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.
Steven Spielberg: [fathers] The main character is a divorced father whose children are angry at him, mirroring Spielberg's experience with his absentee father. See more »
When Ray and his kids steal the van, Rachel becomes hysterical due to Ray and his friend arguing, but in side shots throughout the argument, Rachel is calm. 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 »
The first half hour it leaves hour breathless. The characters don't know what hit them, but we do. We know all about it, a world of the worlds is about to take place, with nasty creatures from outer space. This elementary rule, we, the audience are a few steps ahead of the characters on the screen. It makes our anticipation of their realization an spectacular thrill. Then, of course, it's all downhill from there. Well, not all. Tom Cruise is in it. I have to hand it to him. Looking at his name in the poster, lots of useless but unavoidable information came to mind. Katie Holmes and Brooke Shields and L Ron Hubbard, Oprah, Matt. The lot. And I'm one who doesn't watch much television, imagine someone who does! In any case, much to Tom Cruise credit, I completely forgot all that nonsense as the movie started and I was able to concentrate on the nonsense at hand. He is really good. I took him seriously. I felt for him. He's playing a loser with an empty refrigerator and I believe it. Totally. The problems in the movie are of a different kind. The same way that you can't mix Kubrick and Spielberg and A.I was a blatant example of that. In War of the Worlds we discover H G Wells and Spielberg don't go together either. Wells, H. G as well as Orson Welles played with our inner fears without computer generated images. I imagine that playing with the intellect would have been too frightening to Spielberg, Paramount, Amblin and Dreamworks. So I guess that part of the master plan was to give us something of what, they imagine, audiences the world over expects of them. But, it doesn't work like that. It should be the intellectual wallop of H G Wells or the sentimental pyrotechnics of Steven Spielberg. Together, they do not go. Okay, I've unburden myself of my thoughts, now, I recommend you to see it and make up your own mind. Within the sad desolation of the film going summer of 2005, there is enough solace within the horrors of War of the Worlds to make you feel you haven't wasted your afternoon.
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