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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1258 Ratings

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  1. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    First off, I would give this a 9.5 out if 10. Acting is good. Not amazing, but everyone does a good job. Score was really good. Had an incredible story. It also has really good special effects and great set pieces. Overall, this is a really good movie. Great movie, and one of my favorite Tom cruise movie. Highly recommended.
  2. TinaM.
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    What I love so much is that it is told by one man's view. It keeps you involved and gives you a personal experience.
  3. JillianJ.
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    It makes Indepedence Day look ilke The Muppet Movie.
  4. BeastialG
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    Excellent Movie, The Fx are surreal!
  5. MichaelF.
    Jul 1, 2005
    10
    A monumental film! Blew us away!
  6. DanA.
    Jul 2, 2005
    0
    Absolutely terrible! This movie is an insult to the viewer as it seeks to sell two hours of special effect spectacular but delivers no content. There is almost no story line of any acceptable depth, and all characters are as annoying as hell. There is little explanation for what happens and only a 30 second voice to let you know that the [OMITTED] prevail. Nothing made sense in the movie: Absolutely terrible! This movie is an insult to the viewer as it seeks to sell two hours of special effect spectacular but delivers no content. There is almost no story line of any acceptable depth, and all characters are as annoying as hell. There is little explanation for what happens and only a 30 second voice to let you know that the [OMITTED] prevail. Nothing made sense in the movie: why the aliens came, how the hell they arrived...., why there were bloody vegetations all over the earth, and why they were out there to kill. Finally, the end scene was designed to make you hate the movie if all the previous scenes were not enough.....And what the hell was up with the Tom's son anyway? Here this from me and don't waste your time and money. Expand
  7. FrankO
    Jun 29, 2005
    4
    If your sole reason for not watching this movie is so you don't support Tom Cruise and Scientology then you'll have another excuse. The movie just plain sucked!
  8. Jun 26, 2011
    7
    If anyone can make an amazing blockbuster, it is Spielberg, and he has proven this once again. Overall, this is a rather good film. Technically - simply stunning. Great visual effects, sound and cinematography make it a pleasure to watch. It is one of the rare blockbusters that are actually decent when it comes to the plot, also. Ironically enough, the screenplay is also its weakest point.If anyone can make an amazing blockbuster, it is Spielberg, and he has proven this once again. Overall, this is a rather good film. Technically - simply stunning. Great visual effects, sound and cinematography make it a pleasure to watch. It is one of the rare blockbusters that are actually decent when it comes to the plot, also. Ironically enough, the screenplay is also its weakest point. I was especially annoyed with the ending and the "happy family" crap. The demise of the aliens also came a bit too suddenly, and Spielberg could have made the transition more subtle, more intense. Nonetheless, "War of the Worlds" is going to be definitely one of the many blockbusters of Spielberg's that is going to be remembered as a good, entertaining, and thrilling film. Expand
  9. Apr 17, 2015
    9
    This movie is one my favorite movies of all time. Love every bit of it. Tom Cruise actually killed the role and the little girl did it too. To be honest this my favorite movie because it has suspense and some scenes just left me breathless.
  10. CollinP
    Nov 13, 2009
    8
    The ending was indeed lame, but taken exactly from the book. You got a problem with the ending, take it up with H.G. Wells. In terms of "disaster" movies, this is as good as they get - Spielberg is a master filmmaker. It has heart, adventure, and terror not seen in normal movies of the same ilk. All in all, a worthy picture.
  11. KeithY
    Nov 29, 2005
    3
    I agree with another's remarks, but she was pretty harsh. This movie deserves at least a three. It's funny to read all the half-baked critics who just want their name seen next to Spielberg and Cruise for once. The acting was so bad, I found myself annoyed at how stupid the alien was that it couldn't just squash Tom Thumb in the first 5 minutes. The scenes in the cellar I agree with another's remarks, but she was pretty harsh. This movie deserves at least a three. It's funny to read all the half-baked critics who just want their name seen next to Spielberg and Cruise for once. The acting was so bad, I found myself annoyed at how stupid the alien was that it couldn't just squash Tom Thumb in the first 5 minutes. The scenes in the cellar were absolutely laughable, these Spielberg's tripods were dumb and dumber. I really wanted to like this movie, honest! Starts off quite well, but it went all downhill after about 20 minutes into the movie - Did Spielberg go on vacation and let someone else take over after the first few minutes? Things I hated about this movie 1) Severe plot holes - Usually I don't let a plot hole or two ruin the movie, but this was ridiculous. Plot holes throughout meant that the story just didn't make sense and wasn't believable at all 2) The main characters - Very unlikeable. The audience couldn't care less if they lived or died. The acting was okay, for what they were given to work with. I still have faith in your acting abilities, Tom Cruise. I know you'll do better in your next movie. 3) The pacing in the film is extremely uneven 4) The ending! Very uninspiring and a total let-down. It's as if the director suddenly got bored and didn't care that he was slacking off, thinking hoping that the start of the film will at least get it good reviews. All in all, don't bother with this movie. But if you're still curious and hoping that all the bad reviews were wrong, get it on DVD. It's a renter at best! Expand
  12. May 17, 2014
    9
    War of the Worlds is a near perfect experience however, I had some hard time getting into the visual effects because for some reason I couldn't like the CGI in this movie, I am not saying that the CGI bad but it is out of my league. Despite, the movie is one of the best science fictions in recent memory, it is clever, tense and leaves at the edge of your seat. However, I am not used toWar of the Worlds is a near perfect experience however, I had some hard time getting into the visual effects because for some reason I couldn't like the CGI in this movie, I am not saying that the CGI bad but it is out of my league. Despite, the movie is one of the best science fictions in recent memory, it is clever, tense and leaves at the edge of your seat. However, I am not used to seeing a Steven Spielberg film that is so hardcore and heartless, so I would consider this movie Spielberg's weakest. On the other hand, I would consider it a distinct achievement in movie history of Sci-Fi. It is recommended, other than some weak CGI, it is a wonderful popcorn B movie! Expand
  13. David
    Jun 30, 2005
    1
    I give a one for the incredible special effects. But the acting and directing, sorry Mr. Spielberg, was absolutely lame. There is nothing in the movie except for to see Tom run. See Dakota scream. See his son have the typical teenage communication problems with his divorced father; albeit the world be damned. There is no plot, just a feeling of hopelessness and derpression. And the ending I give a one for the incredible special effects. But the acting and directing, sorry Mr. Spielberg, was absolutely lame. There is nothing in the movie except for to see Tom run. See Dakota scream. See his son have the typical teenage communication problems with his divorced father; albeit the world be damned. There is no plot, just a feeling of hopelessness and derpression. And the ending which is true to the original superior 1953 variety is so lame that the audience was booing. I have never been at a movie where the audience actually boo's at the end. It is completely ludicrous. And if that wasn't enough I could swear that was Gene Barry in a one second non-speaking cameo at the end of the film. And I thought he was dead? After watching this crap he probably wishes he was. This is two hours of non stop destruction without explanation or why we failed in defense of our planet. I could understand if we weren't in the twenty-first century when this takes place but with our fifty year education about UFO's there had to be some reference that we are not alone in this Universe? There isn't a decent line of dialogue in the entire movie. Suspenseful it was but without any type of a plot whatsoever. If you like to see things blow up and Mr. Spielberg's vision of an alien which is no different than what we have seen in many other movies including the far superior Independence Day then you will enjoy this. I left the theater completely empty as the movie was simply awful. Expand
  14. Phil
    Dec 20, 2005
    3
    This movie had so much potential and just did not deliver. The holes in the plot were large and frequent. The main charecters were annoying and at times I wanted them to die. The special effects were good but could not rescue this flop.
