Who's In It?
Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Matt Damon
What's It About?
After a sandstorm on Mars causes Mark (Matt Damon) to be knocked away from his crew's escape rocket, he must build basic survival systems while waiting for rescue.
After being underwhelmed by Interstellar as a whole, I didn't have that high hopes for The Martian when I read it's pretty much a similar story; but I was pleasantly surprised.
The food situation in this is a lot more interesting than Interstellar, Mark NEEDS to build a water collector and collect fertiliser to grow said food when none of these things are naturally occurring in his situation. You also don't have a real scale of time other than the SOL **** date system which passes daytime to daytime with no full nights to speak of, and this seems to halve the time.
Food actually matters, it's not just a plot device
The script can be extremely cheesy at times - it even includes the worst line in sci-fi, "in English" - but Matt Damon makes great use of it even with some of it's over the top moments. The other characters aren't as well developed, with Jessica Chastain just being generic "I'll never leave him behind - oh wait" leader, and Donald Glover being a Big Bang Theory lulz nuuurd type; bit of a shame really.
While not being as epic as Interstellar, I found The Martian to be a lot more entertaining and better at conveying a tense situation and the loneliness of it. While cheesy most of the time, it really does have it's moments and it looks great during them - as do the absolutely awesome Mars suits.