Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Main Performers: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino
Director: Peter Chelsom
Studio: STX Entertainment
Run Time: 120 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Gardner Elliot has always lived in the NASA settlement on Mars: his mother was an astronaut who gave birth to him there. All Gardner wants is to go to Earth, and one day finally he has the chance. However, he soon discovers that his body cannot take Earth's gravity and NASA plans to send him back to Mars immediately. Before they can, Gardner escapes his confinement to go see his pen pal, Tulsa. To Gardner, his adventures with Tulsa, Earth's blue water and green grass, and even seeing a horse for the first time is amazing. Gardner and Tulsa are on the run from NASA, but they are also trying to find Gardner's father. However, Gardner's health complications increase and he is slowly dying. Now in a race against time, Gardner meets his uncle and discovers who his dad is. Along the way, Gardner and Tulsa fall in love, only to be separated so that Gardner can live, leaving Tulsa to train to be an astronaut and eventually join him on Mars.
This is a wonderful story of love and discovery. Seeing Earth for the first time through Gardner's eyes is a thrill. The fact that all he knows about Earth is from movies and books, and then discovering that the real thing is different than reading is a real eye opener for him. Experiencing his excitement over water, or even the sun, is breathtaking. Gardner brings the bliss of a little kid making new discoveries: full of wonder and excitement. Understanding Tulsa and the fear she has of being left behind and unloved is very moving. When she does eventually learn to trust, the change she undergoes emphasizes how important it is to forgive others and be your own person. It is difficult to watch Gardner being locked away, even if it is for his own protection. Seeing Gardner and Tulsa's relationship grow is very heartwarming, but the movie does add in some intimacy that doesn't really strengthen their relationship and may catch some viewers off guard. This a a very cute movie for anyone wanting an sweet YA love story with some adventure.
*Contains mild to moderate language and mild sexual content.