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War of the Worlds is a science fiction film based on the novel by H.G. Wells. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and made its debut in the summer of 2005. This is one of 4 film adaptations of the novel.

Plot summary

The movie begins with a voice narrator (Morgan Freeman) talking about how Earth was being watched by another planet, with far advanced beings. In New Jersey, A divorced man named Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) takes his weekend custody of his children, Rachel Ferrier (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie Ferrier (Justin Chatwin). The weekend starts out on a rough note, but things only get worse when an electric storm strikes the Lincoln Street.

The lightning is followed by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) which cause a temporary interruption of all electronic devices in the area, literally bringing back the world to the 1800s. Previous sightings of the lighting was reported in the Ukraine, a country of some 52 million people that was in total darkness because of the EMP. The EMP was followed by seismic activity the scale of an earthquake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale.

Ray walks to the site of the activity. Surrounded by many other curious citizens, the people watch the tripod come out from the ground. The machines begin to eliminate humans with their deadly Heat-Rays. Ray gets back to his home, and takes his children to their mother's house. When they arrive there, they realize that the house where they are at has not been hit yet. They sleep there overnight, while their mom, and ex-wife are on their way to Boston. In the middle of the night, they hear the lightning again. When they come out of hiding, they realize that it was not lightning, but an Airplane has crashed in their yard.

They flee the sight, and drive in the car until the car is stolen by a man with a firearm. They walk to the Hudson Ferry and manage to get a ride in a Boat, but only to be thrown by off by the predators. They make their way to a hillside where Robbie tries to join the battle being fought by the army. He joins the fight, but one big blow sends the whole battle into destruction, which leaves the aliens unharmed.

Rachel and Ray find shelter in the basement of Harlan Ogilvy. That night a probe visits the basement and a group of aliens. Oglivy attempts to kill one with his shotgun, but is stopped by Ray. The aliens leave the basement. Ogilvy is crazy about killing the invaders, which results in his death at the hands of Ray Ferrier. Then another probe visits the basement and wakes Ray and Rachel. Ray then hacks the head off it with an axe {like in the 1953 movie} and Rachel runs out of the basement on to the red weed covered ground. His daughter is taken by the invaders, and Ray sets out after them. After being captured by them, he destroys a tripod with a grenade, and makes his way to Boston.

When they arrive, army men are everywhere. A still living tripod sees the group of survivors. Ray discovers that the tripods' shields are down. The US army shoots them down with shells and the alien comes out dead. Ray brings his daughter to his ex-mother-in-laws. When he arrives, he learns that his son, Robbie is there, and is safe. As a side note, the Mother and Father-in-law are actors Gene Barry and Ann Robinson the main protagonists of the 1953 adaptation of War of The Worlds. At the conclusion, the narrator states that as soon as the Martians started using resources on our Earth, they died of bacteria, which humans (through the toll of a billion deaths) had been accustomed to. For neither do men live nor die in vain.

Cast (Main characters)


In terms of box office success, the film earned $234.3 million domestically, $357.1 million overseas - a sum total $591.4 million, making it the 4th highest-grossing movie of 2005. In terms of critics, the film was met with predominately positive reviews. Review aggregrate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 73% of critcis gave the film a positive review based on 235 reviews with an average rating of 7/10. The critical consensus is: War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel. At the website Metacritic which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 73/100 based on 40 reviews by mainstream critics. It may be noted, however, that a few viewers severely criticized the film, due to intense changes from the plot, and Rachel's "constant" screaming, which some viewers claimed "nearly ruined the film for them".

External links