Reviewer’s grade: A
John Cusack is David, a successful sci-fi writer who decides to adopt a 6-year-old boy. The kid, Dennis (Bobby Coleman), claims he is from Mars. David, who was a weird kid once, decides the match is perfect, and takes Dennis home. But Dennis doesn’t grow out of his Martian phase, and although some of his eccentricities “ eating only Lucky Charms, renaming the dog “Flomar” “ are cute, some of the others aren’t, like stealing things. David doesn’t want to give Dennis back, but can’t seem to crack the kid, who seems perpetually sad and isolated. Dennis seems to have some space skills that defy explanation, such as changing traffic lights, which excites and confuses David, who is sure the Martian angle is just the boy’s coping mechanism.
While a little predictable, and not a character stretch for Cusack, “Martian Child” manages to be honest, pure and wonderful, appealing to anyone who has ever felt, even for a second, like they were from a different planet. PG