* * * * A
The Martian is everything that Interstellar was not. Believable science fiction. Truly heroic characters. Incredible challenges to be overcome. Drama and politics. The only thing missing is a romance, which, given the story, might have come of as corny, but personally, I’d have gone for it. Still, this may be the best hard science fiction film ever made.
Matt Damon does a great job as Mark Watney, an astronaut who is marooned on Mars. He comes up with ingenious ways to grow food and to establish communications with Earth. In the third act, his crew mates, led by Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain), defy Nasa’s authority (Jeff Daniels) and mount a rescue mission, aided by their flight director (Sean Bean).