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Martian Child | 2007 | PG | - 2.2.3

A science fiction writer (John Cusack) is trying to deal with grief after the death of his wife, and decides to pursue her dream of adopting a child. When he meets an orphan boy that nobody wants because he believes he is from Mars and is on a mission to study human behavior, he isn't so sure he is cut out to be his surrogate father, but he wants to try nevertheless. A series of strange events does make him wonder whether the boy's extraordinary claim may be true. Also with Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack, Sophie Okonedo and Oliver Platt. Directed by Menno Meyjes. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A woman wears low-cut and tight fitting tops throughout the movie that reveal cleavage and at one point the outline of her nipples is visible through the fabric.
 A man and a woman kiss and feel uncomfortable afterward. A woman kisses a man on the cheek.
 A woman tells a man that another woman told her that the man was "great in bed." A woman talks about having been unpopular and weird until the 9th grade, when she "grew breasts."

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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - A boy stands on a ledge of a planetarium, high in the air, and a man tries to help him down (they are eventually both OK).
 A boy is afraid when a dog won't move, and a man covers the dog with a blanket and then cries (the dog has died).
 A boy accidentally breaks a glass and is afraid that a man is mad at him. A man and a boy break many fragile objects, plates and bowls, and then spray each other with ketchup and dish soap. A boy runs into a large glass window (he's OK).
 A boy is struck in the head with a basketball, and a group of boys (presumably bullies) walks toward him but he runs away. A dog jumps on a boy knocking him to the ground (the boy is OK but scared).
 We see a movie set where aliens are fighting humans using swords and we see a couple of blows.
 A man becomes angry when he is told that he should give a boy up. A man wakes up with a start when a boy stands at the foot of his bed watching him sleep. A boy screams when a barber shampoos and then cuts his hair.
 A boy holds a snail and a lizard in his hand. A boy pours soda on a hot dog and another boy says he's being gross.
 Several boys tease a boy on the playground and call him names. A man says, "A dog barked and then he licked his privates." We hear that a boy's parents have died and that a man's wife has died. We hear that a boy has stolen items from other children in his class.

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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 scatological term, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (weirdo, stupid, retard, punks, freaky, nuts), 14 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman holds a bottle of beer (we do not see her drink), and a beer bottle is on a table in front of a man (we do not see him drink).

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Adoption, child services, parenting, single parenting, death of a spouse, death of an animal companion, death of parents, being part of a family, being eccentric, being challenged, imagination, childhood, adventure, dysfunctional childhoods, emotional abuse, fantasy vs. reality, belonging to someone, being different, intelligence, science fiction, space travel, defense mechanisms, aliens, grief.
MESSAGE - Being different is OK. Human beings can be very cruel.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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