Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City, to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
An ordinary man has to protect his children against alien invaders in this science fiction thriller, freely adapted from the classic story by H.G. Wells. Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is a dockworker living in New Jersey, divorced from his first wife Mary Ann (Miranda Otto) and estranged from his two children Rachel and Robbie (Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin), of whom he has custody on weekends. On one such visitation, looking after the kids becomes a little more difficult when, after a series of strange lighting storms hit his neighborhood, Ray discovers that a fleet of death-ray robotic spaceships have emerged nearby, part of the first wave of an all-out alien invasion of the Earth. Transporting his children from New York to Boston in an attempt to find safety at Mary Ann's parents' house, Ray must learn to become the protector and provider he never was in marriage.
At least twenty civilian refugee and survivor extras were carefully made up to look horribly wounded. Make-up technicians simulated large bleeding wounds, third-degree burns, and melted flesh. In the final version, the wounded survivors' scenes were cut and the film earned a mild PG-13 rating. See more »
When Ray carries the Pennzoil box of groceries into Mary Ann's house, the goods change position between shots. See more »
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 ...
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
I love and respect Spielberg, let's make that absolutely clear. I grew up with the man. But, that love and respect, clearly, is exclusively one sided. I have the feeling I've been treated like a moron. There are so many concessions made in the film in a vain attempt to reach everybody, that at the end of the day, most everybody is disappointed. It's not one thing or the other. Much like "Artificial Intelligence" Steven Spielberg, more than any of his contemporaries, has everything at his disposal. He has the luxury to choose the best of the best in every department, so why not apply that standard to the most important, the writing. Here the source was H.G Wells so, no excuses for the cheap shots and the smart ass wise cracks. I think that compromises are, in a business of millions and millions of dollars, unavoidable, but, how terrible when the compromise takes over. When marketing researchers have so much power. I think that compromises based on political correctness have taken over the world of Spielberg. I remember when Elia Kazan received the Academy Award to his career and the polemic that followed. Spielberg found a way to be okay with everybody. He applauded but didn't stand up. Is that his position? He made comments about War of the Worlds, hinting that the updated story reflected what was happening in the world today. Really? There is a line thrown out there casually on purpose "Occupation never works" or something like that. But that's not nearly enough. It is an insult to our intelligence. "War of the Worlds" has a terrific opening. We are several steps ahead of the characters populating the world in the movie. The thrilling anticipation of what we know is coming, raises our expectations to levels that, naturally, are impossible to reach. Tom Cruise is terrific, but the film moves between Wells and Spielberg's worlds without being fair to either one. Technically the film is astonishing, but the soul is sadly not there.
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