  15. JessJ.
    Jun 28, 2005
    0
    This was dumb. I perfereed the original.
  16. TrevorL
    Jul 31, 2008
    10
    Visceral, vile, repulsive and totally awesome. Alien meets the Nazi death camps. And the creepy sound effects as the tripods processed and disgorged human blood towards the conclusion freaked me out-it was the sound of death.
  17. JS
    Dec 5, 2009
    1
    This is the worst movie I've seen in a very long time. It has no style, no personality. Its sole purpose is just to show a small town get blown to pieces in the first 20 minutes. Every other second of the movie is agonizing! Its not even a movie, its what the "nails on a chalk board" sound is to the visual sense. The actors all spend the whole time screaming at each other in a very This is the worst movie I've seen in a very long time. It has no style, no personality. Its sole purpose is just to show a small town get blown to pieces in the first 20 minutes. Every other second of the movie is agonizing! Its not even a movie, its what the "nails on a chalk board" sound is to the visual sense. The actors all spend the whole time screaming at each other in a very melodramatic fashion. Or just screaming in general. I've never seen people scream so much before in my life. If a giant robot is trying to kill me, I'm not going to be like "DAD WHY ARE YOU UPSET ITS ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD!!!! DAD!!! DAD!!! DAD!!! AAAAAAH YOU'RE MAKING ME NERVOUS TRYING TO FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!" The characters don't even have lines when they're not screaming or acting stupid. At one point, Tom Cruise's son begs him to let him go watch a battle between the US army and aliens, and Tom has to try and drag him away; to no success. That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen in a movie, and it was totally non-secateurs. No plot. No nothing. When the pretty visual effects stop momentarily, Tom Cruise resorts to throwing peanut butter and breaking the windows of his house to entertain us. I guess they ran out of budget after making all the terrible CGI. Expand
  18. Aug 28, 2010
    5
    the plot of the original war of the worlds film was better then this. the original was about how helpless we where against a aliens invasion focusing on the the military just getting beatin down . the new one is all about the survivle of tom cruises charicter and his 2 obnoxous kids. the aliens are only there to chase him down . while this is not completely unentertaining it just doesntthe plot of the original war of the worlds film was better then this. the original was about how helpless we where against a aliens invasion focusing on the the military just getting beatin down . the new one is all about the survivle of tom cruises charicter and his 2 obnoxous kids. the aliens are only there to chase him down . while this is not completely unentertaining it just doesnt bring what the original had to the table . woulda been better served being called some thing els . Expand
  19. Sep 12, 2010
    3
    this movie i must say is very unsuccessful in my eyes for starters not providing an entertaining story i thought was even boring in some parts. the acting from the cast is the only thing that saves it in my opinion
  20. Nov 24, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OK...team up Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, and one of the greater science fiction writers' best story...like the saying in "Crazy Like a Fox": "What could possibly happen?". As it turns out, not too much. Cruise running around like a maniac would not be too bad...IF it'd happened following the 'invasion'. However, it seems like that's the way the character normally acts. Dakota Fanning's claim-to-fame seems to be her ability to remember one line of dialog: "SHRIEK!". 'Sir' Spielberg places this film in the modern day, which might have worked. However, in this case, it didn't. In his re-imagining of the invasion, it turns out the aliens have been here all along (Spoiler...naw...). The so-called effects just seem too Michael Bay-ish, with the only item that I enjoyed being the 'harvesting' tripod. I will mention that the ending was great...it meant this tripe was finally over. Expand
  21. Apr 26, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. That is the first one in my "black list" os worst movies ever.
    I hate when a history force too much to give a good end without any reason.

    The movie dont have a start, a middle and an end, have nothing. Every behavior from humans and aliens are so stupid. The script has so bizarre errors. Like someone recording a PEM with a cam, or Tom Cruise leting off the city in a car with ALL cars stoped in the streets, how?

    When i saw the end, i just ask "why"? The perspect of view was amazing, but all the rest was disastrous.
    Expand
  22. ClaireD.
    Jun 30, 2005
    8
    A beautiful, scary, thrilling visual feast. Fast-paced momentum and excellent attachment of POV to Cruise's character. Highly recommended!
  23. DudleyR.
    Jun 30, 2005
    3
    The movie was like my name in that it was a DUD. Lots of running without much else. The dialogue was terrible and the storyline nonexistent. Spielberg crossed the line with many social and moral issues. This movie is definitely not suited for children under ten. This is a case of taking a great classic in the orginal and adding nothing to it. It is a regurgitation but without the appeal The movie was like my name in that it was a DUD. Lots of running without much else. The dialogue was terrible and the storyline nonexistent. Spielberg crossed the line with many social and moral issues. This movie is definitely not suited for children under ten. This is a case of taking a great classic in the orginal and adding nothing to it. It is a regurgitation but without the appeal of its predecessor. There is no explanation for anything as the pods were hidden beneath the earth many millions of years ago. Somehow the aliens managed to bury the pods without anyone knowing but when they return they can't deal with our atmosphere? Preposterous. And what was with that fertilizer nonsense? Just terrible in every sense. Very disappointing. Expand
  24. AllenH.
    Jul 1, 2005
    8
    Special effects - you bet - they will blow you away. Storyline - good, but not great. The ending was a bit too tidy for my tastes - the disposition of Cruise and Fanning and the mother was a stretch and the "why" of what happened to the aliens could have been fleshed out a bit more. But the journey to the end of the movie is great - there is tension througout as you wonder what will Special effects - you bet - they will blow you away. Storyline - good, but not great. The ending was a bit too tidy for my tastes - the disposition of Cruise and Fanning and the mother was a stretch and the "why" of what happened to the aliens could have been fleshed out a bit more. But the journey to the end of the movie is great - there is tension througout as you wonder what will happen next to Cruise and his family and whether they survive. The role that Cruise (one of our biggest movie stars) plays is so out of character for him that you never quite buy into the "blue collar" dad. Tim Robbins overplays the "survivalist" role. And you wonder at some point why no one else but Cruise figures out how to repair their vehicle. But the movie is slick and scary and tense and worthy of the summer blockbuster mantle. Expand
  25. JenaM.
    Jul 2, 2005
    10
    It grips you, shows no mercy, and lets you go only to never forget this magical experience. This is why we go to the movies.
