The Martian has earned glowing praise from film critics (you can read our review here) and is doing well at the box office. Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, The Gladiator), the film’s story about an astronaut (actor Matt Damon) stranded on the Red Planet is just the latest in a long line of films about Mars. In fact, Mars has always been a focal point for science fiction and there are arguably more books and movies about the planet than any other in our solar system (there certainly aren’t many movies about Pluto). Mars is such a fundamental part of what we associate with space , it’s no surprise that the term we use for extraterrestrial beings is “Martian.” So with the all that in mind, here are 10 other good movies about Mars that illustrate our cultural fascination with our neighboring planet.
10. John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (2001)
Ghost of Mars is actually an underrated movie by sci-fi horror master John Carpenter. Set 200 years in the future, the movie is about a Martian police force that has to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost on the Red Planet back to civilization to face justice. But when the Martian police team arrives at the mine site, they encounter a deserted town whose inhabitants have become possessed and turned into vampire-like ghost creatures. With a cast that features Ice Cube, Pam Grier, Natasha Henstridge and Jason Statham, Ghosts of Mars is a decent sci-fi horror mash-up that has plenty of action to keep viewers entertained. Sure, it’s not Escape from New York, but at least it’s better than Escape from L.A.