War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds ★★★ 2005 (PG-13)
Spielberg and Cruise re-team in this modern sci-fi remake of the H.G. Wells classic 1898 novel (George Pal produced the 1953 film version) though the M-word (Martians, that is) is never actually uttered here. Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a distant dad forced together with his teenage son Robbie (Chatwin) and 10-year-old daughter Rachel (Fanning) for the weekend. That dysfunctional scene is cut short by powerful lightning strikes that activate massive underground three-legged alien machines bent on destroying every human in sight, which puts Ray and his brood on the run. Typical breathtaking Spielberg special effects abound; Cruise shows why he's an A-lister. 118m/C DVD . US Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Tim Robbins, Justin Chatwin, Rick Gonzalez, David Alan Basche, Yul Vazquez, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Ann (Robin) Robinson, Gene Barry; D: Steven Spielberg; W: David Koepp, Josh Friedman; C: Janusz Kaminski; M: John Williams; Nar: Morgan Freeman.