10 Movies Set on Mars

The red planet as a scifi setting

Mars — Source

Mars has long captured the imagination of astonomers and storytellers alike. Here are 10 movies about the red planet that will take you out of this world.

1. Flight to Mars (1951)

Flight to Mars (1951)

Underground-dwelling, human-like Martians who see a visit from Earth as a serendipitous opportunity to save their dying civilization.

2. The Angry Red Planet (1959)

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

All the scenes of Mars in this movie were filmed in “CineMagic”, a process of ‘solarising’ the black and white negative and tinting it red. It is certainly a unique movie with very creative creature designs.

3. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

A scifi retelling of Daniel Defoe’s classic novel. The protagonist finds himself on the red planet, with only a monkey for company, and must figure out how to survive in the harsh environment.

4. The Wizard of Mars (1965)

The Wizard of Mars (1965)

Also known as “Horrors of the Red Planet” and seen by many as “Wizard of Oz in space” this is a slow-paced story of four stranded astronauts who find something amazing on what seems to be a desolate Mars.

5. Mission Mars (1968)

Mission Mars (1968)

Three astronauts land on Mars and are held captive by a race of cyclopean robots. It’s a fun romp, worthy of a watch.

6. Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall (1990)

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a man who gets recreational memories implanted in his brain and becomes a spy on Mars. But what’s real and what’s fantasy?

7. Mission to Mars (2000)

Mission to Mars (2000)

Tim Robbins stars in a movie about searching for life on the fourth planet. Featuring sentient tornado worms and buildings shaped like faces.

8. Red Planet (2000)

Red Planet (2000)

Coming out the same year as Mission to Mars and with a similar premise, Val Kilmer stars with a robot Cujo in another movie about an expedition to the red planet and the discovery of life there.

9. The Last Days on Mars

The Last Days on Mars (2013)

There is life on Mars, but it’s a fungus that turns people into the living dead. An interesting attempt at doing something new with the zombie genre.

10. The Martian

The Martian (2015)

This time people have to save Matt Damon from the harsh environment of the red planet. A brilliant Ridley Scott movie based on the book by Andy Weir.

Honourable mentions: The Martian Chronicles miniseries, Doom, Escape from Mars, Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars, Star Crystal, The Space Between Us, Ghosts of Mars, John Carter.

Scifi writer, roboticist, and game developer, 2x Quora Top Writer. I write about writing speculative fiction, computer graphics, AI, evolution, and programming.

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