With almost perfect timing, with water discovered on Mars, The Martian was released this week in US and last week in UK.

The movie stars Matt Damon as an American astronaut who, like a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on his own island of despair after being left for dead on the red planet.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there is much praise for Director Ridley Scott. Interestedly Ridley was a late addition to movie’s team. Originally screenwriter Drew Goddard was to direct.

4New York Times

The Martian – Ridley Scott poses on the set of the spaceship Hermes ©2015 Twentieth Century Fox

The Martian review by Manohla Dargis

Ridley Scott keeps returning to deep space. This is the third of his films — after Alien in 1979 and Prometheus in 2012 — set beyond the dark side of the moon. Hands down it’s also the funniest, loosest and most optimistic of the group.

Mr Damon’s Everyman quality (he’s our Jimmy Stewart) helps scale the story down, but what makes this epic personal is Mr Scott’s filmmaking, in which every soaring aerial shot of the red planet is answered by the intimate landscape of a face.

Rating: 5 Stars, From our reading of the review Full Review

3LA Times

The Martian – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara and Aksel Hennie are crew members of a fateful mission to Mars ©2015 Twentieth Century Fox

The Martian review by Kenneth Turan

Turning the plight of astronaut Mark Watney, inadvertently abandoned on the planet Mars 50 million miles from Earth, into the most polished of crowd-pleasers was the work of many hands, not the least of which were sine qua non star Matt Damon, novelist Andy Weir, who wrote the original book, and screenwriter Drew Goddard.

It was Scott’s ability to join together two aspects of his filmmaking persona and in a sense bring it all back home that proved critical to The Martian‘s success. A consummate storytelling professional and visual wizard who knows how mainstream entertainment should be put together.

Rating: 5 stars From our reading of the review Full Review

2The Guardian (UK)

The Martian – Matt Damon is an astronaut who finds himself stranded and alone on a hostile planet ©2015 Twentieth Century Fox

The Martian review by Peter Bradshaw

It should of course be called The Earthling. Ridley Scott’s genial, likable and borderline flippant sci-fi adventure is not interested in life on or from other planets.

It’s a bit long, but it’s the only grandiose thing about it. I actually found myself remembering the entertaining 1964 film Robinson Crusoe on Mars with Adam (then-soon-to-be-Batman) West. The charm of The Martian turns out to be how down-to-earth it is.

Rating: 3 stars Full Review

1Entertainment Weekly

The Martian – On location in Jordan, Ridley Scott directs Matt Damon ©2015 Twentieth Century Fox

The Martian review by Chris Nashawaty

The Martian, based on Andy Weir’s best-selling novel and Drew Goddard’s airtight script, is the first [movie] to make you feel what it’s like to be stranded there, thanks to both Scott’s 3-D visual grandeur (this is, after all, the man behind Alien and Blade Runner) and his charismatic Crusoe, Damon.

The Martian isn’t perfect. Scott’s ending is disappointingly corny considering how uncorny everything leading up to it is. It’s a rare blockbuster with the brains to match its budget.

Rating: A- (4.5 Stars) Full Review