In 2020, a group of astronauts headed by Luke Graham (Don Cheadle) set out to be the first humans on Mars. After they've landed, they investigate a strange noise near an unusual rock formation, and an unpredicted storm conjures up a living tunnel of sand that wipes out everyone except Graham. His pals back on a space station near Earth spring to his rescue despite the concern of their stodgy Russian captain (Peter Outerbridge) that in the year it will take to reach him, Graham will likely die. Nonetheless, they have to try it. Manning the spacecraft is Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), a shaky but brilliant space cadet mourning the death of his wife (Kim Delaney); newcomer Phil (Jerry O'Connell); and married astronauts Woody (Tim Robbins) and Terri (Connie Nielsen). After various catastrophic setbacks, they make it to Mars in time to discover some shocking secrets, including the very origin of life in the universe. Highlighted by staggering special effects, this ambitious Brian De Palma film straddles the void between Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Cameron's THE ABYSS, with imaginative results. The music is by Ennio Morricone.