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War of the Worlds 2005

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Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds 2005 version is a Sci-fi/Thriller/Action/Drama movie, staring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It is based on H.G. Wells War of the Worlds book of 1898.

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War of the Worlds Cast:

Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier
Justin Chatwin as Robbie Ferrier
Dakota Fanning as Rachel Ferrier
Tim Robbins as Ogilvy
Miranda Otto as Mary Ann Ferrier
David Alan Basche as Tim
Morgan Freeman as the Narrator (voice)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Producers: Colin Wilson, Kathleen Kennedy
Executive Producer: Paula Wagner
Screenwriters: David Koepp , Josh Friedman
Source Writer: H.G. Wells
Cinematographer: Janusz Kaminski
Original Music: Composed by John Williams

Age: 15 + (medium-level violence)
Running Time: 116 mins. Released 29 June 2005 in cinemas.

Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is based on HG Wells' 1898 novel. The first War of the Worlds movie was made in 1953 in the midst of the Cold War, whereas the 2005 version shadows on 9/11. Steven Spielberg's directed adaptation of the story is set on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America.


War of the Worlds is set in modern-day New Jersey; the action focuses on blundering dad Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) who's just picked up his children Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and Rachel (Dakota Fanning) for the weekend.

After a violent lighting storm, the street outside explodes as a 400 ft warlord emerges from the ground signalling the start of the systematic massacre of humankind. With thousands of the invaders attacking around the world, Ray and his children must escape the city as it burns around them.

The movie is shown from Ray Ferrier's (Tom Cruise) perspective and does not show scenes of what was happening around the world.

2005 version has no mention of the original book's central idea that the invaders came from Mars. In comparison to 1898 book we now know much more about Planet Mars.

War of the Worlds Soundtrack

John Williams composed the music and is genuinely scary. He has collaborated on many films with Steven Spielberg including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET: the Extra-Terrestrial.


Track Listings

1. Prologue
2. Escape from the city
3. Reaching the country
4. The intersection scene
5. Ray and Rachel
6. The ferry scene
7. Probing the basement
8. Refugee status
9. The attack on the car
10. The separation of the family
11. The confrontation with Ogilvy
12. The return to Boston
13. Escape from the basket
14. The reunion
15. Epilogue

War of the Worlds Review: 8.5/10


The special effects are superb. The highlight is the sight of the Alien invaders striding over burning cities, vaporizing buildings amid a crackle of laser fire. The invaders towering their victims and throwing them into cages on their backs to be eaten alive.  Also good is when the invaders sink a passenger-laden ferry.

The acting is good. 11 year old Dakota Fanning outshines everyone else as Ray's wise for her age daughter.

Director Steven Spielberg is very good at creating an atmosphere that is scary as the invaders take over. He expertly plays on the fears aroused by September 11. Such fear of destruction retains huge metaphorical potential in an age of terrorism.
The horror is mixed with lots of comedy, particularly Ray's hapless attempts to bond with his distrusting kids.

What is interesting about Ray Ferrier's character is that he is an ordinary person and is not a scientist. He does not become a hero like Rambo and kill all the alien invaders.


The movie did explain well in how the aliens were defeated, however it ended too quickly. The film would have benefited an extra 10 minutes.


War of the Worlds is yet another Spielberg success and it is a scary movie. It manages to effectively update the 1950's sci-fi movie and has adapted well from a late-19th century book to the 21st century.

If you liked Independence Day movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Signs, you'll like this. The movie brings nothing new to the sci-fi genre, but the CGI effects makes it one of the best movies of 2005.

Did you know?

* H. G. Wells War of the Worlds novel was first published in 1898. The book describes an invasion of Earth by spaceships from Planet Mars.

* Orson Welles' 1938 radio dramatization of the story caused widespread panic in the U.S.

* Director Steven Spielberg in ET (1982) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), made his aliens cuddly. In his version of War of the Worlds the creatures from outer space have arrived to wipe out humanity.

* The wreckage of a real Boeing 747 plane was used to make the scenes more realistic.

* Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise worked in 2002 sci-fi adventure movie Minority Report.

* Director Steven Spielberg wanted to make the film years ago, but decided against it when Independence Day (1996) was released. However, the director wanted to work with Tom Cruise again after Minority Report and choose War of the Worlds (2005) as their next project.

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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014