War of the Worlds (2005) Poster

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This is a Good Remake...See it for what is is
LAKERS346 March 2006
My Lord...We go out of our way to hate Tom Cruise because he's fallen in love with a younger, attractive, successful actress and lets the world know about it... We disagree with his religious principals and think he's a nut... We're jealous because he's 40 something, wealthy, and on top of the world... So let's vote this film Worst of 2005...I don't think so...

This is an exciting, scary, action-packed film... Cruise's performance as a dead-beat dad who gets it together was not over the top; had he made this film 10 or 15 years ago it no doubt would have been received very differently. This is Science-Fiction/Horror/Fantasy at its best and an original spin on classic material. Orson Welles would have been proud of this effort; Every important point in his original radio play in 1938 is addressed here and a truly stark film showing Man at the mercy of Martians is what we have. Excellent special effects also! Bravo! I suppose Cruise's upcoming Mission Impossible III will be voted Worst of 2006...
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A brilliant alien invasion film for the first two acts
Nigel St. Buggering2 July 2005
What Spielberg, Cruise, and Koepp accomplish here in the first two acts is nothing short of revolutionary. They've made a big-budget summer blockbuster about massive destruction and action that manages to studiously avoid every cliché and expectation of such films. It stays resolutely on the characters' points of view, showing us almost nothing they don't see, even to the point of coming tantalizingly close to a raging battle, then avoiding showing it. It keeps its focus on character instead of spectacle. The "hero" of the piece remains decidedly unheroic, wanting only to escape, and trying to talk others out of fighting back. The purpose of every piece of action is to frighten and disturb rather than thrill, making ingenious use of familiar 9/11 imagery. At the end of the second act, it is hands-down the best alien invasion film ever made, and perhaps one of the best sci-films of all time.

Then something strange happens. The filmmakers lose their nerve, and remember that this is an extremely expensive summer film financed by two studios. Or perhaps it was the fact that it stars Tom Cruise, who up to this point has spent almost two hours doing nothing but run for his life. Suddenly, and tragically, the film changes, violating not only its carefully established tone, but its own internal logic. Suddenly, Cruise begins to act like a hero, and summer action clichés force their way into the story like a worm into an apple. The transition is jarring, and it creates a serious disconnect from the story.

While it's true that Wells' original ending creates a problem for a movie, here they try to remain faithful to it, while still shoehorning moments of triumph into the conclusion. Unfortunately, these moments come off as alternately false, unbelievable, and meaningless, since it isn't mankind that defeats the invaders in the end.

Is it recommendable? Well, I suppose that depends on what kind of viewer you are. If you feel that 75% brilliant material overshadows the 25% that falls apart, then you'll enjoy it. If, however, you're the kind of viewer who feels that the final impression a movie makes is its ultimate stamp on your memory, you may be in for a crushing disappointment. On the other hand, if you're the kind of viewer who just likes the cliché of the boom-boom summer action spectacle, you're likely to be bored and frustrated with the first two acts, and only engage in the end. It is confused about what audience it's trying to reach, and consequently, isn't likely to satisfy any of them.
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People were laughing after the screening
jeffstotler28 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
After the screening, some people cheered and clapped, others sat in disgust and laughed. I felt cheated. Spielberg was not even playing within his own rules. When the attack begins, every piece of electronic equipment stops working. There is even a nice shot of Tom Cruise's watch, stopped, of course. However, moments later when the Tripod rises from the earth, people are snapping pictures on digital cameras and one person is videotaping everything on a camcorder.

The movie does have some great effects but the storyline is seriously lacking. The part of the movie that left me feeling cheated is the end. We have just seen the destruction of millions of humans, but Cruise is able to make it to Boston, a large city, where the streets are deserted. We focus in on a row of Brownstones where a single family emerges. The family looks as if they are about to go to a wedding. Everyone is clean, well dressed, and Tom Cruise's ex-mother-in-law looks like she just had a manicure. We are supposed to believe that after this horrible attack, this one family is unscathed and reunited in a major city? Don't be ridiculous. I hoped this movie would be a blockbuster. Something to make me believe Hollywood is generating creative, and innovative stories to take me away from reality for a couple of hours. This movie was a serious disappointment.
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The IMDb Rating Doesn't Give This Film Justice
jonathan-kistanis15 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a young fan of Steven Spielberg, and all his movies are wonderful and phenomenal. War of the Worlds (2005) is no exception. I don't know why it only got a 6.5/10 on IMDb. In my humble opinion, considering how intense and dramatic it was, it should've got a 7.0 minimum.

But hey, if I like a movie, then reviews don't matter to me.

Anyway, Steven Spielberg did it again with this bone-chilling, suspenseful, and INTIMIDATING movie. When you watch if, you feel as if you're a victim yourself of the Martians and their Tripods. They sealed a plan many years ago to destroy humanity and make our planet theirs. With their high-tech technology they can disintegrate a human- being in one nanosecond.

What made this film excellent was the acting. Tom Cruise plays a divorced man who, in the end, is the one who saves the day despite an estranged relationship with his children. You can tell he wants to protect his family at all costs, even if it means the end of the world, Dakota Fanning, being only 10-11 in the film, did a PHENOMENAL and convincing job as a terrified, anxious and innocent little girl. I could feel her shock and hysteria. I don't know any girl her age at the time who could've done a better job. Spielberg did a successful job at giving the atmosphere a claustrophobic, impacting-doom feeling. No one is safe; regardless at how well they protect themselves. Not even the US military. When you see one of those three-legged tripods all you want to do is sit at the edge of your seat!

I overall love the plot basis of how a dad can prove to his children how much he loves them during an alien invasion. I also love the comedic elements added in that were amongst Ray, Rachel, and Robbie; such as how when Ray says he's going to tattle on Mom every time they disobey him. Haha! It's a very simple plot yet dramatic, suspenseful, and TERRIFYING!

If I could choose, I would've given the main movie's rating an 8.0 out of 10. It's unique and never dull for a single moment. Wonderful movie with just the right amount scares, emotion, and triumph. You're amazing, Mr. Spielberg!
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Great F/X, but a lame script
mrscifiguy1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I would've had more respect for this movie, if it had been a completely new adaptation of the original novel, but instead it's a re-tread of the 1953 original George Pal film.

Spielberg blatantly rehashed several scenes, most notable is the alien camera looking through the farm house and someone hacking at the camera with an axe.

Surprisingly, the 1953 original had far more scenes of massive destruction in the cities, and a much more complex script. The subplot of the scientists and the military trying to find a way to defeat the Martians was much more interesting than Spielberg's re-hash.

