Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars: The Beginning

Surviving Mars. Frankly, Matt Damon made it look so easy. Plant some potatoes, eat some space food and wait for the rescuer spaceship. But similarly to Surviving Mars, what are the interesting Mars – themed space movies?

The Martian is great and all, but we’re writing this post to let you know that the Surviving Mars video game is on sale, here at IndieGala. The whole franchise, actually. But before we dive into the movies, let’s take a quick look at previously mentioned strategy game, published by Paradox Interactive.

Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars: The Video Game

So what can we say about Surviving Mars? Well, as the name suggests, it takes place on Mars, and it’s a city builder simulation game.

Furthermore, the player who’s playing Surviving Mars is in charge of manufacturing resources, building living facilities, and also managing the people in the Mars colony. However, it’s not as simple as Sims.

Next, you’ll need to watch out for other „mysteries“ or arcs in the story. In addition to aliens, there’s the threat of the plague, war, revolts and natural disasters on the red planet. You will need to survive.

It’s not called Surviving Mars for nothing.

Surviving Mars: Movies set on the red planet

In addition to the aforementioned The Martian, you’ll be able to find both good and not so critically acclaimed movies set on Mars. Seems like the critics were not so kind to some of the movies on this list. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least give them a chance. Take your pick, and enjoy.

Total Recall

Total Recall

We’re fine with choosing the 2012 remake, but for now, we’re going with the 1990 classic. Directed by Paul Verhoeven directed SF masterpiece. Because it’s so much better, and because it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.

However, if you have seen the remake you’ll notice that despite the improvement in CGI, the 2012 version is inferior in almost every way.

It has espionage, gore and plenty of humor. Then there’s the over the top acting from Arnold Schwarzenegger and of course the iconic three-breasted mutant-lady of the night. It’s a campy, scary and hilarious movie. Highly recommended of course.

Approaching The Unknown

Approaching the unknown

Probably one of the best-hidden gems in cinema history. Furthermore, if you’re fans of Mark Strong, then this is the movie for you. Mark Strong as the first person in a lone mission to Mars? Yes, please!

In addition to being a film with great acting and fantastic visuals. Approaching The Unknown is a slow burner type of a movie. It’s slow-paced and meticulous, but not boring.

Even more so, the movie has a scientific and psychological approach to solving the main character’s problems. If you’re looking for more SF, then look somewhere else.

Mission To Mars

Mission to Mars

Regardless of what the critics thought, Mission to Mars is visually stunning and a finely acted movie. Indeed it’s a mixed bag as a whole, but you can find the good among the bad.

One could say that the horrible script filled with silly and vapid dialogue is the biggest flaw here. However, this movie has some redeeming qualities.

Mission To Mars has an incredible cast as well, and Brian De Palma helmed the script. Although it may not be the best Mars themed movie, it’s a fun and thrilling ride at times.

Ghosts Of Mars

Ghosts Of Mars

In all honesty, almost nobody got John Carpenter’s intention with Ghosts Of Mars.

Apparently, he wanted to make a silly, action-packed mindless movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously. And in all honesty, he did just that. But nobody liked what he did with this movie.

Ghosts of Mars was so disliked that it took Carpenter almost a decade to recover and deliver another movie. According to Ice Cube, the crew didn’t have enough money to pull off the special effects. And I think that’s one of the biggest flaws of this movie. The bad CGI.

However, of the few people that gave the movie, positive reviews were Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper.

“Is it stupid? Certainly. I think that’s the point. Carpenter is a smart man and he knows exactly what he’s doing. I miss seeing campy action flicks like this at the drive-in.” said Roeper in his review.

Couldn’t agree more Richard. Couldn’t agree more.

The Martian


Lastly, let’s finish this list on a positive note. Certainly, let’s finish this post with a true masterpiece.

If the previous two movies were not according to your liking, then Ridley Scott’s 2015 movie will suffice. It has Matt Damon in the role of… The Martian.

Certainly has a supporting cast filled with A-Listers as well. Seven Oscars nominations later, and more than 600 million dollars in revenue, this is a movie that you should not skip.

Your Picks

What are your favorite Mars-themed movies? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to know all of them.


  1. Thanks, loved The Martian in big screen theater. Packed @6pm in Union Sq NYC for 3D version. Way thrilling with couple good gag lines I won’t spoil.
    Have missed Approaching the Unknown, Mission to Mars & Ghosts of Mars. Heck I liked that old Robinson Caruso on Mars thing with the charming monkey.
    Couple other oldies just for funs, nothing overwhelming or cult status that comes to mind. Cool additions I have to look for during Crisis on Earth.

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