Set in a fantastical near-future in which America adequately funds its space program, The Martian is the best ad for NASA since Ahmed Mohamed's T-shirt. Just about every frame reinforces a core sentiment: It's time to start caring about space again. The fact that The Martian manages to sell this idea—convincingly and rousingly, with a fair amount of humor—is all the more impressive given that it follows a man who's been marooned 140 million miles away and is forced to spend his days desperately trying to delay his all-but-inevitable death. It's funnier than it sounds.
"Fuck you, Mars," is one of the first things astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) says after realizing he's been left behind by his crewmates—who, in their defense, totally thought he was dead. But Mark isn't dead: He wakes up under a pile of red sand. A metal tube sticks out of his bloody gut. Air rushes out of his suit. So he stumbles to safety, performs a fairly cringe-inducing bit of self-surgery, and realizes his problems have only just begun.