War of the Worlds Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 29, 2007
Fantastic! Special effects are amazing. The story was good as well. A few drawbacks in some parts (why not leave angsty teenagers out of these sort of movies?) but these are minor flaws compared to the whole package.
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2007
Get ready for a wild ride with the Steven Spielberg "DreamWorks" production team, in this high quality revision of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds". For this invasion, the story has been updated to focus on the family changes which have become most dominant over the decades since the successful 1953 version. So, the central figure, Tom Cruise (as Ray Ferrier), is not a doctor, but a more ordinary New Jersey dock worker. And, the lead character played by Mr. Cruise is made much more interesting by the fact that he is a divorced man, who is somewhat estranged from his children . Instead of the expected "hot romance", you have the drama unfolding around the bonding of Cruise and his children.

Of course, a lot of disbelief suspension is required, especially in this type of film; but, the updated situation is refreshing, and believable. When the film begins, Cruise's ex-wife drops off the couple's two children while she goes off to spend some time with her new husband, and parents, in Boston. The children are played well, by Justin Chatwin (Robbie Ferrier) and Dakota Fanning (Rachel Ferrier). There is a point (foreshadowed twice) where Mr. Chatwin leaves the action; it seems like a flaw in the storytelling; but, it does work out quite well. The "son" is replaced by Tim Robbins (as Harlan Ogilvy), in some scenes which would not have worked with the original threesome.

Cruise deserves some particular praise, for his performance. He is especially good after suffering a loss, then taking refuge in Mr. Robbins' basement; observe his fight to overcome madness, and protect his daughter, in the bowels of the Earth. Cruise's tearful rendition of "Little Deuce Coupe" is one of the film's most memorable moments; and, it involves no observable "special effect". The alien "special effects" are fantastic. John Williams is outstanding. Reserving comments on minor difficulties which would reveal too much; (except, the narration was unnecessary); the "War of the Worlds" is excellent entertainment. 3 Stars Updated 9-5-13
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
This contemporary update of War of the Worlds is a lot better than most people say it is. 2/3 of the movie is some of the most atmospheric,suspenseful, and intense stuff that Spielberg has made in quite a long time. The problems come during the final 40 or so minutes. The movie does such an excellent and effective job of channeling 9/11 and War on Terror fears, paranoia, and anxiety, and then remembers that it's supposed to be a summer action blockbuster and jarringly becomes a cliched actioner with a schmaltzy and sentimental ending typical of almost all of Spielberg's work. Seeing as how much and love and respect the man, I can't bring myself to hate on him too much for this, but thankfully what is done right still manages to save the movie from totally sucking. With Munich Spielberg (for once) made a movie that was completely adult and serious, and avoided sentimentality-and that movie was absolutely brilliant. This came so damn close to reaching that same level, and was so close to being a masterpiece....and I don't know why it was deemed necessary to not stick with it. I only just realized that this came out a bit before Munich, but still.... Anyways, this film does feature some spectacular moments..especially the action scenes. That I used to own a van that looked 99.9% just like the one Cruise drives around in makes me like this movie in spite of it's faults. The acting is better than average, and the camera work is top notch. Give this one a chance. It's really good, which normally is fine, but it should have been excellent.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2012
This vision of H.G. Wells masterpiece could have been more loyal to the novel. The main problem is that it should have the suspenseful and gut-wrenching events set in London. Instead, the story has been altered into a some scare, all action American movie. However, Spielberg's vision still maintains some major moments from the novel. This doesn't stop 'War of The Worlds' from having superb visuals and acting, especially from Tim Robbins.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2008
Steven Spielberg's "War" is a visual feast, but lacks in a weak plot. Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning's performances and chemistry are what I believed to have saved the film and made it worth watching. Overall decent film, nothing spectacular. 3.5/5
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2007
Its better than you think with loads of action sequences, character and plot development. Cruise elicits sympathy as a guy learning to be a father against been-there-done-that children and under the worst possible scenario ... better than the original.
thmtsang
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2007
Sci-fi movie about an alien invasion. Tom has to protect his estranged kids.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2007
Effects wise this is a very very good film, like all modern sci-fi films, it looks awesome and very realistic. The aliens and their mechanical tripods are slick, shiny and uber cool looking :) whilst the fungus like growth they produce across everything looks brilliant and fully believeable, superb effects, kudos.

But that's it, the acting is the usual over the top, wide eyed blockbuster fare you expect from these high dollar flicks, Cruise is just Cruise like in all his films haha no difference, the kids are good but they have that annoying thing going on which I can't quite explain haha the only decent acting really is Robbins, dependable is the word.

As for this flick against the old one its hard, this new film is great looking of course and more complete due to what can be done but the old film is charming and has that classic movie aura about it that always seems to make them come across well. The quaint effects also are so very likeable hehe the look of the ships, that green hue, the red lasers :) so good.

Both are good and have their pluses and minuses, this is a good flick for sure just overrated methinks.
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2012
As a stand-alone film, it's entertaining and it works, but as a remake...let's just say that the original 50's version is the better film.
TheGame90
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2007
This was a good movie. But I disagree with a lot of things about it. First of all. Why do we follow a bumlike man who's not on good terms with his children....and why does everything look so grey and just dead? It's the war of the worlds. As it is displayed for me...I just feel that....go a head and destroy us all...it's a hell hole anyway...It's us against them...try showing our good side....then we can turn on eachother when times are though. Another thing I disagree with is that the aliens make there first apperance way too early....come on....build the drama....did Planet of the Apes teach you nothing? Now...we see them at the start of the movie....And about half through...it's not interesting anymore...Cause the first halft was good...the second....I couldn't care less...And as far as Spielberg goes....I just wanna say that he did some really good things in this movie....but he did some bad stuff to.....so...it's not really a bad movie...but the whole overall feeling is just bitter..and I wouldn't really recomend it recomend it. And Tom's son should have died...that was the best part of the movie....but no...we can't have that in a Spielberg film
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2007
They're already here.

