There's a problem with the first manned mission to Mars. Earth loses all contact. So a second mission is sent to find any survivors. The crew consists of Woody Blake (Tim Robbins) and his wife Terri (Connie Nielsen) and Jim McConnell, who recently lost his wife. They have a few close calls, including micro-meteorites and one crew member sacrifices himself so that the others will survive. Once they are down on the planet they do discover a survivor--Luke Graham (Don Cheadle), who has managed to survive by growing plants in a makeshift greenhouse. They also discover a huge sculpture of an alien face--and discover something startling about the origins of life on earth.
This Brian De Palma directed movie is sort of a dumbed-down version of 2001: A Space Odyssey.