Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
This movie mostly lived up to its reputation for being a solid man-vs-nature thriller that thoroughly integrates science. It's enough to make you want to pursue a STEM career. The scenes of crowds gathered in city squares watching the drama unfold on enormous screens were not believeable, but otherwise the movie felt grounded and realistic, and respectful of the audience's intelligence to keep up with the science. I'm surprised and disappointed that it didn't win a single Oscar despite its many nominations; a technical Oscar was due at the very least.
For me, it suffered a bit for being seen so soon after the better Interstellar, a movie less grounded in realism but rich in complex philosophical subtext. The Martian is technically impressive but shallow; it's about nothing more than the nuts-and-bolts details of one man's survival. I prefer science fiction with more on its mind.