Critics were less than awed by the arrival of Martian Child, the saccharine story of a recently widowed science-fiction writer (John Cusack) and his unlikely adoption of a young boy (Bobby Coleman) who claims to be from Mars. Manohla Dargis of the Times calls the manipulative family dramedy "100 percent goo."
The film "leaves no heartstring untugged," says Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It even has a beloved old dog, and you know what happens to beloved old dogs in movies like this." Robert Wilonsky of the Village Voice, sums up the consensus, writing, "Martian Child certainly isn't much fun, unless you were desperately awaiting K-PAX with a kid."