddard
Based on: The novel “The Martian” by Andrew Weir
Starring: Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie
Distributer: 20th Century Fox
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 141 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Date released: 10/2/2015
Date seen: 10/3/2015
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $605,463,334
# of Oscar nominations: 7 (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 6 (Best Source Music, Best Cameo, Best Line, Best Soundtrack, Best Ensemble, Best Comedy)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 2 (Best Soundtrack, Best Comedy)

If you’ve been following the discourse around film you’ve probably read a million think-pieces about how Hollywood is only putting the big bucks into franchise action movies for 13-25 year olds.  Of course most of the character driven movies these think pieces are asking for don’t really need Hollywood budgets in the first place, but every once in a while Hollywood does find ways to use their special effects budgets in order to make movies that can be appreciated by older audiences as well.  Enter The Martian, this year’s most flat-out entertaining movies and also the movie this year that’s been the easiest to recommend to anyone of any walk of life.  The film is able to exist in part because it uses modern technology to make what is ultimately a fairly old-fashioned story about people coming together for a common goal.  The film is also in many ways a love letter to science, a fact that is baked into the story organically rather than painted over it like other recent films like Tommorowland and Interstellar which have felt more like commercials for the STEM fields than actual stories about scientists.  It’s certainly not the most sophisticated of the movies on this top ten list, and it’s “up with people” approach does backfire a little when it needs to be generating suspense for the protagonist, but it makes up for it with heart and wit.
Full Review

#10 Year End Honors #8