Saw it again! Excellent movie! This movie hardly has any flaws, it is epic as well as amazing. I could watch it many times again. Love it!

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.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2011
The plot is average. The acting, although very realistic, it's not very natural. The effects... oh lord. This is a good "oh lord"... This movie has the best effects of all time. There is no comparison, I just can't see any other movie with these effects. It's just a bit too good, actually. This makes things much better. The movie is indeed a hit or miss, but it's also indeed thrilling. This is what most alien invasion movies are, thrillers. Most as in, the exception being Men in Black, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, erm, well, uh, 2001: A Space Odyssey... and yes... the movie is about aliens (The monolith (chocolate bar thing, for most) is an alien). So, is it good? Yep, and not over-welling on action like Independence Day, neither. This is the Golden Cheese.
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2007
I enjoyed it on first viewing. It has a strange look to every scene, even before the aliens attack, there's an overuse of cyan (blue/green) unnatural tinting, plus an artificial grain effect. The blood-red weed and purple alien heat rays look glow against the cyan landscape.Money was put into the great alien look of it all. Actor-wise, Tom Cruise was a bit generic concerned dad-of-action in this one. His little daughter Dakota Fanning either stared wide-eyed or screamed uncontrollably, making her not too cute. The teenaged son... well, he didn't really fit into the family unit. While this movie wasn't strong on characters, I watched with amazement and horror all the alien destructive forces. The scene where the alien lander first crashes in the road and cracks up the streets and buildings is frightening. It must've been a wet invasion, because there weren't many burning buildings throughout. Yup, this movie has some frightening sequences done well. I like how we actually do get to see the aliens, in a brief basement scene not unlike the Signs one. There were fun tributes to the original, with a similar alien claw design and the crazy guy living underground (Tim Robbins), even if it was only a basement. I'm surprised the authorities didn't do more or there weren't more media reports of what was going on. The movie was the lonely and crazy journey of Tom Cruise and his kids through a creepily ruined and changed landscape. Their final destination I won't reveal, but it was a relief as the credits rolled. Good for a rental, but I wouldn't want to own it.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2010
Out of all film remakes, this is one of the best to me, and I definitely prefer it over ther original that bored me to death. The effects are top notch in this film and Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning do great jobs as the Father and daughter trying to escape from this alien armageddon on the planet. It is also a faithful adaption to the original novel (which is one of my favorite books,) and does the same thing the original film did, that make the film take place at the time it was made and not the time the novel was written. The apocalyptic scenes of people being turned to ash and the destroyed buildings add to the fantastic detail and CG spectacle to this film, also the aliens are very interesting looking, and the Amphibian-like moving martian war machines are fantastic to look at and the roar it makes is very threatening and intimadating to listen to. Also Morgan Freeman as the narrartor, nice touch.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2011
Saw it in theatres and opposed to others, I actually liked it. Could it have been better? Sure but it was pretty well done.
CloudStrife84
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2007
Call me crazy, but I have a hard time understanding why so many people dislike this movie. Granted that Tom Cruise is mentally deranged and ought to be thrown into the looney bin (he even tried recruiting people to his scientology bull**** during the shooting of this film) , but as an actor he does his job exemplary and as is true for the rest of the cast here. Alien invasion stories is obviously nothing new, but Spielberg has brought his own touch to it that to me felt very fresh and inventive. Especially as you follow the turn of events from the perspective of an innocent family. Another strong point - and much of the reason why I love it so - is that it feels genuinely realistic. You truly experience the terror along with its characters - to me also heightened on a personal level as it reminded me a lot of some vivid nightmares I've had. The only part that falls short of greatness is the overly rushed ending, which felt a bit unsatisfying and left me with many questions unanswered. Other than that though, it's an incredibly thrilling sci-fi gem with perfect directing and state-of-the-art special effects. Definitely within the Top 5 among my all-time favourite Spielberg movies.
murphmann93
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2008
One of my favourite Tom Cruise films. This had me intrigued with Sci-Fi and the special effects were brilliant.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2011
What viewers have to acknowledge immediately is that this isn't an Alien-Invasion film. It's a drama, about a dysfunctional family.

But even with that distinction you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who will tell you they liked any of these characters or found any chemistry between them. In the end it's a series of emotionally inconsequential events delivering little to no feeling for its viewers.

Still, you can't deny how Spielberg rocks the disaster-theme in several well directed scenes from the "average Joe's" perspective. It's visually engaging enough to sit through, that's for sure.
DreamExtractor
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2011
War of the Worlds is one of the greatest close encounter films ever made, but we expected this from Spielberg. After extraterrestrials invade earth, Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) takes his daughter (Dakota Fanning) and older son (Justin Chatwin) to his ex wifes house in Boston for protection, but the things the witness on the way there will be horrifying. Tom Cruise was my one problem with this film, he looked like he was on crack the whole time and his performance was not good. Dakota Fannings scared face made me really feel her terror. I found the plot an amazing journey that showed terror, family bonds, and intensity that will stay in our minds a long time. The effects were amazing as well, everything looked real and it truly has Spielbergs magic touch. This isn't Spielbergs best sci fi, but thats because all of his sci fi movies have been great.
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