  26. MarkA.
    Jul 2, 2005
    7
    Amazing dark intense film that sticks with you. The train sequence is brief but chilling. If only Spielberg had used someone other than Tom Cruise. He has little range and no depth. The ending is a little too cheery considering the nature of the rest of the film.
  27. Nickp.
    Jul 2, 2005
    10
    This is extremely frustrating that people are giving this 0's. People, this is an excellent, well-made, high quality movie, and it is honestly one of the best movies I have ever seen in the theater for a long time, and I consider myself a fairly difficult to impress patron. If you see this movie, you'll be glad you did. It is VERY intense however, which to me is a good thing....
  28. Melissa
    Jul 2, 2005
    6
    Okay film, but not as great as I was lead to believe from the reviews. Cruise did no acting in this film, he was just himself - a jerk.
  29. mischab
    Jul 30, 2005
    10
    I loved every minute of it.
  30. MaryC.
    Jul 6, 2005
    0
    God take me now! It is unbelievably dull and unrealistic.
  31. FrancoB.
    Jul 7, 2005
    10
    Spielberg's masterpiece.
  32. JustinN.
    Jul 9, 2005
    6
    Well directed and even well acted, but the story basically comes down to aliens being so stupid, they can't invade Earth right. I still enjoyed it though compared to M. Night's Signs (what a stinking pile).
  33. GregH.
    Jul 9, 2005
    0
    It was a waste of my time. For a film with a hundred million dollar budget, stevie comes up with this crap???? Don't pay $8 to torture yourself... it is pure rubbish.
  34. JoanW.
    Jul 9, 2005
    0
    This is not a bad movie. It is a terrible one. The novel was written in what? 1898? But if stevie can change the location, and add in a dysfunctional family, why can't he make some sense out of it. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING make sense in this film! I hate it!
  35. LifeCoach
    Oct 14, 2005
    1
    I liked the lightning and weather effects, but ALL the crowd scenes were terrible. It was a first date movie with someone I didn't last more than a month with. And, I am tempted to blame this waste of money and time and energy and online time to write this review. I want to have a subtitle to this movie: "Spielberg and Cruise, The Betrayal."
  36. SVGInc.
    Jun 29, 2005
    0
    How can this movie get more than a zero? i'd give it negatives it this rating system had it. was it thrilling? sure. but if you want an ending, forget about it. worse ending ever. it [the ending] will leave you dazed and confused, cursing on the way out. horrible horrible horrible. for those who have seen this movie, i feel your pain, but let me ask you this: where did "robbie" come from?
  37. MarcD
    Jun 29, 2005
    9
    This is THE summer blockbuster. I was glued to the screen the other time. And I haven't felt such a sense of dread while watching a movie in ages. A work of art.
  38. RJSamson
    Jun 29, 2005
    6
    War of the Worlds is a visual spectacle but pointless. The aliens just came and died without much exposition. As a result, it was flat, but still something to watch.
  39. [Anonymous]
    Jun 30, 2005
    4
    The movie had a really nice look to it and that was about it. Tom Cruise's acting was exactly the same as it is in every other movie. Spielberg seemed to just rip off all of his old movies, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Minority Report. In fact just combining if you combined Minority Report and Jurassic Park, that would be enough. There were way too many scenes that simply dragged on for far The movie had a really nice look to it and that was about it. Tom Cruise's acting was exactly the same as it is in every other movie. Spielberg seemed to just rip off all of his old movies, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Minority Report. In fact just combining if you combined Minority Report and Jurassic Park, that would be enough. There were way too many scenes that simply dragged on for far too long. Too much just waiting around and nothing happening. The pacing of the movie was far to slow. Even the action scenes, although they looked wonderful, didn't seem too engaging. Expand
  40. JohnH.
    Jun 30, 2005
    5
    A 10...until the final 5 minutes. The worst ending since Signs & AI.
  41. Corky
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    Great visuals, great sound. Scary - I found myself with clenched fingers and holding my breath in some spots. Dakota Fanning was wonderful and will probably be nominated for an acting award. The ending could have been done better. The movie provided alot of tension throughout but then it was like we've reached the end and everything is okay again. Huh?
  42. KellieP.
    Jun 30, 2005
    0
    No heart at all. No purpose. I sat wondering what exactly was the point?
  43. djd
    Jun 30, 2005
    3
    Tom Cruise has hit a new low; his arrogance cuts through all the bells and whistles. Amazing, dark images-wonderfully restrained score by JW-flacid plotting-and worst Sci-Fi ending ever!
  44. CoralC.
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    The best film of the year, hands down. Deals with human arrogance so well.
  45. alexg.
    Jun 30, 2005
    7
    No story, only good special effects that 139 milons can buy. steve spielberg is so predictable now.
  46. LeonardoU.
    Jun 30, 2005
    3
    Just an action packed movie. Weak plot and he tried to do this clever plot twist like m night shamala that really didn't work out in his favor, I think. Well made but not well thought out. I would prefer to see a lot of other movies again that are out over this one. I like noise but this movie did give me a migraine.
  47. RenaudA.
    Jun 30, 2005
    4
    I'm sorry you all, but the level of this film is very low.... The good point at it are a couple of good scenes like the one with the airplane and the boat, but please, why do ETs must always be like that? Awful, big, like monsters, attacking... It's too clichee.... And there are a lot of mistakes! How can the guy film what's happening if no electronical device works! And I'm sorry you all, but the level of this film is very low.... The good point at it are a couple of good scenes like the one with the airplane and the boat, but please, why do ETs must always be like that? Awful, big, like monsters, attacking... It's too clichee.... And there are a lot of mistakes! How can the guy film what's happening if no electronical device works! And why does only Tom Cruise has a working car? I'm sorry, but I don't recognize this film as a real Spielber's one. Expand
  48. D
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    People in this list are giving this movie a 0? a Zero? You're putting this as being the worst movie ever made? Are you people crazy? a ZERO? Not even a 5 or 6, which is fialing, but a ZERO? Zero movies are when the camera man forgets to turn thacamera on... or is out of focus. This was a well put together and filmed movie. If you don't like the story... fine, but that People in this list are giving this movie a 0? a Zero? You're putting this as being the worst movie ever made? Are you people crazy? a ZERO? Not even a 5 or 6, which is fialing, but a ZERO? Zero movies are when the camera man forgets to turn thacamera on... or is out of focus. This was a well put together and filmed movie. If you don't like the story... fine, but that doesn't mena this is the worst movie known to mankind ever! Have you seen house of 1000 corpses? Ishtar? Alone in the Dark? Expand
  49. DavidD
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    This was a top-notch movie. The effects were fabulous, and the story was a total ride. There was this crazy feeling of dread an oppression that propelled this movie forward. It was an intense movie. Mass destruction, mass exodus, total chaos. I couldn't see how you could do this movie better.
