Critic Reviews

73

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Working in the spirit of his predecessors but with the kind of uncanny special effects they could barely dream of, Spielberg has come up with an impressive production that is disturbing in the way only provocative science fiction can be.
100
Miami Herald
Contains all of the hallmarks of classic genre Spielberg: It shows you things you've never seen before, instills an accompanying sense of awestruck wonder, and delivers long stretches of heightened, delirious excitement that remind you why people started going to the movies in the first place.
90
Variety
A gritty, intense and supremely accomplished sci-fier.
90
It's the human struggle that makes this a sci-fi masterpiece.
83
It's impossible to praise too highly the verve, skill and authenticity with which Spielberg brings off his alien invasion.
80
Might be too realistic for its own good: The film takes perhaps a little too much glee in its abilities to manufacture mayhem. That being said, the ride is extraordinary.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
For the first 100 minutes of his 117-minute film Spielberg holds the audience in a grip of fear. When Ray and Rachel take refuge in the storm cellar of a survivalist (a miscast Tim Robbins), the director's grip relaxes only a bit, but the film never recovers from this excursion into the Gothic.
70
Village Voice
Although it's thoroughly retooled, H.G. Wells's scenario doesn't allow for many soft landings, and the extreme respect for havoc on view quite properly keeps the Spielbergian cutesies to a minimum.
70
The A.V. Club
In an unfortunate case of star casting, Cruise strains credibility as a hard-edged Jersey dockworker.
70
Acting is not really the point of this movie, which seems to arise above all from Mr. Spielberg's desire to reaffirm that he is, along with everything else, a master of pure action filmmaking.

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