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War of the Worlds / La Guerre des mondes (Bilingual) (Full Screen) (2005)

Tom Cruise , Dakota Fanning , Steven Spielberg    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Despite super effects, a huge budget, and the cinematic pedigree of alien-happy Steven Spielberg, this take on H.G. Wells's novel is basically a horror film packaged as a sci-fi thrill ride. Instead of a mad slasher, however, Spielberg (along with writers Josh Friedman & David Koepp) utilizes aliens hell-bent on quickly destroying humanity, and the terrifying results that prey upon adult fears, especially in the post-9/11 world. The realistic results could be a new genre, the grim popcorn thriller; often you feel like you're watching Schindler's List more than Spielberg's other thrill-machine movies (Jaws, Jurassic Park). The film centers on Ray Ferrier, a divorced father (Tom Cruise, oh so comfortable) who witnesses one giant craft destroy his New Jersey town and soon is on the road with his teen son (Justin Chatwin) and preteen daughter (Dakota Fanning) in tow, trying to keep ahead of the invasion. The film is, of course, impeccably designed and produced by Spielberg's usual crew of A-class talent. The aliens are genuinely scary, even when the film--like the novel--spends a good chunk of time in a basement. Readers of the book (or viewers of the deft 1953 adaptation) will note the variation of how the aliens come to Earth, which poses some logistical problems. The film opens and closes with narration from the novel read by Morgan Freeman, but Spielberg could have adapted Orson Welles's words from the famous Halloween Eve 1938 radio broadcast: "We couldn't soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing: we annihilated the world." --Doug Thomas

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Cruise/Freeman ~ War Of The Worlds (2005)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound great, video - not up to blue-ray spec Dec 31 2010
The first time I watched this movie, I was too inclined to compare it to the original - and that, along with Dakota Fanning's incessant screaming skewed me to underating the movie.

However, several years later, with expectations much more realistic have given me cause to raise the rating to 4 stars.

Tom Cruise gives a believable performance as a 'yet to grown up' father who is emotionally distanced from his children and completely overwhelmed by a situtation that would drive most adults to emotional collapse. However, with a blend of basic real-world skills and some blind luck, he is able to save his family in a constant game of outrunning the threat of an alien invasion.

Dakota Fanning, when she is not screaming, plays a believable part as the youngest of the family, and ultimately the glue that holds them together. (Although, through no skill held by that of her own character)

The effects in this movie are great, with some genuinely suspensful moments. (The basement scene with Tim Robbins as the semi-crazy survivor is brilliant for its effects and tension).

This is a great popcorn movie, with some genuinely disturbing scenes and enough new twists to liven up some well worn sci-fi territory. As such, I have now added it to my own collection with a rating of 4/5.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War of the Worlds [Blu-ray] June 3 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The special FX are excellent and non-stop in this movie. Acting is good. A disturbing story for sure. I have the DVD and Blu-ray issues. Blu-ray video quality marginally improved over DVD. Worth a watch but, in my biased view, will never surpass the classic 1953 original. Special features and behind-the-scenes on single disc.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated and masterful movie June 3 2010
I know a lot of people did not like this movie, perhaps for the wrong reasons. I own the 1953 version, and this 2005 movie is not a remake of it, as some might have expected. In fact, Spielberg's version is much closer to the original H.G. Wells novel than it is from the 1953 motion picture. I remember reading the novel when I was 12 and it was the most terrifying book I had ever read back then. The movie offers a visual rendering of the horror I felt reading the novel. The Blu-Ray version has very good sound. The bass is overwhelming and one should be careful in order not to damage the woofers! The video, however, leaves much to be desired... Apparently Spielberg wanted to give the movie a documentary feel. So the image is very grainy, with saturation at times. The colours are far from vivid, and they are even dull... I really thought there was something wrong with my disc when I watched it, but no, that's apparently the "look & feel" that was intended... One can respect that artistic vision of Spielberg's and not be thrilled by the result in HD... A great movie, but the HD transfer is dissapointing I'm afraid...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Of course Aug. 15 2013
By Poux
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Spielberg being my favorite director, I was sure to like this film because I love everything that he does, because he is the Best
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie June 13 2013
By Adam A.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ok so maybe its a little more hyped up than the original Wells radio program but you can't go wrong with Tom Cruise (or can you?). Widescreen was nice to have and put on the big plasma TV brought the theatre experience home.
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A lot of people who wrote reviews say it's all action and no story. But if aliens invaded Earth, you had a claustophobic child, everyone around you is being killed, and people are killing each other for a truck, I don't think there'd be much of a story to tell except about the people running and fighting for survival. That's the type of thing Spielberg wanted to put into perspective. (I.E. If you were in the middle of WW2, you think there would be much of a story except kill the other guys and don't get youself killed?)
This is a fun film and should be taken by the perspective that if aliens seriously did invade Earth, there would be a ton more action than story.
* * * * Four stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie April 21 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bought the DVD because I love this movie. Still chilling after watching it a few times. If you love sci-fi, you'll love this movie. And with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, the acting is exactly what you'd expect in such a blockbuster.
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4.0 out of 5 stars War of the Worlds Aug. 19 2009
I had to repurchase the DVD as my origional copy was damaged by a friend. It is the one most recently made and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie. It also has great special effects and a very touching ending; very well produced. The only drawback is that some scenes may frighten smaller children so I do not recommend small children watching it. Overall great movie.
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