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War of the Worlds

  • Drama
  • Science and technology
  • 2005
  • Steven Spielberg
  • 111 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Sci-fi thriller based on HG Wells's novel, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. When aliens invade Earth, divorced dock worker Ray Ferrier attempts to save his estranged family from the rampaging extraterrestrials.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

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.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Ray FerrierTom Cruise
Rachel FerrierDakota Fanning
Mary Ann FerrierMiranda Otto
Robbie FerrierJustin Chatwin
Harlan OgilvyTim Robbins
TimDavid Alan Basche
JulioYul Vazquez
GrandfatherGene Barry
GrandmotherAnn Robinson
NarratorMorgan Freeman
Dock workerDavid Harbour
Neighbour with toddlerAmy Ryan

Crew

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DirectorSteven Spielberg

Details

Theatrical distributor
UIP
Released on
2005-07-01
Languages
English
Guidance
Violence.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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