Here's a few things that really bugged me about the remake. Why would the aliens bury the machines long before the cities were built? If they wanted to conquer the Earth, it would have been easier to do it before humans evolved and multiplied! If the aliens were invincible and needed us for our blood, then why did they disintegrate masses of people with their ray-guns? And the worst detail is, the aliens themselves being transported within the bolts of lightning, thru the ground and into the machines!?#@wtf! How absurd!

Frankly, I found long stretches of the remake to be boring and unnecessary, like going through the box of condiments and throwing the peanut butter sandwiches against the wall. The bread and peanut butter was the only real food they had. They're in a life & death struggle, and he just threw the food away. They had to write this stuff. Again, absurd!

The best scene in the original was the battle of the Martian machines against the American military forces. Some of the best special effects ever produced for a film of that era. The remake has such a battle hidden behind a hill, while Tom Cruise whines to his kids in an effort to get their cooperation. They saved a lot of money on f/x for that scene.

They spent over 130 million dollars for a weak remake and the special effects are the only redeemable value. The original 1953 movie only cost 2 million to make and it was a far better film.

"Rachel, shutup!"
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Plot holes like craters, but a scary ride anyway
pbubny-14 July 2005
"War of the Worlds" is Steven Spielberg's third movie in which extraterrestrials visit Earth, but the first in which their intentions are malevolent. It can't be coincidence that the arrival of the ETs is heralded with eerie lights flashing amid lowering clouds, as in "CE3K." From there, the similarity ends--no light show as friendly aliens come in for a closer look. These creatures (presumably Martians, as in the original H.G. Wells novel) aren't interested in making nice; nor is there any ambiguity about their ultimate objective (as there was for much of "CE3K"). They're here to wipe us off the face of the planet, plain and simple, a point we understand before the movie has played for even half an hour, and the giant walking tripods they deploy are remorselessly efficient. So, too, is the movie--at scaring the hell out of us, notwithstanding some gaping plot holes (what's up with that camcorder, anyway?) and a couple of sequences that are too reminiscent of other movies (particularly "Independence Day" and Spielberg's own "Jurassic Park").

That Spielberg uses imagery alluding to 9/11, the Holocaust, and perhaps the siege of London during World War II is, for me, less an exploitation than a reflection of how seriously he intends the audience to take the on screen mayhem. The atmosphere is heavy with threat, and the depiction of a populace numb with shock amid the devastation is chillingly convincing, despite a few moments of Hollywood cheese. We don't have Will Smith delivering snappy one-liners right after millions are massacred by the invading alien forces, a la "ID4." Nor is there much of a rah-rah, let's-kick-some-alien-ass mood as the outmatched Earthlings try fighting back. Even the ostensible protagonist (a low-key, effective Tom Cruise) crumples at one point under the enormity of what's happening.

I'm not really sure what the posters who complained of insufficient action and FX were talking about. Seems to me the tripods were pretty much a constant presence (if not always in the foreground) from about the 15-minute mark onward. And in fact the "war" of the title is waged from the beginning--it's just not on the level of humans vs. aliens combat that some viewers apparently were expecting.
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Low Expectations = Pleasant Surprise
ccthemovieman-110 September 2006
It pays to have low expectations. Hearing nothing but negative remarks about this film, I never saw it until the other day when a friend offered the DVD for a free look. With nothing to lose, and being familiar with the story having seen the 1953 movie several times, I put it on.

Wow, I enjoyed it; the film was very entertaining. The only annoying thing to me was the bratty teenage boy, who needed some discipline and never got it. However, that type of kid seems to be stereotypical of teens among modern filmmakers. Other than him, and his little sister who I put with because it's Dakota Fanning, the film served its purpose beautifully, namely to 'shock and awe.' That it did.

The Martian tripods were awesome, particularly in the long scene when they first appear out of the ground. To really appreciate this film, you have to have a surround system because the sound is fantastic. In fact, earlier with the "lightning strikes," the sound gets attention in a big-way. In other words, special- effects-wise, it isn't just about visuals but the audio as well.

Although the story of the father (Tom Cruise) and his two estranged (is anyone pictured married in films nowadays?) kids is so-so at best, the film is all about the action. That "cute" family situation is just a sub-plot to give us some breaks from the intensity of the invasion.

Anyway, some of the action scenes were jaw-dropping good and, with the normal Spielberg garbage that always comes with the good stuff, too, it's still was a fun two hours. Now, I'll have to get the DVD because I would definitely watch this more than once.
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Powerful And Frightening. War Of The Worlds Is A Disaster Movie Of The Highest Caliber.
jaredpahl30 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds is another home run for the king of the blockbusters. It's big, expensive, and action- packed, but with an overarching sense of terror and real world panic, War of the Worlds succeeds where most alien invasion/disaster movies fail. It is genuinely frightening. I can enjoy lighter disaster fare like 2012 and Independence Day because seeing things get blown up can always provide for some amount of fun, but War of the Worlds is no Independence Day, and that's a very good thing. As an alien invasion story, War of the Worlds doesn't play the conflict up for cheap thrills and fun. It plays it straight, focusing for the first time on the serious real-world implications of such an invasion.

Tom Cruise stars as a deadbeat dad named Ray Ferrier who is called on to watch his kids, a young daughter played by Dakota Fanning, and a teenage son played by Justin Chatwin, for the weekend. Their world is thrown into chaos when a bloodthirsty alien race ascends from the ground beneath them and invades Earth. The majority of the film shows the family trying to seek refuge among the millions of panicked New Englanders as the alien tripods attempt to exterminate the human race.

While the plot is pretty straightforward, the real meat of the story is in seeing how the invasion affects the humans. Between the action, writers David Koepp and Josh Friedman punctuate the story with personal scenes detailing the toll that these events are taking on Ray and his family, as well as the general public. Koepp and Friedman are less concerned with plot and more concerned with character. One scene in particular sees the Ferriers driving through a crowd of desperate, cold, panicked people. Having the only working car in the area, they are targeted by a man with a gun. Without giving too much away, the dispute demonstrates the collective fear that an alien invasion might instill in real life. It is a powerful scene. These personal moments are plentiful and they give the film a sense of weight that is unheard of for similar summer blockbusters. Spielberg handles the human drama delicately and deftly and Cruise holds it all together with an intense and surprisingly heartfelt lead performance as a dad who will do anything to protect his kids.