  50. LarryB.
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    Awsome.
  51. RicoF.
    Jun 30, 2005
    0
    Don't believe the hype. This movie is lousy.
  52. derekb.
    Jun 30, 2005
    2
    The amazing story of how a group of people you aren't supposed to like survive an inept invasion by cute, fragile aliens. Long boring stretches are mixed oddly with bits that might still excite folks that read the first print of the novel with the same name. Nothing makes any sense and the last quarter of movie is unforgivable. Topical cultural analogs add nothing, and might be The amazing story of how a group of people you aren't supposed to like survive an inept invasion by cute, fragile aliens. Long boring stretches are mixed oddly with bits that might still excite folks that read the first print of the novel with the same name. Nothing makes any sense and the last quarter of movie is unforgivable. Topical cultural analogs add nothing, and might be insulting. At least the movie stopped abruptly. It was germs. Expand
  53. AlexM
    Jun 30, 2005
    0
    What on God's green earth did i just see!?!? This load of tripe looked great and that was it. Where was the story?? Remind me again why Tim Robbins won that oscar?? More importantly, where was that war?!?! I paid money to see a war not Cruise & Co. running around the east coast! Are you kidding?? When do birds hover around something gigantic that moves and makes noise? How did Cruise What on God's green earth did i just see!?!? This load of tripe looked great and that was it. Where was the story?? Remind me again why Tim Robbins won that oscar?? More importantly, where was that war?!?! I paid money to see a war not Cruise & Co. running around the east coast! Are you kidding?? When do birds hover around something gigantic that moves and makes noise? How did Cruise come up with that conclusion so quick?? Without a doubt, one of Spielberg's & Cruise's worst movies ever. I'll stick with ID4 -dumb but at least it entertained and thrilled. Expand
  54. CharlesG.
    Jun 30, 2005
    1
    Run for your life away from the theater that is before they steal your hard earned dollars. Much hype and little else. Suspenseful yes, but without any plot. The ending is not to be believed. Sucked.
  55. WRoss
    Jun 30, 2005
    8
    Don't listen to the negative comments. This is a great ride. Period. Only idiots comment about no story line. It's a martian attacks movie. Its B-grade material in the hands of a A- list director. Lighten up!
  56. TomC.
    Jul 1, 2005
    0
    I may not have liked this movie because I don't know the history of psychiatry. Why is Tom Cruise so awful? Please make him stop. Free Katie!
  57. Solidus
    Jul 11, 2005
    3
    Cacophonous, hollow monstrosity that wants to have it both ways in familiar pompous, heavy-handed Spielberg style: entertaining Z-grade destruction and gripping family drama. It fails spectacularly on either count. Say what you want about ID4, but at least that superior invasion movie had a modicum of sense not to take itself THIS ludicrously solemn. "Daddy, was it the TERRORISTS?" MOOOOO!
  58. Bron
    Jul 1, 2005
    5
    Sort of a mess.... sort of okay. Tom Cruise is just not believable as a dockworking single dad in New Jersey. Please. Dakota Fanning, as talented as she is, just shrieks and shrieks and is given nothing else to do. Do we really need yet another movie, no matter how "allegorical" or "timely" it may be, that involves destruction of the known world? It's numbing. And say what you will Sort of a mess.... sort of okay. Tom Cruise is just not believable as a dockworking single dad in New Jersey. Please. Dakota Fanning, as talented as she is, just shrieks and shrieks and is given nothing else to do. Do we really need yet another movie, no matter how "allegorical" or "timely" it may be, that involves destruction of the known world? It's numbing. And say what you will about the faitfulness to the book (and its original ending), but the last minute or so was terrifyingly ... lame. The entire audience giggled in confusion and embarrassment for what is quite possibly the most lackluster, anti-climactic cinematic finale of the past decade. Can you say "cop-out"? Expand
  59. Droog
    Jul 1, 2005
    4
    It boggles my mind when I see the superlative reviews being bestowed upon this movie by the LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, and others because War of the Worlds underachieves like no other movie I've seen in the past few months. In what is basically a B movie with an A movie budget, War of the Worlds delivers a threadbare plot of aliens hellbent on vaporizing everything on earth. It boggles my mind when I see the superlative reviews being bestowed upon this movie by the LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, and others because War of the Worlds underachieves like no other movie I've seen in the past few months. In what is basically a B movie with an A movie budget, War of the Worlds delivers a threadbare plot of aliens hellbent on vaporizing everything on earth. Granted, this is straight out of HG Wells original story. But in the absence of any compelling rationale for the alien attack, the burden of carrying the momentum of this film falls on Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Justin Chatwin. Ugh. Three one-dimensional characters do *not* create three-dimensional characterization! Cruise's flawed hero spends 3/4 of the movie running around like a buffoon, incapable of speech. Dakota Fanning overacts and screams so much that within the first thirty minutes I wish she would be vaporized. Justin Chatwin's caricature of a misunderstood, angsty teen is incredibly annoying. In essence, the family subplot fails miserably. And while Speilberg does a fine job directing the CGI sequences, the utter simplicity of the original tale falls flat when reinterpreted in the present because it fails to acknowledge the increased sophistication of the 21st Century masses. People in this movie seem incapable of rationale thought. Aliens are killing humans? Try running away instead of perpetually gawking at them! Aliens are following large herds of people? Hmm ... maybe we ought to hide in back roads and basements instead of gathering like idiots at the pier! The fact is that people are not stupid. Spielberg's failure to acknowledge our basic intelligence dooms this movie to being another dumb action flick when it could have been so much more. Expand
  60. Anthony
    Jul 15, 2005
    7
    Overall a decent spielberg film, but not one of his classics. does not fulfill its full portiential in my opinion as the movie concentrates too much on the family which isnt as interesting as if it went with a more expansive set of characters. media reaction would have been interesting too. parts are a bit lame especially the conlcusion, looking uninspired compared to some of the epic sfx Overall a decent spielberg film, but not one of his classics. does not fulfill its full portiential in my opinion as the movie concentrates too much on the family which isnt as interesting as if it went with a more expansive set of characters. media reaction would have been interesting too. parts are a bit lame especially the conlcusion, looking uninspired compared to some of the epic sfx scenes. the tripods are cool looking, though an original vehicle would be better. aliens are indepedence day rip offs though. cruise and the rest of the casts are generally good, if not very deep characters. Expand
