"During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive." (IMDb synopsis) (trailer)
Mark's personality, his humor, determination and ingenuity, are what carry the story. Even though he's alone for most of it, the story doesn't lack in human interaction. In fact, the movie has a strong theme of humanity running through it, particularly towards the end as the whole world fights and roots for him. The other theme, equally strong, is of simple one-step-at-a-time problem solving.
"...At some point, everything's going to go South on you. You're going to say, 'This is it. This is how I end.' Now, you can wither accept that, or you can get to work. ... And if you solve enough problems, you get to go home."
There's a great variety of characters among the crew creating details of friendships and a small romance in the story. Jessica Chastain, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña (Luis in AntMan), Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie as the crew were all awesome. Matt Damon was charming and inspiring and perfectly cast.
my rating: 4/5
Content: there was mild language; one gory scene of an injury; one scene with some brief nudity. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.