Of course, no alien invasion movie is complete without two things: Aliens, and scenes of invasion. This is where Steven Spielberg's direction dazzles. The aliens themselves, and their tripod vehicles, are not only extremely convincing special effects, they are utterly chilling characters. Spielberg and Koepp sensibly leave us in the dark when it comes to the aliens. We know what Ray knows; these things are not from Earth and they want to kill us. That is precisely the amount of information we need on these creatures in order to be afraid of them, and afraid I was.

Spielberg got the aliens right, and the action right-er. The invasion set-pieces, which include the jaw-dropping initial attack, a sensational scene aboard a ferry, and an unbearably tense face off in Tim Robbins' fortified safehouse, are so effective in their sense of panic that they affected me on a physical level. These action scenes radiate with a primal kind of horror. Spielberg commands the screen. The man has a gift for rocking an audience, and what he does with the scenes of massive destruction is virtuosic. The big attack scenes are thrilling for sure, but the complete devotion to authenticity is what makes this stuff exceptional. Just look at Spielberg's staging; The ground-level compositions, the cutaways to panicked crowds, and the way the biggest explosions are shown away from the characters, sometimes fully in the background, make it seem as if the events are being captured on film in real time. It's a credit to the brilliance of Spielberg as a director that scenes of aliens vaporizing people can be utterly real and truly horrifying.

That is by far the biggest strength of War of the Worlds. It is entertaining, we expect nothing less from Steven Spielberg, but it is much more than that. As a subtle allegory to post-9/11 America, it's brilliant. The story of a full-scale attack by a remorseless enemy was decidedly relevant back in 2005, and it's just as relevant today. War of the Worlds wisely sidesteps the issues of how the aliens got to Earth, what they want, and what the leaders of the world are doing to stop them. The story of War of the Worlds focuses on the everyday people and how these events affect them. The film is above all else, effective. Here is a film about panic that literally induces it. And as brilliantly realized as those sinister visitors from another world are, It's still the humans that make War of the Worlds profound.

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Second version H.G.Wells novel as spectacular and thrilling as the first one
ma-cortes20 July 2005
The picture talks about Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) a divorced docks discharger (ex-wife : Miranda Otto) and no an exemplary daddy . He must fight an alien invasion by invading machines war in the shape of walking tripods . No matter how much armaments are utilized facing them , the lethal long arms flying aircrafts are invincible and impassive . Neither army , tanks , air force or bombs arrange to vanquish the imperturbable and unalterable invasion alien . The destroyed urbanizations , the abandoned villages with the citizens going away and the aliens themselves , are brought to life and created in state-of-art special effects , delivering eerie highlights . It's based on the H.G. Wells notorious novel that remains as landmark in the sci-fi history , but has been changed the location of original novel from London , 1890 , to United States in year 2004 . The film concerns upon the survival of human specie , the fundamental theme results to be the humanity confrontation and the main enemy : an alien invasion at an exceptional world happening .

It's a fabulous story , and very well narrated , about a deadly alien attack , a father who wants to save his children : Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin , at whatever cost . The yarn is developed in the ordinary world, out of Pentagon and White House . Screenwriter David Koepp film regards about issues don't include : Neither generals reunited on a map with miniature figures , nor famous buildings , no Manhattan shots , no Martians . The motion picture is really spectacular and fantastic ; but being also an enjoyable story of a beloved family. There's a sub-plot concerning a father whose greatest thoughtfulness turns out to be the children's security, his hard struggle for the family protection .

Cruise and Spielberg told the film being dedicated to their children and the intimate feeling among themselves . It is an awesome treatment of the science fiction's classic by the great director Steven Spielberg , carrying out fulfilment justice to the nightmarish observations of an interplanetary war , his direction is extremely stylish and very well paced . Overwhelming and impressive FX , including fantastic war machines and destruction executed by aliens were made by expert Dennis Muren in Computer Generator 3D . Adding a rousing and moving musical score by the prolific maestro composer John Williams , Spielberg's regular . There appears unbilled (almost extras) Gene Barry and Anne Robinson , protagonists of the Byron Haskin and George Pal first version , 1953 . The flick'll appeal to science fiction enthusiastic . Rating : Very good . Well worth seeing.
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Feel-bad movie of the summer!
210west28 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Spielberg! Tom Cruise!! A tried-and-true sci-fi classic by H. G. Wells!!! Together they should add up to a great summer popcorn movie, but here's how to squander a golden opportunity by making all the wrong choices: Make sure there isn't a single sympathetic human character in the entire film, so that we'll be sure to root for the Martians (or whatever they are). Make your central family so quarrelsome, incurious, irrational, and just plain annoying that we long to escape from their company -- and then force us to spend the entire movie seeing all the events through their eyes. Let Tom Cruise bicker with his teenage son in a tedious sitcom way while civilization is crumbling around them and hundreds of people are being vaporized. Encourage Dakota Fanning to scream, scream, scream throughout the entire film so that we can savor the joy of having a little kid screaming shrilly in our ears. Take a heart-meltingly beautiful actress like Miranda Otto and make her pregnant so that she looks pudgy and matronly -- and since she's the Mother Figure, don't give her anything interesting to do. Have human beings -- who might be expected to scatter and flee at giant killer tripods -- crowd together and gaze up at these lethal 200-foot-tall machines with a dumb awestruck wonder approaching zombiehood (even a herd of sheep would display more survival skills). In particular, at the first sight of the first alien war machine thrusting up from the pavement somewhere in Queens, NY, have your multiethnic crowds assemble around the widening hole just inches from the edge and peer inside, even as the sidewalk begins to crack and buildings around them fall to pieces. Give the hero a Quest, a Goal, that's really dumb and just this side of pointless -- in this case, somehow getting himself and his two kids from NYC to Boston, where his ex-wife is -- but don't reveal how he manages, improbably, to get there, and don't let us know why he assumes she (or anyone in Boston, for that matter) would still be alive. Don't give any other human beings any direction or motivation at all, but instead just show them shuffling like refugees down roads, bound God knows where, or fleeing together in a panic -- for no logical reason -- onto a ferry boat which has no chance of getting away and no particular safe place to go. Wherever humans are, have them congregate in groups so that the lethal tripods can pick them off and slaughter them more easily. Have the motivation and intentions of the aliens themselves remain thoroughly obscure: At first, when they presumably want to rid the earth of mankind, don't have them use poison gas (as I seem to recall Wells did), but instead let them content themselves with firing death rays, like target practice, at individual fleeing humans -- the most inefficient method of extermination imaginable. Then, midway through, suggest that -- for no particular reason -- the aliens are vampires who seek human blood. When all of metropolitan New York, or perhaps the whole East Coast, is plunged in a blackout, have the hero and his family reach an unnamed suburb at nighttime where, miraculously, the one house they're seeking is flooded with light: the only house on the street, standing empty but with every light inexplicably burning (and no other humans around to investigate). Have the hero be a derrick operator and presumably something of a technical expert, but don't use any of his expertise during the course of the story. While the eponymous War is raging, don't use the benefits of modern computer graphics to show us what's interesting (such as a battle between the Air Force and the aliens); keep the action for what seems a quarter of the film confined to a couple of basements, so that, claustrophobically, we feel as if we're watching a low-budget three-person stage play with all the action going on -- unseen -- outside the windows. Whenever possible show humans screaming, despairing, panicking, and fighting among themselves -- never cooperating or displaying any ingenuity. Take the one potentially interesting, sympathetic character (Tim Robbins), the one character who has a dream, however crackbrained, of resistance to the invaders, and quickly turn him into a loony that will engage Cruise in a fight to the death. When, in the time-tested Spielberg manner, you have the Family Reunited At The End, stage the scene in such a hokey, amateurish, improbable way that the audience around me laughed derisively.
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Spielberg's "eye" of terror.
tieman6426 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
James Cameron and Stephen Spielberg famously ushered forward the CGI revolution in the early 90's with films like "Terminator 2" and "Jurassic Park". They set a trend, and since the late 90's we've been hit with one CGI adventure movie after the other.

