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Opened in Theaters: Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Genre: SciFi
Running Time: 1:59

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War of the Worlds
Academy Award® Nominee
A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to...  View more >

PG-13
frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images

Starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto...  View more >

Oscar-nominated for:
Achievement in Sound Editing
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Achievement in Visual Effects

2005-06-23: 12 more photos added...
View more information about this movie >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  2 13 See Now! Percent
Good  8 50 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  5 31 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  1 6 Stay Away! Percent
16 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Good ---]by  Jun 29, 2005
I have to say I was disapointed. The special affects were spectacular but the story was boring. The first 30 minutes were great but after that, it all fell apart.
I didn't see the original so I haven't anything to compare to this one.
[--- Good ---]by  Jun 29, 2005
I agree.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jul 2, 2005
It has great special effects, but it also has annoying characters and a tedious story. I sufficiently disliked the main characters in this story so much that by the end, I wanted the aliens to win. Spielberg has lost the touch he had when he made "Dual" and "Jaws". He has become ponderous with his own success with movies like "The Color Purple" and "Schindler's List". Those were fantastic movies, to be sure, but in a movie like this, he needs to tone down the humanity factor and keep the pace and the suspense taught.

I am a Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise fan and a lover of the Sci-Fi genre, so this film was highly disappointing to me. Save your money and wait until you can see it at a budget theater, rent it, or watch it on cable. I doubt it will be a very long wait...
[--- Good ---]by  Jul 2, 2005
Uneven. Part melodrama, part fluff, but a fun film.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jul 5, 2005
I thought the special effects were very impressive. It was scary but there were some really unbelievable things in it that--without giving away the movie--didn't add up and took away from the film. If you just look at the presentation and special effects--then it was a pretty good movie--Tom Cruise did an OK job, not great but good. I wouldn't see it again.
[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberJul 6, 2005
The fourth reincration of the thriller which dates all they way back to 1898 when H.G. Welles first published "War of the Worlds." Then came the radio play by Olsen welles and the 1953 feature film. Now it Steven Spielberg's turn to tackle the novel. It's not his best film, but the specail effects are well done. Tom Cruise did a good job, but not his best performance, nor this isn't Spielberg's best film he ever directed. But the performance by Dakota Fanning blew me away. Her acting continues to improve over the past year. I looking forward in seeing her in more roles. I'll recommend the film for Fanning, the special effects and how we see the novel in a new century.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jul 8, 2005
Not all that good, and listning to a little girl scream in every other scene is very annoying. it could have been a good movie.
[--- Good ---]by  Jul 12, 2005
Spielburg again has excellent effects. The story bogs down in a psycology lesson which really slows the story down some. Could have been much better.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Jul 12, 2005
I believe this movie deserves a viewing on the big screen. I loved the special effects and it was different enough from the original H. G. Wells movie that it kept me interested throughout 'till the end. Go see this movie and have an enjoyable time out.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jul 14, 2005
Lame story, great special effects but that didn't carry the movie. It was such a basic story even my 11 year old thought it was just lame. His point was that if the aliens were planning this for millions of years, why didn't they analyze the atmosphere - I had to agree.
[--- Good ---]by  Jul 14, 2005
This was an ok movie, the action does not take long to get into. Tom Crusie plays a good part and you can see him go through his character changes. But the ending was almost like they forgot to do it and then they threw it together the week befored it opened.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jul 15, 2005
[--- Good ---]by  Jul 19, 2005
We enjoyed this movie, just a good entertaining Sci-fi. The actors did well.
Personally there were some parts I'd change or leave out, but overall a good
movie.
[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberJul 20, 2005
Tom Cruise is best when he's able to play a cocky, headstrong guy that doesn't much matter what others think and tends to get the girl anyway. Recently, he's made progress outside of that mold with the very good Collateral. That performance was chilling in his portrayal of a paid hitman with an agenda.

In War of the Worlds, he starts out as the cocky guy who drives a classic Mustang and is rebuilding a 302 engine in his kitchen. He's also a deadbeat dad that barely knows how to feed himself much less his teenage son and pre-teen daughter who come to stay with him for the weekend. Personally, I would have preferred if they had toned down that side of his character so that we empathize a little more when the weekend goes to hell right after his wife says "take care of our kids" before leaving.

But, this can work as a way for his character to make an arc through the experience that he's about to go through. When you're near the bottom of the ladder, any step up is a step in the right direction, I guess. Funny thing is, Dakota Fanning is more adult as his pre-teen daughter than he is (and just as good an actor, if not better).

The special effects are pretty good, so there's no complaint there. I especially liked the scene when the first tripod makes its presence known in the neighborhood.

The story is pretty weak, forcing a major suspension of disbelief at times. After all, if aliens have arrived and are obliterating mankind, what's the logic in trying to get from New York to Boston (another major city on the Eastern seaboard)?

A particularly chilling scene occurs later on as the threesome decide to road-trip to Boston to meet up with Mom. I won't give anything away, but I will say that the river scene stuck with me for some time.

The time spent in the basement of a house with Tim Robbins is the best of the movie. It contains the most suspense and the best interaction between any of the characters. There is more than a passing connection between one scene in the basement and the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park.

My major complaint with the movie is that it touched upon so many ideas, but didn't explore anything with enough depth to make us care when the end came. Even the ending was sudden and unsatisfying, making one wonder what hit the cutting room floor.

War of the Worlds isn't a bad movie, it's just more like A.I. and less like Jurassic Park as far as Spielberg movies go.
[--- See Now! ---]by VIP MemberJul 24, 2005
Great special effects, creepy story. I'm confused about parts of the movie (what exactly was that red root supposed to be?) but, aside from that, I'm more than satisifed.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Apr 2, 2013

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