Box art for Martian Child

Martian Child

comedy, drama

A writer (John Cusack) adopts a 6-year-old boy in a desperate effort to create a family. The boy, who wants a father badly, is troubled by the idea that he may be an alien from Mars.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5

Sweet kid-friendly drama has some mature themes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although there's very little in the way of language, sex, and violence in this well-acted family drama, it does deal with some serious themes -- including death (of both humans and pets) and abandonment -- that are on the heavy side for young viewers, who may need guidance understanding what they see. Parents are shown discussing their frustrations with their kids and yelling at them, and kids are shown cruelly teasing a main character and calling him "weird." Some social drinking, but only among adults.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about being different. Can standing out from the crowd really make you feel like you're from another planet? Kids: Have you ever felt that way? How did you handle it? Is it easier to be more like your peers? Why or why not? How can you stay proud of your individuality if other kids single you out for being different? Families can also discuss why parents and children are often shown at odds in movies. Are they really all that different? In what ways? Why does this subject make great fodder for Hollywood?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 29
    see all Martian Child reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: An amusing and heartfelt exploration of the ups and downs involved when adopting a child -- in this case, one who insists he's from another planet.

- Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Martian Child would like to be About a Boy (Who Thinks He's a Martian), but, disappointingly, it doesn't even come close.

- Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times, Friday, November 2, 2007


- Chris Bumbray, JoBlo's Movie Emporium, Friday, February 27, 2009

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This movie was soooooo cute. The kind of cute that has you in tears by the end of it. The acting was great and John Cusack is so warm. From tragic roots these two guys find each other to form this odd couple. I really liked it. Makes me want to watch all man-finds-young-boy-to-befriend movies.. wait, maybe not all of them.

- theylovealexis, Monday, September 6, 2010

0 star

It had some good moments but I mainly found it to be a boring movie

- dukeakasmudge, Thursday, October 22, 2009

4 stars

Martian Child is one of those quiet movies that many people won't see. Those who don't see it will miss it. I can understand why it's sitting quiet: not much promotion, and who would it appeal to? There is no CGI, no car chases, no undue violence, only a brief kiss, and the movie isn't partof a trilogy. People who want plot that is not clichd, and meaningful dialogue will search the movie out. It's aimed at the heart, and touches the emotions. It makes a person realize how important it is to have people in your life who will never, ever, ever, ever give up on you. Even when it looks like you are from Mars. John Cusack is not an actor I am drawn to, yet this movie changed my mind. He has depth, wit, and range I hadn't noticed before. Even if the movie doesn't get wild acclaim, it has a quiet understatement that I hope gets noticed. We all need to belong, and have at least one person believe in us.

- LorenzoVonMatterhorn, Monday, October 6, 2008