  61. NancyR.
    Jul 10, 2005
    1
    The movie is plain out terrible. Case closed. It is not a War of The Worlds, it is not even a War as the title suggests. It simply portrays a dysfunctional family against the back drop of an invasion from another planet that was million of years in the making. To begin with the entire family led by an inept Tom Cruise who is completely miscast is annoying. Nothing makes any sense as one The movie is plain out terrible. Case closed. It is not a War of The Worlds, it is not even a War as the title suggests. It simply portrays a dysfunctional family against the back drop of an invasion from another planet that was million of years in the making. To begin with the entire family led by an inept Tom Cruise who is completely miscast is annoying. Nothing makes any sense as one minute all power is stopped including wrist watches as that idea was stolen from the Day The Earth Stood Still. But in the next breath a camcorder is working to demonstrate one of the faceless victims being disintergrated. Mr. Cruise has the only working car and highways to drive it on in NJ. As for the war aspect, these super intelligent creatures who are barbaric and have been watching us for a million years forgot to check if they could breath our air? I don't think so. Even dating back 100 years to WW I and WW II everyone is trained with gas masks. Are we to believe that these super aliens have no filtration system whatsoever on their Tripods nor did they ever check to see if they could breathe our air during the million years they have been here? It is too stupid to even be considered a possiblity. And if there is a WAR OF THE WORLDS how about some insight into how we are going to fight them? In the 1953 original version Gene Barry who has a all too brief cameo at the end of this version is hell bent on trying to find an answer. Unfortunately he could not which is why the original worked so well. But for Spielberg to set this in 2005 and not explain away a basic concern for all nations now a days vis a vis Sadaam and IRAQ with his supposed weapons of Mass Destruction and biological warfare is ludicrous. One minute the aliens are completely unstoppable and in the next they are the stupidest creatures in the galaxy? I don't think that if we traveled to Mars that after studing them for all these years that our astronauts and scientists would be unaware of Mar's atsmosphere. Do you? As for the storyline of Tom rediscovering his children it is preposterous. There was nothing to even remotely suggest why he left his children in the first place, and secondly, there is nothing to like about his children as they were both spoiled rotten brats who should have been vaporized to give us a better story. All in all this movie is disjointed from the beginning to the end. The special effects are good but by the first hour there are so many that no one seems to care one bit. We keep waiting for an actual War to start but it is never forthcoming. And that celler scene is horrible. And the ending is possibly the lamest of all time. Did Spielberg run out of film? If so, it should have happened in the first fifteen minutes and spared the audience the pain of watching this crap. Expand
  62. JoeR.
    Jul 1, 2005
    0
    Tom Cruise should go back to jumping up and down on Oprah's couch. This movie is horrible.
  63. PaulL.
    Jul 19, 2005
    6
    I was entertained for 2 hours. It's not that bad. You get what you expect. The most annoying thing for me is that the story does not treat people or the characters with much respect. They become a murderous mob over one of the few working cars (hey there's only 200 of us, we can all fit even though we have no where to go), they want to run to the aliens instead of away from them I was entertained for 2 hours. It's not that bad. You get what you expect. The most annoying thing for me is that the story does not treat people or the characters with much respect. They become a murderous mob over one of the few working cars (hey there's only 200 of us, we can all fit even though we have no where to go), they want to run to the aliens instead of away from them (Dad stop fighting me. Don't you get it I have to get closer to those human killing machines.), they continue to use tactics that don't work (Hey these missiles don't work. Let's keep using them. But this time get really close so that their lasers can shoot us.), or they just plain turn stupid or crazy (hey instead staying really quite, let's make lots of noise. That way we'll survive. Oh and run away from your Dad and towards the aliens while you're at it.). The irrationality of the aliens didn't make much sense either. (let's destroy everybody one person at a time and wait to colonize the Earth after humans have evolved). Despite these annoyances, I was entertained. The saving grace is the special effects, and the movie does an excellent job of portraying the feeling of utter helplessness and doom, like you're in a scary nightmare. Expand
  64. MikeH.
    Jul 2, 2005
    5
    Disappointing acting...nice effects...and no real feeling to it.
  65. NickH.
    Jul 2, 2005
    4
    Stay home, read the book (it was written in 1898), and then watch the original movie (made in 1953 I believe). It's a much more rewarding experience than seeing this new, louder, more annoying "film." My biggest problem is Speilberg didn't try with this movie like he did with Jaws, the effects and acting are all sub-par. Further more, Dakota Fanning (the daughter) steals the Stay home, read the book (it was written in 1898), and then watch the original movie (made in 1953 I believe). It's a much more rewarding experience than seeing this new, louder, more annoying "film." My biggest problem is Speilberg didn't try with this movie like he did with Jaws, the effects and acting are all sub-par. Further more, Dakota Fanning (the daughter) steals the film when Tom Cruise is the hero. This doesn't bode well. And on a final note, people who complain about the aliens not being able to scan our air for bacteria and then create antidotes, look when it was written. Give Wells all the credit he deserves for thinking this up in the 1890s! It doesn't work well in todays settings because of the fact that now we know we CAN scan the air for bacteria dangerous to us. Not a good movie, anyways. Cruise, watch your ass or you may go the way of Costner. Expand
  66. KaR
    Jul 2, 2005
    1
    In this days... great f/x doesn't justify a bad movie like this one. The first thing to do before an invasion is recognising the place, so, how can a group of aliens with that technology fail in a basic strategic point like that one?????
  67. ChrisH.
    Jul 2, 2005
    3
    Great special effects surrounded by totally unbelievable invasion concept, boring stupid kids, and a main character with no sense of where he is or where he is going. The original 50's flick was a better story even with it's car tail-light raygun.
  68. JoshG.
    Jul 2, 2005
    10
    Dont listen to the red reviews scattered here, obviously they have lost function of their brains. This movie did something that a movie hasnt done in a long time. It made me feel, it made me care for the character and worry for their well being. The aliens were downright creepy, and the shots were tastefully done. The range of human emotion here is incredible, as is the relationships eachDont listen to the red reviews scattered here, obviously they have lost function of their brains. This movie did something that a movie hasnt done in a long time. It made me feel, it made me care for the character and worry for their well being. The aliens were downright creepy, and the shots were tastefully done. The range of human emotion here is incredible, as is the relationships each character has with one another. This movie does it all right, do youself a favor and go see this fantastic film. Expand
  69. DavidK.
    Jul 2, 2005
    2
    Everyone is mean. You almost want to root against humanity. Sure, the special effects are unreal, but so are all the characters.