But Spielberg had his fun with his CGI dinosaurs, and soon moved on. While lesser directors scrambled onto the CGI bandwagon, churning out soulless nonsense like "Resident Evil" and "Tomb Raider", Spielberg changed gears and directed "Saving Private Ryan", "Minority Report", "The Terminal", "AI" etc. Argue about the quality of those movies all you want, but what I'm trying to get at is that this guy tries his best to stay ahead of the game. Ahead of the trends.

"Saving Private Ryan" broke new ground. I think it's a bad film, but nevertheless, it now serves as a template for all future war movies. Look at "Black Hawk Down". Can you imagine it shot with the static feel of, say, "Platoon"?

So here we have "War of the Worlds", and again we see Spielberg developing a new "eye". And that is what fascinates me most about this film. The camera stays fixed on Cruise and his family. We catch fleeting glimpses of the alien invaders and their war machines. The destruction and special effects whir by in the background, ominous and looming but never dominating the screen.

Spielberg's camera is always running away, frantic, afraid to look at the destruction, panning away from the effects, terrified! And what's terrific is that this new eye suits the story.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before a director decided to consciously play down special effects for dramatic purposes. Spielberg treats his CGI as though it isn't special. It doesn't hog the limelight. Instead we catch fleeting glimpses, too scared to look at the horror. Of course this filming style is not new. But like "Ryan", no other movie has ever used this technique from start to finish with such intensity.

Aisde from this "eye", the movie is actually pretty standard. Instead of children hiding from Raptors in cupboards, we have Cruise hiding from invaders in basements. Spielberg handles the tension well, but its all stuff you've seen him and others do before.

Like "Jurassic Park", the human drama is slight and the characters are never believable, but this is a popcorn movie and so we don't demand such things. That Spielberg quickly sketches relatively three dimensional characters in such brisk time is admirable. And of course there are numerous iconic set pieces. The night sequences in particular have a nightmarish quality and the first hour is very engaging.

The film's big flaw, however, is it's final act. Tom Cruise battles a Tripod in silly a 1 on 1 showdown, before the plot slowly fizzles into nothingness. Spielberg also misfires by choosing to show the alien invaders. His aliens are unimaginative and badly designed. But what do you expect? Here's the guy who couldn't resist showing us inside the UFO in "Close Encounters". Sometimes too much imagination denotes a lack of imagination.

The choice to "show" so much during the last act also goes against the aesthetic rules of the film. Early in the film, Robby runs up a hill yelling that he "wants to see!" the battle on the other side. "I need to see this!" he screams. His father holds him down and says "I know it seems like you have to see this, but you don't!" Meanwhile all around them, extras run about chanting "turn around!". Spielberg acknowledges that his camera is always "turned around", running from the creatures. The irony is that Spielberg, like Robby, isn't strong enough to hold himself back. By the final act, he loses strength and undoes all the brilliance he set up.

Still, the camera work here is worthy of De Palma. I suspect within the next few years, everybody will be copying the style of this film. It will be interesting to see how Spielberg chooses to shoot his next movie.

8/10 - Worth multiple viewings. Despite it's flaws, this is excellent popcorn fun. In the wake of 9/11 the film can also be read as another propagandistic Spielberg movie, America under attack by technologically advanced "sleeper cell terrorists" buried within the homeland and waiting to strike. Thank God Spielberg didn't put beards on his aliens.

Note: People complain that the "red blood" sets at the end of the film are fake, but this is a homage to Menzies' expressionistic work on "Invaders from Mars". Those who hate the fact that Cruise's son lives, should see "The Mist", Frank Darabond's brilliant re-imagining of Spielberg's film.
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No one would have believed...
Ali_John_Catterall28 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
just how badly Spielberg was going to screw this up.

A few thoughts:

If a town centre cracked open in broad daylight, revealing a 500ft metal flower of death, you'd know about it a mile away. However, when Cruise and his appallingly unsympathetic kids (including the interminably shrieking girl-woman that is known as Dakota Fanning, who surely slid straight from the birth canal clutching an agent) flee to the 'burbs, it's as if the news hasn't filtered through, with by-standers milling about doing nothing much of anything.

Imagine a lightning storm ripping through Clapham, followed by an immense metal tripod, vaporising everything in its path. (No clothes, mind – just the people inside them. Perhaps these aliens are after our laundry. Actually, there's a Woody Allen routine about that, and it makes a lot more sense.) Imagine the noise. The smell. Were you in Balham, you'd know about it. Worlds would have us believe you wouldn't lift an eyebrow. Simply, when Cruise and co aren't in immediate shot, these tripods don't appear to exist. The only reason we know they do, is because a TV crew has a video – a VHS! – of them eating up some buildings somewhere else. Europe, apparently, has already been mostly decimated. Well, how incredibly lucky that massive landmass called the United States merely suffered a flesh wound in Boston. Although Europe, admittedly, is the subject of the movie's one decent joke.

