War of the Worlds
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: -2

Ray (Tom Cruise) lives in a New York City blue-collar neighborhood. As a divorced father of two, 10-year-old Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and teenager Robbie (Justin Chatwin), he is basically a loser. His ex-wife (Miranda Otto) has remarried and clearly upgraded to a better, more comfortable lifestyle. The kids visit Ray in his ill-kept small house on weekends, constantly reminding him of the luxuries they enjoy at their new home. Soon after Rachel and Robbies arrival for another boring time with an indifferent Ray, a strange storm begins with lightning striking in the same place repeatedly with no accompanying thunder. Then, as neighbors gather down the street, the earth erupts, releasing a huge three-legged monster from another world. The nightmarish events escalate to unbelievable horror as Ray and his children, along with the whole Northeast coast, face what appears to be certain doom. Director Steven Spielberg pulls out all the stops in creating mind-boggling special effects to entertain with relentless horror and suspense.

The 2005 films promotion refers to a remake of Orson Wells famous broadcast more than 60 years ago that was mistaken for a real space-creature invasion. But unlike a radio report, this version of War of the Worlds leaves nothing to the imagination with graphic images of hideous giant monsters destroying cities, of people screaming and running for their lives, and of massive heaps of burning ruins. Landscapes are covered in bloody goo and panic causes people to become vicious as they highjack cars and use weapons. Rays efforts to protect Rachel and Robbie are heroic but dont make up for the intense science-fiction violence. One of the scariest scenes takes place in a storm cellar occupied by Ogilvy (Tim Robbins), a creepy middle-aged man who offers Ray and the children refuge. Several of the monsters reach into the cellar with long, snakelike tentacles equipped with electronic sensors. The horror reflected in Rachels face will be remembered long after recollections of Rays transformation into a hero fade.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Crude Language: Once strong (-ss 1)
Obscene Language: Several (9) times moderate (p-ss1); strong (s-word 7, d-ck 1)
Profanity: Few (3) times strong (GD 3)
Violence: Many times moderate (property damage as building collapse, trees uprooted, ground erupts, panicked crowd attack each other fighting for access to safety); strong (bodies floating in river of blood, crowded ferry boat attacked by aliens, aliens stalking, aliens killing, suspense created by impending doom)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Father transformed from indifferent parent to hero as he faces danger, battles aliens and protects children
Running Time: 118 minutes
Intended Audience: Sci-fi Fans 13 and Older

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