War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg (2005)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the HG Wells classic, previously filmed in 1953, is a spectacular disaster epic of two halves. The first (and much the superior) hour is a masterclass in escalating tension, with grandiose and brilliantly executed sequences following in rapid succession - the bizarre lightning storm that prefigures the eruption of the alien Tripod war machines from beneath the earth is an astonishing opening salvo. Unusually for a special-effects blockbuster, the human drama is transfixing, as divorced dock worker Tom Cruise flees the invasion with his two estranged children (played by Justin Chatwin and Dakota Fanning). It's in the second hour that the story begins to wilt, most crucially when the suspense-evaporating CGI aliens are revealed. The imaginative details (a blazing train hurtling out of control, the river of dead bodies) also begin to peter out until a rather abrupt ending in which Hollywood schmaltz wins the day.


A divorced father's rare weekend with his two estranged children descends into horror when alien war machines rise from beneath Earth and begin to systematically destroy every human being in their path - leaving the man with the dangerous task of getting his kids to safety. Steven Spielberg's sci-fi thriller, based on HG Wells' novel, with Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto and Tim Robbins.

Cast & Crew

Ray Ferrier Tom Cruise
Rachel Ferrier Dakota Fanning
Mary Ann Ferrier Miranda Otto
Robbie Ferrier Justin Chatwin
Harlan Ogilvy Tim Robbins
Tim David Alan Basche
Julio Yul Vazquez
Grandfather Gene Barry
Grandmother Ann Robinson
Narrator Morgan Freeman
Dock worker David Harbour
Neighbour with toddler Amy Ryan
Director Steven Spielberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPGuidance: Violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Jul 2005