War of the Worlds (PG-13)

Action/Adventure 119 June 29, 2005
By Robert Wilonsky
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel is Close Encounters of the Third Kind turned inside out: They're still out there, only this time the aliens are out for our blood. Dock worker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his two kids, Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and Rachel (Dakota Fanning), are clearly in need of a little therapy, but being chased by aliens for some 100 minutes offers some pretty good bonding experiences too. Earth's under attack by giant, three-legged metallic machines that have been hibernating beneath our feet for, perhaps, thousands of years. Though strikingly faithful to Byron Haskin's 1953 big-screen version, the movie plays sort of like Spielberg's homage to Spielberg: It's a hodgepodge of bits and pieces borrowed from Jaws, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark -- even Schindler's List, with its scenes full of bedraggled survivors marching to the beat of soldiers' orders. This is scary sci-fi set in a real world that's even more terrifying. Spielberg may be rid of his giddy optimism and youthful hope, but he's still a masterful entertainer.
Steven Spielberg Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, Rick Gonzalez, David Alan Basche, Daniel Franzese, Camillia Sanes, Yul Vazquez David Koepp, Josh Friedman Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Kathleen Ke Paramount Pictures


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