Tom Cruise – Ray Ferrier
Dakota Fanning – Rachel Ferrier
Miranda Otto – Mary Ann
Justin Chatwin – Robbie
“Despite super effects, a huge budget, and the cinematic pedigree of alien-happy Steven Spielberg, this take on H.G. Wells’s novel is basically a horror film packaged as a sci-fi thrill ride. Instead of a mad slasher, however, Spielberg (along with writers Josh Friedman & David Koepp) utilizes aliens hell-bent on quickly destroying humanity, and the terrifying results that prey upon adult fears, especially in the post-9/11 world. The realistic results could be a new genre, the grim popcorn thriller; often you feel like you’re watching Schindler’s List more than Spielberg’s other thrill-machine movies (Jaws, Jurassic Park). The film centers on Ray Ferrier, a divorced father (Tom Cruise, oh so comfortable) who witnesses one giant craft destroy his New Jersey town and soon is on the road with his teen son (Justin Chatwin) and preteen daughter (Dakota Fanning) in tow, trying to keep ahead of the invasion. The film is, of course, impeccably designed and produced by Spielberg’s usual crew of A-class talent. The aliens are genuinely scary, even when the film–like the novel–spends a good chunk of time in a basement. Readers of the book (or viewers of the deft 1953 adaptation) will note the variation of whom and how the aliens come to Earth, which poses some logistical problems. The film opens and closes with narration from the novel read by Morgan Freeman, but Spielberg could have adapted Orson Welles’s words from the famous Halloween Eve 1938 radio broadcast: “We couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing: we annihilated the world.”
–Doug Thomas from Amazon.com
This movie was really good but pretty creepy. There was a lot of blood in this movie. I don’t mean blood like people got decapitated but the creatures machines would suck the blood out of you and then later you would see the machines expel large amounts of blood and there would be pools of blood all over the place. Quite disconcerting and quite creepy too. If your don’t like this type of thing, this movie may not be suited for you.
There was no good role modeling in this movie. Ray Ferrier was a very irresponsible dad. In the beginning he called his son all types of things. As the movie progressed he seemed to change and be more responsible because he realized if he did not buck up his ideas when he was going to die, along with his children and I don’t think he wanted that.
The acting in this movie was done really well. Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin both played the annoying and non-listening children. I got so annoyed with the children and the dad because the dad did nothing to make the children to shut up. But it probably portrayed a typical American family :).
This movie was filmed with a kind of tinge. I am not sure what the tinge was but it seemed to be a metallic, green, gray tinge to it which added to this surreal effect. It was quit an interesting idea because then it put everything kind of not in the present. It was showing that it was set a few years back.
Also the aliens were pretty creepy and the machines were creepy too. They were really big and they had these like tractor beams which disintegrated your body and pulled it up to the machine but left your clothes behind and Ray was eventually covered in body bits even though it was never explicitly mentioned, you got the idea. I am actually not sure if the beam pulled you up or just disintegrated you on the spot But don’t really want to know.
I think that this movie was done really well and is a definite see, but I recommend to be over the age of 14/15 because it was pretty creepy.
It was exciting though and definitely a classic which everyone should see at least once. I will be reading the book really soon and watching the original War of the Worlds which I am excited about. 🙂
Check out CommonSenseMedia.org’s review of the movie as it has more information. I just want to warn you though that CommonSense does sometimes give spoilers because they say what is said and everything which is seen. But there are no spoiler warnings on their sites.
I hope that you enjoy.