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Matt Damon’s ‘The Martian’ Is This Year’s ‘Best Film’ and 8 Other Out-of-This-World Reviews

Ridley Scott’s film, which also stars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Mara, hits theaters this Friday

We’ve seen multiple space adventures on the big screen over the past few years, but critics are saying Ridley Scott‘s “The Martian” surpasses them all — some even go so far as to say it’s the best film of 2015.

The film, which stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut who gets left on Mars and needs to find a way to survive until a crew can return to rescue him, has received a 93 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes ahead of its wide release on Friday.

Critics are praising Damon’s turn as botanist Watney.In fact, some are calling his performance “the best thing Damon has done in years,” and his performance makes the film “so fun to watch.” The film also stars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Mara, a supporting cast that “doesn’t let [Watney] down.”

Scott’s filmmaking does not go unnoticed in the countless reviews that have been posted, with critics highlighting “the pure delight” of the film. TheWrap’s Steve Pond agreed and wrote, “It’s hard to deny filmmaking this adept and this thrilling, whether or not it puts any more gold on Scott’s shelves.”

Take a look at nine more critics praising the “The Martian” below:

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly:

“If you had to boil Ridley Scott‘s ‘The Martian’ down to five words, you could do worse than this: ‘Matt Damon lost in space.’ Thankfully, I have more room than that. And I’m glad I do, because Scott’s sci-fi adventure is the kind of film you leave the theater itching to tell your friends to see. Like ‘Apollo 13’ and ‘Gravity,’ it turns science and problem solving into an edge-of-your-seat experience.”

Lou Lumenick, New York Post:

“An unpretentious popcorn classic that builds to a white-knuckle climax, the nerd-driven space opera ‘The Martian’ is the best thing that either Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott have done in years.”

Sean O’Connell, CinemaBlend:

“‘The Martian’ plays more as an roller-coaster event picture, but appeals to the smarter, more mature and demanding audiences who tend to turn out for end-of-year dramatic fare. It bridges the gap between effects-driven tentpoles and Oscar-seeking human dramas. No matter your taste, you’ll find something to celebrate here. It’s one of the year’s best films.”

Ali Plumb, Digital Spy:

“‘The Martian’ is Ridley Scott‘s best film in nearly 15 years. Part science lesson, part ‘Robinson Crusoe’ drama, this is exciting and engaging filmmaking that reminds you just how good the seminal sci-fi director can be with the right script and the right story.”

Alison Willmore, Buzzfeed:

“‘The Martian’ is a sprawling, international adventure with some thrilling space sequences and some windows in which wonder is allowed to filter through, but its satisfactions are really those of a workplace drama. It’s ultimately about people who are great at and who love their jobs, love them enough to risk death and to feel lucky to have had the chance, even in the face of those odds. For a movie that avoids the grandstanding of something like ‘Interstellar,’ in which Damon and Chastain also starred, ‘The Martian’ turns out to be almost shockingly poignant in its affirmation not of a lone great man but of what can be done when capable people work together, one step at a time.”

Rebecca Pahle, Film Journal International:

“Weir’s enormously entertaining book, combined with Goddard’s light, genre-savvy touch and Scott’s always-brilliant visual sensibility, gives audiences a movie that is at once a rollicking good time (its two hours and 21 minutes fly by) and extremely emotionally affecting. Mark Watney may be a smart-ass–it’s a large part of what makes him, and as a result the movie itself, so fun to watch–but he also knows full well that he’s probably going to die millions upon millions of miles away from any other human being. Damon plays that contrast splendidly, the sheer terror he conveys in some scenes counterbalancing his dogged stick-to-itiveness in the rest of the movie. His supporting cast doesn’t let him down–there are a lot of big names, but all of them get their moment, and no one feels like they were stunt-cast (a risk in particular for Wiig, best known for comedies). For all his recent difficulties, it looks like Ridley Scott‘s still got it.”

Scott Tobias, GQ:

“‘The Martian’ is less a coup de cinema than ‘Gravity,’ which jettisons through open space with swooping 720-degree camera moves, but it’s a triumph of another kind, an ode to problem-solving and sticktuitiveness.”

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:

“If you are worried about heading to space again with Ridley Scott after the grim, muddled ‘Prometheus,’ fear not. His new space yarn, ‘The Martian,’ based on the science-heavy novel by Andy Weir, is a pure delight, a tense survival tale leavened by an abundance of geeky wit and an array of fine actors at their snappy best. It’s the first Ridley Scott picture in a long time that feels energized by its scope and ambition rather than buried under it.

Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com:

Ridley Scott‘s ‘The Martian’ is a thoroughly entertaining blockbuster that values intelligence, science and teamwork over superpowers and strength. Anchored greatly by Matt Damon‘s best performance in years and gilded by the kind of precise technical elements that a veteran director like Scott brings to a multi-million dollar production, ‘The Martian’ is remarkably crowd-pleasing.”

“The Martian” hits theaters Friday, Oct. 2.