War of the Worlds (2005) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down. What follows is the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in this contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells seminal classic sci-fi thriller. Runtime: 116 mins Release Date: 27 Jun 2005
I attended the screening of the movie in Marseilles, and I would like to start off by commenting on how much this movie surprised me. I had heard a lot of talk about how personal the story would be, but I was not expecting it to be such a damn tragedy. The movie starts off with Cruise getting his kids from ex-wife. It is established almost immediately that he is a rather s***ty fellow, through his mannerisms and the way he acts towards his friends and family. His attitude is the biggest problem - he is arrogant, but it's not the Tom Cruise arrogance that we've come to know. It's a <more>
different kind of arrogance, one seemingly routed in the fact that he still hasn't accepted the blame for the ruin of his marriage. The exposition is very quick, lasting approximately twelve or thirteen minutes. The action ramps up exponentially at this point, dumping the audience directly in the middle of the start of the war. I will try to refrain from major spoilers, but let me tell that the tripods, which have only been hinted at in the trailers and advertisements, look very, very nice. The fact that the scenes featuring them clearly were not shot against a blue screen add to the astounding achievement by ILM here. They look positively real - blended and contrasted perfectly amongst the real-world light, shadows, and dust. This movie is very different when it comes to big action sequences - the camera stays below and/or between the characters and the antagonists. It would also appear that at some points Spielberg used a hand-held camera, because I was reminded of Omaha Beach. One scene in particular, immediately following the emergence of the tripod, is so absolutely intense that you wonder how it could not be a documentary. Perhaps Spielberg's wisest choice in these scenes was to actually let the extras compliment the major actors, rather than just focusing on the recognizable faces. That is not to say that they are not almost always prominent, but it is awesome to see Cruise's reaction amongst about 150 other literally 'devolving' citizens. The panic and hysteria has taken over them all - they trample and kick and punch like nothing that I've ever seen before. I am actually very surprised that this movie is PG-13. There are four scenes in particular that make me question how they got this, because they are something that I never expected to see. One of these starts off beautifully, with Dakota going down to the riverfront. The scene has an almost surreal feel - it seems as if Spielberg used filters here to bring out the glowing quality of the sun. Then, without warning, a corpse flows in front of her, following the river's current. This is followed by more, and then even more, until the whole river is covered with bodies. The camera cuts to Dakota - she has such a look of disbelief and incomprehension - ah, it broke my heart. There are three other such scenes that really took my breath away at how awful yet beautiful they were. The acting was also more than I was expecting. The aforementioned Dakota Fanning proves why she is the go to girl currently. She adds a complexity to her role that is seldom seen amongst child stars. Rather than just acting off of Tom Cruise and reacting to him, it would see as if she actually inhabited her character and gave it its own personal qualities and pathos. Tom Cruise also did well, showing us that he can portray other things that his well-known personality. The scenes with him and Dakota one in particular after the departure of another character are absolutely breathtaking. I literally was on the verge of tears in one of them. I think that Spielberg has a big hit on his hands here. Because of the apparent press blanket, there hasn't really been that much early hype, but I'm positive that this will change after the release. The film will undoubtedly benefit from excellent word of mouth, because, simply put, it is stunning.
Best movie of 2005... Best Invasion flick of ALL time! (by alsor18)
Simply put; this movie is Awesome!! I saw it recently here in Germany and I'm not allowed to write about it but who cares. I have nothing bad to say about it anyway and I won't spoil anything! But I'll tell you about my feelings of this movie. This movie pulls you through your entire range of emotions in a short span of time, and you'll feel drained when you exit the theater after seeing it.This is a special movie. Normally when you have multimillion effects shot in a movie the director does everything to make sure the audience see these effects from the best possible angle so <more>
that no money on effects are wasted.In this movie it's a whole other deal. Spielberg shows his genius with this movie by letting the action and effects shots be a natural part of the movie and it makes it much, much better and much more harrowing to watch. Sometimes it feels like watching the footage from some poor embedded journalist in a conflict somewhere. You see people running and in the background you see glimpses of extraordinary and terrifying things happening. Sometimes you see full shots of attacking aliens but it's very "random" and it's never predictable as to what comes next. I LOVE THE ACTION IN THIS MOVIE. Just wait, it's hard to explain.This is also a horror movie, and think back of the little boy in the kitchen in "Close encounters". This is a classic scene that demonstrates how effective Spielberg can build tension especially using light. Now multiply this scene by 5 and you'll have an idea of some of the scenes in this movie.This movie is also shocking. You have scenes of people being thrown in huge cages where they crush each other to death and characters that you would never think will get hurt, well they... Well, wait and see. You'll be shocked.This movie is as far from ID4 as possible so people expecting ti see ID4ever will be disappointed. This is smart sci-fi, effective horror, touching drama and crazy action all blended seamlessly together by Steven Spielberg. This is THE movie of the year!!!!
