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War of the Worlds (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  29 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 311,541 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 2,736 user | 396 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julio (as Yul Vázquez)
Roz Abrams ...
Michael Brownlee ...
News Producer (as Camillia Sanes)


Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down. What follows is the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in this contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells seminal classic sci-fi thriller. Written by Majorwest

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | storm | survival | tripod | fight | See All (236) »


They're already here. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Out of the Night  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$132,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£8,644,787 (UK) (1 July 2005)


$234,277,056 (USA) (18 November 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening voiceover monologue paraphrases and updates the first paragraph from H.G. Wells's novel. For example, "19th century" is changed to "21st century". See more »


Before the first alien tripod comes out of the ground, a circular portion of the ground turns to rubble and then twists counter clockwise. Ray looks at the church and sees the front of it twisting counter clockwise, but then looks down at the ground by his feet (in the same shot), and the ground is twisting clockwise. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: No one would have believed in the early years of the 21st century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns, *they* observed and studied, the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »


Version of War of the Worlds (1988) See more »


If I Ruled the World
by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel
Performed by Tony Bennett
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Could have been a real classic but is an above average alien-invasion movie instead.
19 November 2005 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This movie had huge potential. Everything to make this a science-fiction classic masterpiece were present; Spielberg's directing, a great concept, ILM special effects, Tom Cruise as the main character and lots of other professionals involved both in front and behind the cameras. Then where did it go wrong? The answer to that is the script. The story is very simple and lacks a real clear plot line. Basically the movie is only about Tom Cruise and his two children running and driving from city to city, from the aliens and their destructive Tripod-machines. Exactly why are we, out of all the people, following these persons? The character development is lacking, just as much as the story does. Both lack development and depth.

Of course the movie is by no means an horrible movie but it's just that the movie is a bit disappointing because of the fact that it had so much more potential. It still is a good and certainly spectacular movie to watch but it's not a movie people will still talk about in 5 or 10 years from now. The story makes this movie a bit of an easily forgettable movie that doesn't leave an huge impression afterward, even though the movie itself is pure eye-candy to watch.

There is no doubt about it that Spielberg is a great director. He directs his actors in this movie very well and everyone in the movie gives an amazing performance, especially Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. Tom Cruise for once again doesn't play the action hero. He is an average Joe instead and I think he did this in a very good and convincing. Spielberg also uses the special effects very well. He doesn't use the special effects to impress the audience as much as possible, with lots of spectacular and action filled sequences, which he could had easily had done, he uses them as a tool to tell the story with instead. The movie is purely told from Tom Cruise and his family's perspective, because of this the movie gets a very realistic feeling. We don't get to see any close-ups of the Tripods and how they destroy entire cities and fight off the American army. I like this approach. It makes "War of the Worlds" different from many other alien-invasion movies. It because of this certainly is one of the most believable and realistic alien-invasion movies, along with "Signs".

Visually there also is absolutely nothing wrong with this movie. The special effects from ILM are very impressive and look extremely convincing. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski is also simply phenomenal at times and is typically gritty, which certainly adds to the tense and realistic atmosphere of the movie.

Unlike others, to me the ending didn't came really abrupt. But perhaps this was because to me the ending was already spoiled, thanks to the movie it's soundtrack, which featured the final narration of Morgan Freeman explaining how the movie ended. So I already knew what to expect. To be perfectly honest I liked the ending and I couldn't think of any other, or better way to end this movie, without losing any of its realism and credibility. I can understand how it might seem lame and sudden to most though but for me it was satisfying enough.

It certainly is a movie that will receive one or two, most likely, technical Acedemy Awards. And it deserves to. There isn't an awful lot wrong with this movie but it truly is the simple story that prevents this movie from being a classic or masterpiece. I still regard this movie as one of the must sees of 2005 simply because of the movie its look and acting. You can tell by watching this movie that there was lots of talent involved, both in front and behind the cameras. Especially Spielberg's touch still makes this movie better than just the average alien-invasion movie but still not even he can prevent this movie from being a bit of a disappointment. Not his or anybody else his/her fault, simply blame it on the script.



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