  70. SteveS
    Jul 26, 2005
    0
    Saw it last week, people were laughing, stupied, stupied, stupied movie. No story, no plot. Was going to ask for our money back but the wife told me not to. While leaving one of the movie employees was asking "how did you like your movie?" The guy behind us stated "It sucked".
  71. Trentv.
    Jul 2, 2005
    10
    This is an outstanding film. Highly polished, intelligent, great acting, and VERY suspenseful. I strongly reccomend seeing this movie.
  72. Commander
    Jul 20, 2005
    8
    I can imagine that there will be many people not realy seeing this picture for what it is. Forget about why do they want to destroy us forget about what is the red weed and forget get about how they all die. i saw this film as a journey of one man taking some responability in his life and how this one man is witnessing something way bigger than he can comprehend. you wont see these aliens I can imagine that there will be many people not realy seeing this picture for what it is. Forget about why do they want to destroy us forget about what is the red weed and forget get about how they all die. i saw this film as a journey of one man taking some responability in his life and how this one man is witnessing something way bigger than he can comprehend. you wont see these aliens approaching earth and you wont see them attacking other locations around the world, what you do see is a war seen through the eyes of someone who hasnt a clue to what is realy happening and is just a refugee like the rest of the people trying to save there own hides. Great film apart from the last 3 mins which was totally pointless. Expand
  73. GustavoH.R.
    Jul 2, 2005
    7
    As a huge Spielberg admirer, I'll be quick and totally unbiased: this is not a first-rate Spielberg film simply because it really lacks that familiar sense of sheer magic and wonder (in this case, it should be terror) that were always there in his great classics. Not even composer John Williams was inspired - where is that easily recognizable, memorable musical theme? Nowhere. War of As a huge Spielberg admirer, I'll be quick and totally unbiased: this is not a first-rate Spielberg film simply because it really lacks that familiar sense of sheer magic and wonder (in this case, it should be terror) that were always there in his great classics. Not even composer John Williams was inspired - where is that easily recognizable, memorable musical theme? Nowhere. War of the Worlds lacks impact, resonance. There's another thing that bothered me a little. It seems Spielberg really enjoyed being praised for creating the climax scene right in the beginning of the film - like he did in Saving Private Ryan. The moment when the first tripod emerges from the ground and attacks everybody and everything is exhilarating. There isn't one more scene like that in the rest of the film. The whole thing just feels anti-climatic - even the surprisingly gruesome moments in the third act. And especially that familiar happy ending. There's little emotional involvement with the "troubled family" subplot (which could actually be considered the main plot, if you look at it with another, more open perspective) because the three main characters lack depth. Which wasn't the case in the much more effective yet simpler Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I thought I would never write something like this in a review of a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. But here it goes: Dakota Fanning and her panic attacks were irritating, even though she played the part well. Cruise and Chatwin had slightly better characters to work with. Even Jurassic Park seems more balanced and convincing in terms of character development. Writer David Koepp is hardly a genius and we all know that. Spielberg did what he could with a mediocre screenplay. All in all, it is a good popcorn film. Fun to watch and undeniably different from other Spielberg films of the same genre. I feel like watching it again. This one might be a grower. Time will tell. The verdict: quaffable, but uh... far from transcendent, as Miles would say in Sideways. *** out of *****. Expand
  74. AnthonyV.
    Jul 3, 2005
    1
    War of the Worlds was one of the worst movies I've seen in years. Dakota Fanning's performance was the best part of the film and unfortunately was totally not believable. Most 10-year-olds don't act like they're 47. As for the rest of the film, the story was terrible, there were more holes in it than a golf course, everything about the movie was clichéd, Tom War of the Worlds was one of the worst movies I've seen in years. Dakota Fanning's performance was the best part of the film and unfortunately was totally not believable. Most 10-year-olds don't act like they're 47. As for the rest of the film, the story was terrible, there were more holes in it than a golf course, everything about the movie was clichéd, Tom Cruise was despicable, Tim Robbins was misused, the special effects did nothing new, the movie made humanity out to be a bunch of desperate and untrustworthy sloths, and the ending was the most sudden and most contrived Hollywood ending I've ever seen. I actually walked out of the theatre angry. Spielberg has made not only his worst film but one of the worst films of 2005. Expand
  75. HeidiW.
    Jul 3, 2005
    0
    Garbage In - Garbage Out. This was so bad that I could fill up an encylopedia with everything that is wrong with this movie. You can start with a completely miscast Tom Cruise. That is until you read who put up the money for this farce and there is none other than Tom Cruise with Steven Spielberg in partnership. He sleepwalks his way through this drek while carrying an 88-year old Dakota Garbage In - Garbage Out. This was so bad that I could fill up an encylopedia with everything that is wrong with this movie. You can start with a completely miscast Tom Cruise. That is until you read who put up the money for this farce and there is none other than Tom Cruise with Steven Spielberg in partnership. He sleepwalks his way through this drek while carrying an 88-year old Dakota Fanning who is really ten. As for the rest of the story, sorry but there isn't any to tell. Totally contrived flick without much of anything except for the worst ending of a movie in recent motion picture history. This is a disgrace to all who participated in it. The only saving grace was the narration by the great Morgan Freeman. I bet he was glad he wasn't seen and hopes that no one even recognizes his voice. To be associated with this garbage is a major strike on one's career. Avoid at all costs. Expand
  76. CherylS.
    Jul 3, 2005
    4
    A string of flashy set pieces held together with nothing at all - please take the trouble to tell a real story next time you charge us $9.50 to sit through one of your overblown spectacles, Speilberg.
  77. BenB.
    Jul 4, 2005
    7
    It is best that a man
  78. WalterEgo
    Jul 4, 2005
    0
    A WARNING FOR THE PEOPLE OF EARTH! What's worse: an honorable death at the hands (claws?) of superior-intellect Martians...or two hours trapped with Tom Cruise? Choose carefully, foolish mortals with $9 in your pocket and nothing better to do. MARTIAN COMMUNICATION: END