The IMDb Rating Doesn't Give This Film Justice (by jonathan-kistanis)
I'm a young fan of Steven Spielberg, and all his movies are wonderful and phenomenal. War of the Worlds 2005 is no exception. I don't know why it only got a 6.5/10 on IMDb. In my humble opinion, considering how intense and dramatic it was, it should've got a 7.0 minimum.But hey, if I like a movie, then reviews don't matter to me. Anyway, Steven Spielberg did it again with this bone-chilling, suspenseful, and INTIMIDATING movie. When you watch if, you feel as if you're a victim yourself of the Martians and their Tripods. They sealed a plan many years ago to destroy <more>
humanity and make our planet theirs. With their high-tech technology they can disintegrate a human- being in one nanosecond. What made this film excellent was the acting. Tom Cruise plays a divorced man who, in the end, is the one who saves the day despite an estranged relationship with his children. You can tell he wants to protect his family at all costs, even if it means the end of the world, Dakota Fanning, being only 10-11 in the film, did a PHENOMENAL and convincing job as a terrified, anxious and innocent little girl. I could feel her shock and hysteria. I don't know any girl her age at the time who could've done a better job. Spielberg did a successful job at giving the atmosphere a claustrophobic, impacting-doom feeling. No one is safe; regardless at how well they protect themselves. Not even the US military. When you see one of those three-legged tripods all you want to do is sit at the edge of your seat! I overall love the plot basis of how a dad can prove to his children how much he loves them during an alien invasion. I also love the comedic elements added in that were amongst Ray, Rachel, and Robbie; such as how when Ray says he's going to tattle on Mom every time they disobey him. Haha! It's a very simple plot yet dramatic, suspenseful, and TERRIFYING!If I could choose, I would've given the main movie's rating an 8.0 out of 10. It's unique and never dull for a single moment. Wonderful movie with just the right amount scares, emotion, and triumph. You're amazing, Mr. Spielberg!
Let's face it - Hollywood blockbusters are usually bloated and soulless disappointments. We keep going along in the hope that we'll see something worth seeing. Well this is one of those rare occasions when our persistence pays off. By most rationale judgements 'War of the Worlds' is superior entertainment. It is also a remarkably faithful adaptation of Well's novel, which after the Spielberg-produced 'Time Machine' of a few years back was a major concern. Some reviewers have accused the film of a stereotypical happy Hollywood ending; they obviously don't know <more>
the source, it is in fact very faithful. The homages to the 1953 film are appropriate and touching without being cute.This dark and realistic film convinces that this is what it could be like if we were indeed invaded by extraterrestrials. There are several scenes this viewer found disturbing including a confronting event witnessed from a diner. As mentioned elsewhere references to 9/11 and the Holocaust abound. At one point as Cruise witnesses the feeding of the invaders he examines and wipes his hands in an echo of Schindler's response to the ash belched from the Nazi death camps.Despite this and because of it's direct storytelling, Spielberg's film succeeds at being a lot of fun to watch, much like the 50's sci-fi movies that it at times so successfully tributes.The performances are of a high calibre with Dakota Fanning being the stand out. Some complain about her evident neediness throughout the film, which they find annoying. It's difficult to imagine how anyone, particularly a child, could not be needy under such circumstances.Tom Cruise's portrayal is something of a revelation displaying vulnerability refreshing in this genre. Compared to say Mel Gibson's character in the similarly premised 'Signs', Cruise's character displays considerably more human frailty, convincingly breaking down on several occasions. His performance is more than competent despite assertions to the contrary by some who seem to be more concerned by his off-screen behaviour and persona.Despite these character strengths it is the war machines themselves that impress most. They are truly formidable. Their design, walking gait and especially the heat ray are very effective. Here I must defend the heat ray, which others have criticised as a very inefficient method of genocide. True enough, though I doubt many would find thousands dying from gas or