(1996)

Critic Reviews

52

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
Dallas Observer
Part homage and part demolition job, Mars Attacks! is perhaps the funniest piece of giddy schlock heartlessness ever committed to film.
83
In its nothing's-quite-at-stake way, Mars Attacks! has Tim Burton's flaked-out spirit -- it makes you feel like a very knowing 8-year-old, seeing through the artifice yet believing in it at the same time.
80
Chicago Reader
I'm not sure what it all means, but, as in Ed Wood, Burton's visual flair and affection for the characters make it fun.
78
A holiday film with no conscience whatsoever, Mars Attacks! will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it definitely will make you wonder about Earth's ability to defend itself in the face of higher life forms.
70
Time
Perhaps they don't create quite enough deeply funny earthlings to go around, but a thoroughly meanspirited big-budget movie is always a treasurable rarity. And those little guys from far away are a hoot. [30 Dec 1996]
60
The picture is lacking in the uproarious humor that might well have ensued from the material, which instead inspires occasional laughs but, much more often, bemused fascination and wonderment at the bizarre imaginations and impressive skill of the filmmakers.
60
Newsweek
What makes you giggle your way through much of the movie isn't the jokes--Jonathan Gems's script is surprisingly feeble, and Burton's comic timing is often flat-- but the sheer, oddball chutzpah of it all. [23 Dec 1996]
50
Nicholson squeezes every wretched drop of buffoonery from this character, and it's distressing to watch him play an easy role for easy laughs.
50
This messy science fiction comedy blows most of its inspired moments because of its mean-spirited, deafening siege mentality, which turns rich promise into a tiresome parade of half-baked skits. Hilarity never seemed so tedious.
40
With the exception of Burton's jolting sight gags (I may never recover from the vision of Parker's head grafted on to the body of a chihuahua), the comedy is half-developed, pedestrian material. And the climactic battle between Earthlings and Martians is dull and overextended.

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