  79. TomA.
    Jul 4, 2005
    0
    [***SPOILERS***] Let's see the audience actually booed at the end of the flick as that is how bad a movie this is. When the bodies float down stream which I think is supposed to be a scary moment, the audience giggles. So much for the suspense. As for the ending there are no words to describe the last scene. Let's see the City of Boston has been totally destroyed and is without [***SPOILERS***] Let's see the audience actually booed at the end of the flick as that is how bad a movie this is. When the bodies float down stream which I think is supposed to be a scary moment, the audience giggles. So much for the suspense. As for the ending there are no words to describe the last scene. Let's see the City of Boston has been totally destroyed and is without power. But there's Tom in the center of town walking up to a beautiful brownstone, and meeting him at the door is his beautiful ex-wife, her parents (Gene Barry) in his Sunday best with the only light on in the entire City. I mean why should his inlaws seek cover like every other person on the planet. Why should his exwife return to NJ to try and find her children as Tom is doing by bringing them to her Boston? If anyone wants to make sense of this irrational junk then please by all means explain it away. But the real reason Tom travels to a MAJOR city where the aliens are anhilating everything in sight is because he has to drop the kids off so that he can go to Scientolgoy Bible Study class with Katie Holmes. After watching Tom in this crap and how he interacts with kids, Katie the smartest move you could ever make is to run for your life. I would rather be captured by an alien, disintergrated with a ray gun and used as fertilizer for those beautiful red blood roots that were everywhere, except of course, for the beautful little brownstone at Tom's house. Talk about the worst movie of the year folks, this is it. And I would like to commend Metacritic for giving this film a rating of 7.2. There are more 0's, 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's then there are 10's but somehow the average is 7.2. That's about as easy to explain as what Steven Spielberg was thinking when he made this crap. If HG Wells was alive today he would probably kill himself after watching this terrible terrible movie. The last narration by Morgan Freeman should have said...In the end there was still TOM. I think I want to puke. Expand
  80. Mobius
    Jul 4, 2005
    8
    War Of The Worlds (2005) is based on the H.G Wells novel of the same name. so for you people out there who have not read a H.G Wells book then you are not going to like this film because your not going to understand it i.e whats the red weed how come all the aliens just die , if you have to ask these questions then dont even bother rating this movie. as for me i totally understand it and War Of The Worlds (2005) is based on the H.G Wells novel of the same name. so for you people out there who have not read a H.G Wells book then you are not going to like this film because your not going to understand it i.e whats the red weed how come all the aliens just die , if you have to ask these questions then dont even bother rating this movie. as for me i totally understand it and i have read the book . please remember that this story was told over 100 years ago and this film still remains close to the book so if you want to see an idiot version and you are a bit thick go and rent independance day. Expand
  81. LeeF
    Jul 5, 2005
    5
    Ham-fisted, but a great summer matinee. Not the best movie ever made, and certainly doesn't rate a 10 by any stretch.
  82. QBeing
    Jul 6, 2005
    6
    This is definitely Matinee Fare. Don't spend full price to see it, but it does need a big screen to do it some justice. Overall very true to the book, but the application very contrived. Its the little thing that piss me off, like when every car in 30 miles is suddenly incapacitated where they stood, Tom Cruise is still able to drive at speeds in excess of 80 mph because miraulously This is definitely Matinee Fare. Don't spend full price to see it, but it does need a big screen to do it some justice. Overall very true to the book, but the application very contrived. Its the little thing that piss me off, like when every car in 30 miles is suddenly incapacitated where they stood, Tom Cruise is still able to drive at speeds in excess of 80 mph because miraulously there is alway enough room to drive 1 car through. these little3 iconsisitencies are what destroy a film for me. other than that about what I expected. Some seens a little long but overall not bad. Expand
  83. TimL.
    Jul 6, 2005
    5
    The most disappointed I've been in a theater in a long time. Was THE movie I was looking forward to seeing the most this summer...oh, well, bring on Charlie.
  84. JoeB.
    Jul 6, 2005
    0
    What an sucky show! It left me cheated.
  85. AmyL.
    Jul 6, 2005
    0
    Does injustice to H.G Wells novel... Wells will roll in his grave! The novel is meant to be sad and realistic, not absurbingly up up the rainbow happy.
  86. MikeW.
    Jul 6, 2005
    0
    It was a big waste of time.
  87. Captain
    Jul 6, 2005
    8
    I enjoyed this film and got what i expected. people if your gonna do a review dont give it a 0 out of 10 that just imature and unrealistic review, this film may have it questionable points but be honest its not complete pile of shite and then again its not a masterpiece. overall its a good action flick that will keep you busy for a couple of hours.
  88. BruceL.
    Jul 7, 2005
    0
    I left after the 1st hour, it was truely horrible! Save your money!
  89. PaulF.
    Jul 7, 2005
    8
    Acting 7, screne writing 7, Concept 9, and Special Effects 11+ gives this movie an 8.5 average but I round down to an 8 for Dokota Fanning's annoying over acted screaming. For the most part the actors and actresses did an adequate job except for Tim Robbins who i agree with some should have had the lead role. Not only can he act but he looks a little more like the dock worker than Acting 7, screne writing 7, Concept 9, and Special Effects 11+ gives this movie an 8.5 average but I round down to an 8 for Dokota Fanning's annoying over acted screaming. For the most part the actors and actresses did an adequate job except for Tim Robbins who i agree with some should have had the lead role. Not only can he act but he looks a little more like the dock worker than pretty boy Cruise. But whatever the case it worked out. I pretty much enjoyed this movie from start to finish and was surprised how much I laughed and was not scared, though a get the feeling scary was part of the effect they were going for. But come on, aliens from space invasion movies as a whole is a campy concept that should not be taken too seriously. If you have a relaxed attitude about watching this movie you will enjoy it a whole lot better. The special effects and Tom Crusie cover in Pixy Dust (well not quite pixy dust but you'll have to go see the movie to see what I mean) should be reason enough to see this fun summer movie. Usually I'm disappointed at movies that are a 7 or 8 but could have been a 10 like this one, but I didn't think about it too much this time, I just enjoyed the show. I hope you go and do the same. Expand
  90. vermind.
    Jul 8, 2005
    4
    What a missed opportunity that was. It could have been such a good film, all the elements were there, they just got put together in a lousy way. At the beginning I quite enjoyed it, but it seemed to fall apart around the scene where Cruise and family lost their car to the mob. After that I found myself yawning a lot. And another thing about that scene, how come out of a crowd of about What a missed opportunity that was. It could have been such a good film, all the elements were there, they just got put together in a lousy way. At the beginning I quite enjoyed it, but it seemed to fall apart around the scene where Cruise and family lost their car to the mob. After that I found myself yawning a lot. And another thing about that scene, how come out of a crowd of about three hundred Americans, only two of them had guns? In the most war like nation on earth they Expand
  91. SharonB.
    Jul 9, 2005
    6
    So many plot holes... I can't imagine H.G. Wells not filling them in for us.
  92. TyroneA.
    Jul 9, 2005
    0
    Just saw this monstrosity of garbage. Not believable and certainly not enjoyable. The movie abruptly ends with the lamest of endings I have ever seen. I just felt cheated.