infection particularly 'entertaining'. Wells agreed. His invaders used a form of gas but the heat ray was his Martians' weapon-of-choice.This said the film is not without its shortcomings. Primary among these is the appearance of the alien which to this viewer is spookily similar to another recent alien invasion flick. Spielberg and others associated with the production must have been aware of this similarity. Other than homage, it's difficult to explain the resemblance.I also agree with others who have said it may have been better to keep the invaders more obscure. Wells was vague in his descriptions knowing that allusions to the hideous was more frightening. Once again however, the director would have been criticised had he not clearly shown the beasties.The ending mentioned earlier does seem a little rushed. I feel it would have been better if there had been a slower growth in awareness of the invader's predicament. This is where the film may once again have done better staying closer to the novel. Descriptions of Well's dying Martians calling to one another across a deserted London are haunting.However considering the total achievement of this film these are minor carps. War of the Worlds requires a suspension of disbelief typical of fantasy film. What is does not require, necessary for so many summer blockbusters, is a suspension of critical judgment.
My oh my, I've seen the biggest blockbusters this year and frankly I'm dog tired. So when I sat down for another popcorn flick, it got me worried a bit: 'Do I still love films, or should I just throw in the towel and call it a day?' Right of the bat, I felt relieved. There's still hope and his name is: Spielberg. So what else is new, you might ask. Nothing, would be my answer. Because in the last twelve years from Jurassic Park and Schindlers List in 1993, threw Saving Private Ryan and A.I. there's only one big name director who really got better with age. Scorcese <more>
and Lynch and all the other 50 plus directors never adapted to the modern times. Spielberg does that and remains classic at the same time.What about this new film of his? It's just unbelievable that such a big movie got such a big heart at the center of it all. War of the Worlds story centers around a struggling man and his two estranged kids. Ray Cruise in top form has never really committed himself to be a good father and role-model and his kids dread to visit him on the weekends, which they rarely do. So far WotW is a great drama and I could've watched it for another hour and a half, but the invaders from outer space have different plans. And faster than you can say 'holy crap, there goes my house' the family drives away from there home, fleeing from the nasty aliens.On their drive to Boston a lot of stuff happens to the family that really scared the living daylights out of me. Not because of what you see, but here it comes Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich because of what you NOT see. You don't see an alien-vessel every ten seconds or ten minutes for that matter. The whole movie you don't see anything the family doesn't see. That's why you give a rat's ass if something would've happen to them, and that's what makes a great movie. YOU CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS!
I never saw the original so I don't know how the stories differ but this version was really good. The special effects were amazing. It really seemed like all those people were fleeing the tri-pods and getting zapped. It looked like Cruise was literally running only feet from falling debris.Cruise plays a dad who is a real jerk to his young daughter and older son. They are visiting him for the weekend in the city when the lightening storms start. From there we see tri-pods coming out of the ground and causing havoc. It was awesome.They escape in the only working vehicle on the way to <more>
Boston where his ex wife is. They stay the first night at his ex's house and end up with an airplane outside the front door. So their trek continues and they meet up with more tri-pods and eventually his son goes off. So Cruise and his daughter take up in this crazy guy's basement for some tense scenes.And I won't say how it ends because you should be surprised. And I liked that finally there is a disaster movie that doesn't have the President and scientists and skipping all over the place. It focuses on one family.FINAL VERDICT: This is the story of how one dad goes from jerk to hero during an alien invasion. This is the must see film of the summer. The special effects were simply outstanding.