Worse is to come: a pinch of Cameron here, a steal of Bruckheimer there, this is one of the most derivative movies yet - albeit one with obvious stage sets and pound-shop CGI. It's as if Spielberg has sunk down under the weight of so much shoulder perching, and has been reduced to foraging for ideas in the mud. The aliens, when they finally emerge from their tripods, are duffers: neither scary, not convincing – while their reconnaissance 'tendril' sports a couple of plastic reflectors that wouldn't look out of place on a mountain bike.

On that note, the one effort to bamboozle the uni-eyed tendril is laughable too: they place a mirror in its way. Surely something of this power and capacity isn't going to fooled by a bunch of reconstituted silica? The acting, as you'd expect, is uniformly awful – Cruise (who specialises in playing gormless obnoxious assholes) is especially bad – his two facial expressions wavering from "shock" to "delayed shock" at inopportune moments.

The pacing's terrible – it just suddenly ends, bang. The aliens catch colds and die. Film over. And most surprisingly in a Spielberg flick, there's no emotional clout here – at one point, the elder son begs his dad to let him go and see the front-line military action – not to join them in the fighting, just to have a gawp. "If you love me, you'll let me go" he says. It's supposed to be one of the Big Emotional Highpoints, but just comes across as a surly teenager (who hitherto was not surly) throwing a tantrum because he wants a better view of the fireworks.

The final shot of Ray delivering the kids back to mum and new boyfriend (in a bizarrely peaceful and untouched street) may as well be the culmination of having successfully delivered them home from a particularly lengthy snarl-up round the one-way gyratory system.

There's not one sympathetic character in the entire film, and by the end of the movie Ray's still an a**hole. No redemption, no lessons learned – other than aliens should carry a packet of fisherman's friends with them before they set out.
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Bore of the Worlds
wtbe75609 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Ugh, what an awful movie! War of the Worlds is the "modern adaptation" of the classic tale of murderous aliens come to do us harm. This movie starts, runs, and ends with a serious of contradictions and ridiculous situations that beg the question, "What's the point of this movie?" Tom Cruise plays Ray Farrier, a crane operator who ends up having to babysit his two kids while his now-pregnant-by-another-man ex and her new dude go to Boston for a weekender (can you smell the dramatic tension?). From there, mysterious lightning storms erupt near Cruise's house and everyone runs to see what's happening. Of course, killer robots from Mars or whatever come up from underground and the slaughter begins.

Cruise apparently has several superpowers in this movie. He has the uncanny ability to avoid the alien death beams while people in front, behind, and next to him are vaporized. He has cat-like reflexes, which allow him to run, jump, and hide while holding his 10 year old daughter. He can also bore you to death with his mostly emotionless performance.

Several glaring plot holes exist: First, the EMP from the lightning storm wipes out every car in the city, but the mechanics at the local shop manage to repair a minivan in the few minutes between storm's end and the carnage beginning. Cruise and crew hide out in a basement cellar while an airplane (!) lands on the house, and emerge unscathed. (BTW, why did that house have a boiler when they also clearly show a gas furnace in the next scene). EMP in this movie seems to operate selectively - all the cars are wiped out but the ferry still runs, as do the military vehicles. The diner still has power when nothing else does.

By the end of this magnificent turd, you end up rooting for the aliens and wishing they would squish Cruise already and turn him into fertilizer. There is no plot, it's two hours of watching Cruise run from basement to basement hiding until the aliens just all mysteriously die at the end. The lesson here? When the world ends, all you need to do is run aimlessly around the countryside carrying a 10 year old and if you run long enough, the evil aliens will all just drop dead.

This movie stunk.
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A big disappointment
bobsteimle1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Spielberg shouldn't be allowed to make science fiction films. He managed to take parts of the book and parts of the old movie and add in enough of his own nonsense to make something far inferior to either. He took the crazy curator from the book, give him some of the ideas of the artilleryman and the name of the scientist killed in the beginning of the book to make the only really likable character in the movie, brilliantly played by Tim Robbins, who is deserving of another Oscar for this performance.

Tom Cruise's character is a jerk who becomes even less likable throughout the movie; Dakota Fanning plays his screaming banshee daughter. They, with his very brave but equally stupid son, manage to survive to the end of this movie while everyone around them is being killed. There is no explanation how the son survived; I guess it was supposed to be a miracle. The real miracle is that so many other critics liked this movie that makes so little sense.

The aliens come down in little spaceships in flashes of lightning. Why in the lighting? No plausible reason. They use their big tripod machines to destroy everything. The machines were put there millions of years ago to prepare for this invasion. Why didn't they have the invasion millions of years ago when they first put the machines here? I guess because Spielberg wasn't here to film it then. Why didn't the bacteria that kills them now kill them back when they buried these machines millions of years ago? How did they go these millions of years without finding out about bacteria? If they're millions of years advanced beyond our technology, why don't they have spacesuits the way we do? Why did Cruise's character's ex-wife ever marry him in the first place? I could spend the day asking questions about things that happened in this movie that don't make sense, but who would want to read that? If you haven't read the book, if you haven't seen the old movie, then maybe this movie is for you. The special effects are good, but don't look too closely or they won't make sense either (i.e. the monster coming up in the river, under the boat). Actually, Tim Robbins is the only reason I didn't rate this move a 1. His acting is really good.

What made the old movie and the book both so good was that the story was believable; it was something that could actually happen. They also had some good protagonists that we could identify with and care about as they tried to survive the alien holocaust. This movie has neither of those. There are too many flaws. Too many people know things they would have no way of knowing. Too many people act in ways that people would not act. The special effect violate the laws of physics as well as common sense. This movie could easily have been so much better if Spielberg hadn't glammed it up to try to impress people with nastiness, the way he did with bugs and spiders in his lost ark movies. I was more than disappointed by it. It made me angry.
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unimaginative junk
dgfcuk30 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The film is directed as an Action-Adventure rather than as a Horror-thriller. If only it had been directed by the Steven Spielberg who directed Jaws, or by the Ridley Scott who directed Alien. Instead, Spielberg has made forgettable junk, cobbled together too quickly, with far too little imagination. Apart from a decent enough alien fighting machine, this was an artless pastiche of many superior versions of this overused story. If you are not going to re-imagine a story, why bother telling it? This screenplay was barely written at all, it feels like it was jammed together over a couple of conference call story meetings.

The people were either uninteresting (Tom Cruise) or poorly played (Tim Robbins). Dramatic set pieces such as the alien probe searching for humans in the basement have been done better in other movies. In this case, the basement scene had no real dramatic tension and it played interminably. Tom Cruise's character's decision on how to deal with Tim Robbin's character might have been believable if it had been sudden and impulsive but instead the lead up to it was needlessly drawn out and ridiculously sentimentalized at the same time.

