Moria says the biggest problem is the ending. Roger Ebert is kind, saying that it "would have been a great 1950s science fiction film." The New York Times says it "could be a textbook case of a potential blockbuster hopelessly intimidated by its own technology and boxed in by tired formulas." Images Journal says,
Red Planet is a clumsy, pedestrian effort that is always just a few seconds away from becoming downright boring.
Red Planet never completely drifts into tedium, but everything that happens is so familiar that the movie feels like a paint-by-numbers endeavor, cobbled from a litany of readily identifiable sources.