War of the Worlds
The extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it. Ray Ferrier is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. Soon after his ex-wife and her new husband drop of his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.
Jonathan Rosenbaum Spielberg's calculations turn out to be more prominent than any effects they could possibly produce, and the less pretentious 1953 version by producer George Pal emerges as more likable.
Jessica Winter The film succeeds as pure sensation, an exacting distillation of fear.
Ken Tucker Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is huge and scary, moving and funny-another capper to a career that seems like an unending succession of captivations.
Andrew Sarris Overall, the film is too lacking in feeling to provide a recognizably human experience.
Michael O'Sullivan War of the Worlds is taut, gripping and surprisingly dark filmmaking.
Rex Reed There's stuff to make you go 'Wow!' but nothing you'll remember the next day.
David Denby It's as if the aliens landed and everyone died so that Tom Cruise could grow up one more time.
Richard Roeper [B]y far the biggest, loudest and most elaborate adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic.
Scott Foundas The imagery is startling not just for its symbolic resonances, but for the breathless intensity with which it sears the screen.
Stephanie Zacharek Extravagant in movie terms but stingy in emotional ones, it embodies all of Spielberg's bad impulses and almost none of his good ones.
Stephen Whitty Its exploitation of tragic iconography -- just to amp up the screams, tug some tears and sell a few more million movie tickets -- should be deplored.
Stephen Hunter Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is a close encounter of the blurred kind, an orchestration of chaos and panic and destruction as visceral as it can get.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) War of the Worlds can be a nightmarish trip, but it's a terrific film, a blockbuster that lives up to its billing.
David Edelstein It's the human struggle that makes this a sci-fi masterpiece.
Kirk Honeycutt Exploring the dark side of his old films E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spielberg more than does justice to the granddaddy of all alien-invasion tales, H.G. Wells' still terrifying novel published in 1898.
Todd McCarthy A gritty, intense and supremely accomplished sci-fier about some distinctly unbenign alien invaders.
Michael Atkinson It's a rare thing -- a summer movie that demands to be taken as a serious emotional experience.