1) Considering it's all fancy graphics and high concept designs, this is a really great example of old school science fiction. In science fiction from the forties and fifties, authors often were scientists themselves and worked incredibly hard to make sure the science they used in their stories was as realistic as possible. In the film, astronaut Mark Watney is injured and left for dead on Mars and has to figure out how to survive in an entirely hostile atmosphe. Basically, think of the story as a man trapped in a shrinking box attempting to find his way out before it kills him.
2) The human side of the story is simply fascinating - seeing how people deal in times of extreme stress has always been great drama - think disaster movies, war movies and indeed, survival stories. Part of why The Martian works so well is to simply see how people work together with the tools at hand to get a job done.
3) The movie is definitely one for the big screen. With visuals set on a colossal scale, this is the kind of movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen, rather than on your television or, God help us, your smartphone.
In the end, The Martian works wonderfully as a survival story, but more importantly, as a human one.