If this movie were a meal, it would be a very satisfying prime beef steak with a dollop of unnecessary cheese. (by ktoynbee)
However it must be said that the majority of the meal is so perfectly cooked that you're able to swallow the cheese without much trouble.Tom Cruise was good enough that even my fiancé, not normally a fan, was impressed... and despite some misgivings as the lights dimmed at the start, once the action started, not once did I think of Katie Holmes - I was simply too swept up in the action to think about anything other than what was on the screen. But no matter how good a job Tom did, it has to be said that Dakota Fanning blew everyone else away. And not in the same way Tom was upstaged by <more>
the gorgeous little boy in Jerry Maguire through sheer 'awww' factor, Dakota is both cute and one of the most talented actresses I've ever seen.The special effects were amazing, the first lightning storm was the PERFECT way to get the audience on the edge of their seats, the rest of the movie made sure we stayed there the thrills were non-stop and executed brilliantly - I nearly broke my fiancé's arm during one particularly nerve-wracking scene - and whilst some of the characters were inevitable clichés - the rebellious teenage son, for example - the story evolved at a fast enough pace that you didn't have time to get irritated by them.I thought the ending came a bit suddenly and with perhaps not quite enough explanation but overall I really enjoyed this movie - and I'm not usually a fan of alien blockbusters. I just want to know one thing - HOW COME THAT GUY'S CAMCORDER WAS WORKING???!!!
Not A Dull Moment... Well, Not Many. (by TheWindowlicker)
War Of The Worlds was far better than I thought it would be. Knowing nothing about WOTW other than what I have seen in the trailer, I have to say that I thought this was a damn good movie. No wonder I didn't know what to expect, the film makers deliberately made sure not to show anything, other than the main actors looking horrified which Dakota Fanning does an excellent job of .The story is very basic. It seems Aliens had been planning ahead for millions of years to take over this planet why they didn't just come here before we were around I'm not sure . They planted these, for <more>
lack of a better term, weapons of mass destruction, under the surface of the planet. Years later, in the year 2005 to be exact, the aliens boarded the WMDs via an electrical storm which they created. We figure this out by a tape of news woman's slow motion of the lightning bolt hitting the ground twenty something times. Shortly after, the ground literally explodes and up come these huge machines, which look like a cross between something in Star Wars and Doc Ock from Spider-Man. Man is faced with this dilemma of how to rid the planet of these pests. Technically, as the movie stated, it is the other way around. They are trying to get rid of us. "This is a war to them the way man is at war with maggots" or something along those lines.The actors were very convincing, in particular, Fanning, who plays the daughter of Tom Cruise's character, Ray. Cruise also does a great job. Many people in this role would tend to overact but I believe Tom does a good job of not doing that. Cruise and Fanning were the main stars, other than the special effects. They made a good team. I expect to see some great things come from Dakota when she is an adult.Although I'm not sure why this movie is getting trashed by so many people, I don't care either. This was a great movie... much better than others in this genre which we have been given lately. I suspect many trash it because of Tom's "coming out of the closet" so to speak with his Scientology. This is a lame excuse to trash a perfectly good movie, which, although I never read the book, I hear it's very true to it. If this is the case, then all the book lovers should not have many complaints. This movie comes highly recommended by me.
Low Expectations Pleasant Surprise (by ccthemovieman-1)
It pays to have low expectations. Hearing nothing but negative remarks about this film, I never saw it until the other day when a friend offered the DVD for a free look. With nothing to lose, and being familiar with the story having seen the 1953 movie several times, I put it on.Wow, I enjoyed it; the film was very entertaining. The only annoying thing to me was the bratty teenage boy, who needed some discipline and never got it. However, that type of kid seems to be stereotypical of teens among modern filmmakers. Other than him, and his little sister who I put with because it's Dakota <more>
Fanning, the film served its purpose beautifully, namely to 'shock and awe.' That it did.The Martian tripods were awesome, particularly in the long scene when they first appear out of the ground. To really appreciate this film, you have to have a surround system because the sound is fantastic. In fact, earlier with the "lightning strikes," the sound gets attention in a big-way. In other words, special- effects-wise, it isn't just about visuals but the audio as well.Although the story of the father Tom Cruise and his two estranged is anyone pictured married in films nowadays? kids is so-so at best, the film is all about the action. That "cute" family situation is just a sub-plot to give us some breaks from the intensity of the invasion.Anyway, some of the action scenes were jaw-dropping good and, with the normal Spielberg garbage that always comes with the good stuff, too, it's still was a fun two hours. Now, I'll have to get the DVD because I would definitely watch this more than once.