An updated version of H.G Wells' seminal sci-fi classic about an alien invasion threatening the future of humanity. The catastrophic nightmare is depicted through the eyes of one American family fighting for survival.
An ordinary man has to protect his children against alien invaders in this science fiction action film 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.
When filming on a residential street in Howell, New Jersey, the actors took refuge in the garages of nearby houses for warmth. See more »
When Ray and Rachel are hiding underneath the kitchen table during the lightning storm, you see Rachel duck her head and cover her face with her hands. In the next shot the camera views them from behind and you can clearly see Rachel looking up. Then in the next shot the camera is on Rachel and she is ducking. 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 »
For the U.S. theatrical release, the Paramount logo appeared before the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the film, and the poster credits said, "Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures present." Since the U.S. version's home video/DVD rights are owned by Dreamworks, the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the movie appears before the Paramount logo, and the back of the box's cover art says, "Dreamworks Pictures and Paramount Pictures present." In the European version, the original order of the logos and studio names is preserved (and the DVD is released by Paramount). See more »
Could have been a real classic but is an above average alien-invasion movie instead.
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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