  93. AlbertH.
    Jul 9, 2005
    0
    I saw this movie last night. The theater was far from full so I knew right away that the naysayers on Metacritic must be right before even a single frame was shown. 20 minutes later when everything had stopped working even your Timex, I realized that Spielberg had lost him mind as the videocamcorder worked to show the alien, pants were flying around after people were disintegrated, and I saw this movie last night. The theater was far from full so I knew right away that the naysayers on Metacritic must be right before even a single frame was shown. 20 minutes later when everything had stopped working even your Timex, I realized that Spielberg had lost him mind as the videocamcorder worked to show the alien, pants were flying around after people were disintegrated, and Tom found the only working car in New Jersey. Worse yet with every other car on the highway stalled, somehow, there was always a lane for Tom to drive through and around at about 50 MPH. Has Spielberg ever seen the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway at rush hour or the roads that are parallel to these Highways and Parkways? Simply preposterous. And it gets worse. Do you really think that mano-to-mano that the diminutive five feet five inch pipsqueak Tom Cruise could even hurt, let alone kill, Tim Robbins who is is six feet four inches? As for those kids, 30 mintues into the film they became a total distraction. The non story took away from the overall movie. Nothing made any sense and you cared nothing for any of the characters. People were booing and walking out of the theater. As for Larry K and his perfect ten, all I can say is either he smoked some heavy weed or sniffed some glue before entering the theater because he certainly did not see the same movie we all saw. It is awful and that ending... Expand
  94. Z.Weber
    Jul 9, 2005
    4
    The movie wasn't believable. I understand the book was written many years ago, but come on! The worst was when Robbie runs into the alien gathering then everything blows up and he is perfectly fine. And when they are trapped in the house and the aliens send in hundreds of probes, there must have been at least one other house intact. The most clever thing in the movie was the ending.
  95. Heba
    Aug 1, 2005
    1
    What were they all thinking??!!Shame on them!!!
  96. ScottJ.
    Aug 10, 2005
    7
    [***SPOILERS***] This is a fairly good movie, with excellent special effects, but it didn't work nearly as well as the 1953 original for a few reasons. ***SPOILER WARNING*** In the original, the aliens have obviously prepared their invasion well, but have never been to Earth before, so the ending where they are caught by surprise by our bacteria is much more believable. (It is very [***SPOILERS***] This is a fairly good movie, with excellent special effects, but it didn't work nearly as well as the 1953 original for a few reasons. ***SPOILER WARNING*** In the original, the aliens have obviously prepared their invasion well, but have never been to Earth before, so the ending where they are caught by surprise by our bacteria is much more believable. (It is very insightful, by the way, that such an ending was written before the post-WWI flu pandemic killed more people than WWI itself did.) In this remake, the alien ships have been stored on Earth for a long time, which makes it very difficult to believe that the aliens had not sampled our air for diseases. Also, in the original, the story is told through the eyes of a top scientist who represents the best of Earth, and we Earthlings try our best in a war against the aliens, but we are no match for them, and then the ending that humanity is rescued by the littlest things on the planet is somewhat poignant. In the recent version, told through the eyes of an average citizen who gets almost no accurate information, the effect of that ending is mostly lost, and gives the movie a bit of dumbed-down feel. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to tell the story from this viewpoint (it is particularly interesting that the characters hear a TEST of the emergency broadcast system days after the invasion started), it's just that it didn't fit the ending very well. As for the characters, well, I have never really liked Spielberg's style, so I didn't expect to like them much, and Tom Cruise and his family are about average Spielberg characters. (So, if you typically like Spielberg, you'll probably like these people, too.) The overall movie might have worked better if it was set in the late 1800's or even in the 1950's. Peter Jackson plans to do this for his remake of the 1930's King Kong. As for the people who gave this movie terrible reviews, I suspect they are mostly too young to appreciate the classic-ness of the story. (I remember when I was teenager, I didn't particularly appreciate classics, either, so I sort of understand this.) Overall, entertaining and enjoyable with great special effects, but the attempted updates of the 100-year-old plot are weak. Expand
  97. EddieO.
    Aug 20, 2005
    0
    Horrendous in every sense of the word. There was no War just a moronic Tom Cruise running toward the danger with two brats in tow. Nothing made sense and every scene is ripped off from another Spielberg movie. And did he run out of film because that ending was so lame. The 1953 George Pal origninal movie was so superior to this that Spielberg should be ashamed. CGI which isn't even Horrendous in every sense of the word. There was no War just a moronic Tom Cruise running toward the danger with two brats in tow. Nothing made sense and every scene is ripped off from another Spielberg movie. And did he run out of film because that ending was so lame. The 1953 George Pal origninal movie was so superior to this that Spielberg should be ashamed. CGI which isn't even real does qualify for a movie to be good. Spielberg throws so much of that crap at the viewer that it dulls your sense after about 30 minutes. And we feel nothing for these characters at all. As for the son the less said the better. Avoid at all costs. Perhaps it is time for Spielberg to retire? Expand
  98. JacquieP
    Aug 31, 2005
    8
    Great mood setting before the big storm, great special effects! Yes, story has a few plot holes (the ending gets a thumbs down) where you must suspend your disbelief, but come on, it's very entertaining! Worth seeing on the big screen for all the effects.
  99. Dweeble
    Aug 3, 2005
    0
    Aggravating in every sense of the word. So stupid that it is an insult on the intelligence of the viewer. For Mick and others to praise this garbage only encourages other Hollywood producers to keep churning out dreck like this. The movie was awful and that would be an understatement. I can't believe that Spielberg could even associate his name with this swill. He should be ashamed. Aggravating in every sense of the word. So stupid that it is an insult on the intelligence of the viewer. For Mick and others to praise this garbage only encourages other Hollywood producers to keep churning out dreck like this. The movie was awful and that would be an understatement. I can't believe that Spielberg could even associate his name with this swill. He should be ashamed. A sci fi B movie is campy. But this is an attack on the senses. The ending is a complete farce. Avoid. Expand
  100. DrakeV.
    Aug 30, 2005
    0
    Joel is correct in attacking the workmanship of this poor effort by Spielberg and Cruise as it makes no sense and is laughable from beginning until the bitter end. But Joel may be the most prosaic person ever to write on this board. To attack Spielberg for other efforts that were truly heads and tails above the best of its generation is grossly unfair. War is simply bombastic in that it Joel is correct in attacking the workmanship of this poor effort by Spielberg and Cruise as it makes no sense and is laughable from beginning until the bitter end. But Joel may be the most prosaic person ever to write on this board. To attack Spielberg for other efforts that were truly heads and tails above the best of its generation is grossly unfair. War is simply bombastic in that it tries to attack the senses without plausable explanation. It fails on every level imaginable. Expand
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. 70
    In an unfortunate case of star casting, Cruise strains credibility as a hard-edged Jersey dockworker.
  2. Might be too realistic for its own good: The film takes perhaps a little too much glee in its abilities to manufacture mayhem. That being said, the ride is extraordinary.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    A gritty, intense and supremely accomplished sci-fier.