The burning train praised by so many critics was to me a wasted sequence - it appeared almost like a bunch of people on screen stopped to watch a short film of a burning train racing past. How much better if they had been waiting to be rescued by that train and then saw it coming and had to run to escape before it crashed burning into the train station. Yes, that is stolen from Day of the Triffids but so much else about this patched together script was stolen, they might as well have stolen that, too. Then, in panicked desperation, people doing something as irrational as getting on board a slow-moving ferry would have been almost believable.

I give this a 1/10 because Steven Spielberg has said that he has the power to make any movie he wishes. In that case, there is no excuse for this one not being a classic.
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War of the Worlds doesn't live up to the hype
jlbarron27 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just saw a sneak of War of the Worlds. It surprises me how a collection of so much talent can make a product so, I'm sorry to say, bland. Yes, it has good points. The war machines are impressive, the destruction sequences (what there are of them) are awesome, and the special effects in general are incredible. But this is what we've come to expect in a Spielberg film. A movie needs more than cool special effects... we learned that way back with Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The first part of the film takes great care with the character development of the Tom Cruse character and his children. But they don't really grow at all throughout the rest of the film! There is an old question to ask... do we care about these characters? I, for one, didn't. The story plods along, spending a lot of time showing people running, people hiding, people running, hiding, and occasionally shows an alien war machine (no mention at all of Mars in the entire film)doing something. Many of us fans were excited that the film would make use of the Martian "Red Weed" which the aliens plant on Earth to make it more like their home. Well, the weed is there, but that's about it. It's there for a few scenes. And the aliens... personally I think it would have been far better to leave them out of the film entirely. In the original film we only caught fleeting glimpses of the creatures. In this one, we see them walking around, looking at photographs, playing with a bicycle, in all their CGI glory. Unfortunately, they look too much like a cross between their machines and the aliens from Independence Day for my taste. By the end of the movie, I was surprised to see that it ran less than two hours. It seemed like three!

A real problem is that the film tries to play the story of the invasion a lot like "Signs" did so well a few years ago. Tell the story from the POV of the average Joe. Trouble is that this average Joe is so average that even when he runs from the aliens and sees them doing horrible things, it comes across almost dull.

There are several tips-of-the-hat to the original George Pal film from 1953, including cameo's by Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. But it just doesn't grab me. Someone asked me, on the way out of the theater, if I'd go see it again, or buy it on DVD. I answered no to both.

I hate to say just how disappointed I am in this film. I really, REALLY wanted to like it. The afore mentioned Independence Day, itself a remake of War of the Worlds, was a film that I also disliked, for many of the same reasons. Yet I found myself liking that film a little more than this one. Give me the old George Pal film, or even a few episodes of the television series, over this film any day.
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Meanders everywhere!
jcv230 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Having never seen the original, my point of view is going to be based on the movie itself, not its history. And my negative review is in no way tarnished by Cruise's strange behavior. Cruise and Jacko are probably brothers separated at birth but don't know it, but that's another issue.

I'm not sure who's to blame for this movie. Perhaps Spielberg had too many yes-men around him (or yes-women, let's be inclusive here). Perhaps the original WOTW is a lot like this and Spielberg liked it so much, this was meant to be his tribute. Whatever. This one stinks. Tributes shouldn't stink.

This movie had potential (and lotsa hype) but was utterly ruined by the "I'm-a-bad-father" subplot that the movie kept diverting to all throughout the film. Spielberg poured on the syrup at these points and it really did make me roll my eyes after awhile. The scene on the hill where the brother, for reasons that were not at all explained, just -had- to see what was going on on the other side of the hill actually made me squirm. His line about "if you love me you'll let me go" was straight out of the cornfields. Awful.

Dakota did a decent job but this certainly pales in comparison to other movies I've seen her in, like Man on Fire. As usual, Dakota and her brother play the smart-ass kids to the inept father. Never seen that before, have we Steve? Turn on the TV and there's hundreds of shows with characters like that already on.

Don't get me started on the basement scene. Completely unnecessary and went on WAY too long. The bit with the proboscis was just completely silly. Spielberg's version of horror/suspense I guess. One minute the aliens are out there tilling up the earth on a global scale with a horrific ferocity, the next minute they send this little wormy proboscis thing down into the basement to ever-so-gently poke around. Ooh, be careful, don't touch anything! Not to mention Farmer Ted thinking he's going to kill these things with a SHOTGUN of all things. Tim Robbins never could do scenes well with high levels of emotion, and he does it again here. Anytime he has to show intense emotion, the corners of his mouth curl down in a frown and that's as far as it goes. Like clockwork.

When the ship starts to come out of the ground, and even after it has come completely out of the ground, the people around it largely stay in the same spot and are STANDING THERE STARING AT IT. A three-legged behemoth... just came out of the ground from nowhere... 200+ feet tall with arms for days... and these geniuses are standing around waiting to see what it will do next? Only when it starts putting the smack down on everyone do they seem to give up any hope that it's E.T. and start to run away. Did they expect some sort of welcoming party instead?

The idea that thousands of those things, as huge as they are, could lie dormant under the ground without being detected. To accept that you would have to perform far more than suspension of disbelief and go straight for the alternate universe explanation. Pure laziness if you ask me, like Spielberg didn't give a damn about providing a plausible background for these creatures.

Lots and lots of little events that dead-end into nowhere. The friends who miss the boat. Who are they? Why should we care that they didn't make it? The reporters who are scrounging around for scraps of food as though they haven't eaten in weeks when the aliens just showed up LESS THAN A DAY AGO. We care that her sidekick is deaf why? The airplane. Why is it such a huge deal that one has crashed? Their minivan must have a protective shield of its own because the neighborhood-razing plane didn't put a scratch on their getaway car. Oh look! There's a neat little path for them to drive the minivan out of this mess.

For a bunch of alien invaders, talk about poor planning.... They sent waves of tripods to select locations and no ships to other locations, thereby offering people a place to run away to. And if they've "been watching us" for so long, wouldn't they have figured out beforehand that there are things on our planet that will kill them? Apparently not. They're smart enough to build these monstrous craft, smart enough to figure out how to navigate interstellar distances with these craft, but not smart enough to make said craft airtight or build leak-free suits (or any suits for that matter) in case there's some icky bugs that might kill them? Brilliant!

Ah anyway, I'd like my money back please. What a stinker! Spielberg blew it with this one by once again making the meat and potatoes of the film take a back seat to some sort of dysfunctional family crisis resolution. If Cruise had been the only main character, if his character had been more of a hero-type, if they'd thrown out the whole family bit, this would've been a lot better. But they didn't.

Did Spielberg just give up on this movie at one point and say to hell with it, this movie's too far gone to achieve redemption? It certainly looks that way. This film doesn't even look like a finished product. This looks like a whole bunch of plots thrown together before a good editor comes along and puts together a cohesive film.
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waste of time.....
Stephen Christie1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
just plain awful......Dakota screaming,and screaming and screaming. won't that girl shut up. teenager brooding.... tom looking scared.. the flu... dead aliens the end. waste of money and just downright disappointing. should i comment on the comparison to the original... no it should never be muttered in the same breath, the people involved should know better. the aliens look good, but just not that great, the effects are in no way special. the berg was still polishing the effects appartenly only two weeks ago and he should have taken a bit longer. the machines are clouded in mist and dust just because he doesn't seem to know what to do with then. the biggest thing is that the movie is plain boring... it called war of the worlds but plays more like Signs... but a duller version of Signs.it takes a lot to offend me in cinema but ever year, summertime comes along and they don't leave me alone. This years Day After Tomorrow. Sucks. Now who do i see to get my money back.
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bojang03012 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was pretty excited to go out and see this movie on opening day only left to be wondering what was the point of this movie. From the very beginning I was annoyed by the kids. Dakota Fanning was not cute and after the first five minutes of Tom Cruise being the bad father it was time for her to go into flip out mode for the entire film. Her constant screaming and whining felt like I was going to have to babysit her from the audience. The Aliens intent was never fully known in the film and that frustrated me even though that may have been the intent of Wells. (I have never read the book or seen the movie). There seems to be no distinct time period in the movie but the aliens are supposed to be making an extinction attempt and yet this whole family is absolutely fine and their house in Boston is still fully intact. How stupid. When Cruise's son disappears it almost seems like Spielberg does this because he won't fit in when the alien arm scene. I have just been left utterly confused by what the point of the movie was. Tom Cruise still didn't come off as a good father at the end and while I liked the fact that the smallest creature took down the aliens it seemed very rushed at the end just to get it over with even though I was more then happy to get out of there. Go see this one in the cheapies for the effects or rent it not worth 10 bucks.
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Wanted to like...really hated it
doc472529 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I really wanted to like this movie. I really did. But I found myself wanting to choke out the characters by the end of the film. Steven Spielberg's homage to the Orsen Wells radio hoax and George Pal B movie is shoddy at best.

First, the casting was suspect, with the exception of Dakota Fanning. I find it very had to believe that Tom Cruise is a dock worker from New Jersey, although the marital problems weren't a stretch at all. He has no pot belly, no accent, and his jeans don't let you see his butt crack.

Second, the first fifteen minutes of the movie- where the lightning storm and machines are first seen- is just completely unrealistic. Suspension of disbelief aside, there's no way you could tell me that all these people would just sit around and watch this giant menacing machine come out of the ground, tearing up an entire city block in the process, and not run away! There are also continuity errors during this sequence, mentioned in several other comments, in regards to an EMP cutting all power.

Third, I just never was able to believe the parental bond relationship between Cruise's character and the two children. While Fanning seemed very natural throughout, Cruise was in some Jerry Maguire meets Aliens alternate universe. And the son character was never fully developed, too many of his lines ended up on the cutting room floor I'd imagine.

Fourth, while the ending basically remained true to the George Pal original there were more continuity errors. It made the film seem too much like a children's movie when the rest of the movie tried to speak to adult sensibilities.

All in all I'm sure there are people who will speak volumes about how wonderful this film is but as someone who is a huge fan of the Wells radio show and the George Pal film from the 50's I was really disappointed. That's $7.50 I'll never get back!
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The Terminal now this.......Spielberg has lost it
j-handy1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Having listened to the positive early reviews I was really looking forward to War of the Worlds. I was hoping to see Spielberg back on form with his "bad" alien movie. We'll " bad" is the current word because the first act aside this movie stank and showcased all of Speilbergs loss of independent vision as here he is really pandering to the popcorn munchers.

The movie opens well, and its encouraging to see Armageddon play out in the eyes of one family, although this is not an original concept (see "Signs") and Mels family were moderately likable. Here we are subjected to the teenage son who inexplicably wants to rumble with indestructible death machines and a horrible screaming banshee of a daughter. Speakig of Mel Gibson, Mr Spielberg must have been influenced by the Passion of Christ when he decided to kill a key character in the second act only to bring him back from the dead for the sickly sweet family friendly ending. Do not believe those who say this is Speilbergs darkest work. Such was the ineptness of the direction the audience were laughing a the site of hundreds of dead bodies being washed down river.

The aliens, don't make me laugh. In ET and Close Encounters Spielberg gave the audience several hints at the aliens appearance...a hand here, a foot there.....building up the tension (yes even in ET) before revealing his creature. Not in this movie. After 10 seconds of stumbling around in Tim Robbins cellar there they are in full view and boy do they look awful. Possibly the worst aliens ever consigned to film. We're supposed to be scared of these things! And the ending.......oh yes the ending. Yes I know how the aliens fail in their attempt to exterminate mankind, I've read the book and seen the old b-movie (which was better) but it was like....."oh my god we're all going to die"....."oh wait a second no we're not, hurray"....THE END.

As a final downer, how did Tom Cruise manage to magic several grenades from his butt the moment his daughter was in danger? I'll stop my rant here. I used to be a real Spielberg fan and Jaws is still my no. 1 movie but this is garbage made for the popcorn munching PG cinema zombie. But it will make a lot of money and the studio will pay for more of this rubbish to be made.

4 out of 10. 1 for the tripods, 1 for the noise they make, 1 for the opening act and 1 for being better than the Terminal.
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Worst movie of the year so far. Herbie was better
loismustdie19821 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This had to be one of the most GOD AWFUL PIECES OF CRAP I HAVE EVER SEEN! Let's go down the laundry list:

-"We're under attack! Is it the terrorists?!" - Trite, semi-political bull. You could hear a collective slapping noise as the audience smacked themselves in the head.

-Robbie - Okay, so the world's under attack, imminent death, and he wants to air out frustrations about his relationship with his father? And then he somehow mysteriously survives after running into a firewall of tripods? (BTW that ruins nothing. Anybody who sees a Spielberg movie knows he goes for the happy ending these days, even if it doesn't make sense).

-Dakota Fanning - Worst Child Star. EVER! My ears were bleeding. "I'm going to say something semi-philosophical, even though I'm 10 years old." "Now I'm gonna scream like an idiot." "Now I'm gonna stare blankly like that dead chick from the 'Poltergeist' movies."

-If the Martians planted the tripods a million years ago, before man evolved, and they so coveted our planet, why didn't they just stay? Did they want us to fix the place up for them? How can you come down, plant something, go back to your crappy planet, and stew for a million years?

-The Martians die of an allergy to our air and blood. Fine, good, that's straight from the book. But how does a food allergy (hence the peanut butter joke at the beginning) cause the aliens to drop their shields on the tripods so that the military can blow them up? Food allergy, not "Independence Day"-style computer virus.

-Why do the aliens look like the aliens from "Independence Day?"

-If the tripods vaporize people, how come their clothes survive the blast?

-Was there ANY point to Morgan Freeman's narration at the beginning and end?

There were a few positives, however:

-Tim Robbins - Great as a modern day representation of Ogilvy, the crazy guy from the book that dies (again, not really a spoiler. What crazy guy in any sci-fi movie lives?).

-Special Effects - There's a nice confusion aspect, though the camera shaking could have been toned down a bit. The CGI was cheesy at best, but the ground effects and stunt work was pretty decent.

-I'll admit I laughed twice, at the train, and when Tom Cruise sings "Little Duece Coupe."

But those can't make up for the sheer torture this movie was. Another H.G. Wells novel is ruined by a cheesy update/remake (Time Machine, anyone?). This is easily the worst movie of the year so far.

Final note: If Tom Cruise doesn't believe in psychiatry, then why does his character placate his daughter's claustrophobia?
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The end of our world...almost
james_corck34 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, we must despite the first version of War of the worlds, with George Pall and weird flying saucers moving scarily across a model of a city. Cheap effects, but effective enough to make us tremble in our seats.

Steven Spielberg made, here, a movie that fits his regular summer blockbuster. This is not Dinosaurs, giant sharks, benevolent aliens or bullets and blood. This is nasty aliens, anti-heroic Tom Cruise and paced rhythm with John Williams notes lost. This is a report of the end of the world seen across the eyes of a regular American family.

The revealing tripods sequence is, so far, a lesson of how to build the suspense in a movie. You see the lighting's, the hole on the road, what is that rumble?, oh noes the floor is breaking, look that cathedral, is being tear apart!, take cover with that car!. What is that three legged thing? All that from the lower POV of the little humans, that suddenly became a bunch of flying ashes.

While we are more or less safe into that repaired working car, the menace turns from the three legs to the two legs of humans. That violent attack on the car, beating Cruise to the ground while we see his daughter being suffocated by the mass, that can only make two reactions into us: Tear the seats of the cinema screaming, or look in the other way. I tore the seats, not very nice really. So this is another message in David Koepps effective screenplay, a not very welcome message: Even in the worst situations, humans are dangerous animals. Some people wont understood this message, but is a kind of irony about how the world is being destroyed by invaders, and we keep destroying between each others.

The film is ironic to the very end. Specially the part dedicated to the regular cold killing the rampaging tripods and their evil pilots. Tim Robins' part is far from pleasing and nice, is another scary moment.

So to finish this long comment, WOTW is a Spielberg movie, where the Cruiser is far from his hero status, and that ending part with so many anti-climax and "it's-over-get-out-of-the-theatre" is a direct copy from the HG Wells book. Now looking forward to the other versions of this never ending alien invasion.
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Sloppy,badly thought out rendition of a classic
kimball-kinnison-19 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I approached this movie with some trepidation but was willing to give it a chance. After all it was a modern reworking of a classic. I DID NOT expect to be slapping my forehead in horror at the pure Hollywood type schmaltzy ending. Also my "suspension of disbelief" was stretched to breaking many times

1) Tom Cruise escapes vapourisation when everyone in the street is killed 2) He presumably runs all the way home and is as fresh as a daisy and no one at home has noticed the noisy emergence of the Martians 3)He steals a car and is able to drive speedily through New Jersey between nicely laid out rows of broken down cars. 4) A passenger jet crashes on to his house, leaving his car intact. He then drives through the wreckage and on his way. 5) Oh, yeah the schmaltzy ending

6) The premise that the Martian machines had been put underground millions of years ago. Did someone lose the invasion plans. Did the martians hibernate, perhaps they were busy elsewhere. Look how far we have advanced in the last 100 years. Are we expected to believe the martians have been stagnant for millenia

7) I would have pretended to support Tim Robbins and then hit him with a shovel when he least expected it. Why would he face-off with him when his kid could have been left in Tims care if he lost.

8) His kid survives the fireball

9) They are submerged in freezing water, get out and walk off allowing their clothing to dry off on their bodies. Gee the Ferriers are really resilient

Damn, I'm becoming too picky..

The performances of the actors were average, I could not engage with the characters. Perhaps adding another half our of character development would have helped. I did feel sorry for Rae with his needy daughter and his suicidal son, but I feel this was inadvertent

I have heard this film has been touted as one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. It isn't, it falls far short! It cannot compare with 2001:A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, The Day the Earth Stood Still

My apologies for the quality of this review. It is my first and I found it very cathartic. I have seen many bad movies but I was expecting more from a director and actor of Spielberg and Cruises' stature.
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There's More to the Movie Than Meets the Eye.
idavem15 July 2014
Spielberg and company created a wonderful film that's incorporated some of H.G. Wells' original novel, and the 1953 film.

It took me a few viewings to spot some of the clever parts of the film. For example, when Tom Cruise's character shakes the white dust of disintegrated humans out of his hair, it's an homage to the part of the novel in which the hero's hair turns white (from fear).

Cruise's character (Ray, as in ray gun) is introduced to as as a person who operates a crane that lifts up truck trailers. The invaders have similar cranes - their scary, giant tripods - that can walk and lift up humans. And yes, the aliens have ray guns.

Ray's ex-wife admonishes him to make sure her son completes his school assignment by the end of the weekend, which is a paper about the occupation of Algeria by the French. Over the course of the weekend, which is the timeline in which the movie unfolds, Ray's son definitely completes his assignment, learning all about the occupation of earth by an alien force.

And of course, the grandparents glimpsed at the end of the film were the stars of the 1953 film.

I'm sure there's more allusions to the book and the earlier film, and homages to both. What I have picked up makes the movie even more satisfying for me.
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