A contemporary version of H.G. Wells' classic science fiction parable by director Steven Spielberg: Tom Cruise stars as a man who has to protect his young daughter (Dakota Fanning) and teenage son (Justin Chatwin) while running away from an invasion of aliens bent on the total destruction of the earth. Also with Tim Robbins and Miranda Otto. [1:57]
SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man takes off his shirt and we see his bare chest and back.
VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - There are two kinds of alien entities shown: one is called a "tripod," it is metallic, and seems to be a vehicle: it walks on three very long legs, it has a large "head" (its control module) and tentacles dangle underneath. The other alien entities are smaller creatures with large eyes and beak-like mouths, and they have one leg and two arms with suction cups on the end of their "fingers" (they growl and snarl).
► We see from a distance many people scattering and running as tripods come over a hillside and begin firing, and we can hear screaming. People run in panic as a tripod marches through streets firing at them, people are hit by light beams, and they turn to dust and only their clothes remain; we see them being hit, and clouds of dust explode -- one woman is struck and we see her face begin to crumble before she explodes, and a man is covered with the ash remains of other people.
► Buildings are turned to rubble by the beams shot from the tripods, and bridges are cut and toppled tossing cars and trucks off. The front of a building (a church) cracks and falls onto a street. A hole opens in a street, a car falls into the hole, the car is shot back out of the hole, and it lands on another car where two men are hiding (they run away in time). We see the wreckage of large airliners that have crashed into houses and streets; we see one body still strapped into a seat onboard one plane. A flaming train speeds by a crowd of people standing at a railroad crossing. We see filmed footage of numerous tripods attacking cities, firing beams in every direction and bringing the cities to rubble.
► A tripod lowers a man to the ground, then stabs him with a long syringe-looking device: we see his legs jump up when he is stabbed (the rest of his body is blocked by a tractor) and see red liquid rising through the syringe tube.
► A man is grabbed by a tentacle and pulled into a tripod through an orifice, another man is grabbed, he is lifted up, and other people grab onto the man and pull him out -- he plants live grenades inside before he is pulled out, they explode and the tripod crumbles to the ground, while people who had been held in metallic nests attached to the tripod escape and run away.
► A tripod leg slams on the ground near a man, he runs, hides in a car, the car is lifted into the air, spun and dropped to the ground, and a young girl is scooped up by a tendril; the man rushes out of the car, he is scooped up, and we see many people held in metallic nests.
► A tripod comes out from under the water near a ferry filled with cars and people, it tips the ferry knocking people and then cars into the water, it capsizes the ferry, and we see people in the water struggling; the ferry propeller spins loudly on the surface of the water, some people are trapped inside cars and others are scooped up out of the water by long tentacles and taken into the tripod.
► A man ties a cloth over his daughter's eyes, tells her to sing a song and cover her ears, he goes into a small room where another man is, we hear them struggling and fighting, and then one man comes out with blood on his eyebrow (the other man is dead).
► Two men yell at each other, one tells a man he will die if he does not get in the car, the man in the car speeds away and we see the other man in the rear-view mirror being disintegrated by a beam.
► A young girl stands alongside a river and watches a man's body float by, and then many more follow; she panics and screams.
► People break out the window of a car, reach in trying to grab a young girl, and she screams; a man is pulled out of the driver's seat, a young man is pulled out of the passenger seat, and they are both beaten by people surrounding the car (they both have blood on their faces).
► A man fires a gun in the air, a crowd backs away, and another man holds a gun to the first man's head; the second man gets in a car and drives away, but is then shot by a different man (we hear the shots as the car drives by), and someone else takes the car.
► A military attack is launched on a tripod: it is hit by many RPGs, it topples and crashes to the ground, a hatch opens dumping out a torrent of blood, and an alien crawls toward the hatch, falls limp, gasps and dies.
► A military attack is launched with planes and helicopters and tanks: all are firing at a group of tripods, a young man runs to see the attack, there is a huge explosion and fire, a flaming tank rolls down the hill, and the young man does not come back; people scream and run and a large tripod rears up over the hill.
► An enormous leg comes out of a large hole in a street and crashes down onto a car nearly hitting a man, two other legs and a "head" follow, a tripod stands motionless and people look at it with amazement; it begins to walk down the street, and it fires beams that disintegrate people when they are struck.
► A man, a young man and a girl sleep in a basement: they are awakened by wind blowing and lightning, the walls begin to shake, they run into another room just as there is a loud explosion and flames shoot in the doorway as they try to close it. People panic and struggle to get onto a ferry as tripods blow loud horns and prepare to attack; the ramp of the ferry is lifted shooting water on people left on the pier, and several people dangle from the ramp as it is lifted (some drop off and others are helped on board).
► A man hits a man with a shovel and threatens him. A man has a shotgun and talks aggressively to another man. A young girl screams in terror in several scenes.
► A "scope" (it looks and acts like a snake with what looks like one large "eye" that lights up) slithers through a basement where three people hide; they move out of its way, one man raises an ax over it but does not use it; the scope eventually leaves. A young girl wakes up to see a scope next to her, she screams and runs, and a man hacks at it with an ax. Red tendrils spread and cover walls in a basement, we later see them covering everything and we hear them spreading (they're creaking and squishing).
► Small creatures come into a basement where three people hide: they look around, pick up photographs, they appear to drink and eat food that is lying around, and one man takes aim at them with a shotgun, while another man struggles with him over the gun -- the creatures eventually leave.
► People see strange light and swirling clouds in the sky, light flashes, and lightning bolts hit the ground repeatedly (we hear 26 times) with very loud cracks. People stand around a hole made in a street by lightning strikes, the ground begins to rumble and the street cracks causing people to run in fear.
► A man drives a car through a large crowd of people, the people pound on it, the man hits one person knocking him down, another person is thrown off the hood of the car when he swerves, and the man nearly drives into a woman holding a baby, and then crashes into a light pole. A man drives a car fast along roadways where many other cars are stopped and people are stranded.
► Blood is sprayed through the air by the tripods (a man's face is covered with blood), and tattered clothing showers down from the sky as people run through dark woods. Birds eat from red tendrils that cover the ground.
► A man threatens his teenage son by gesturing that he will hit him if he doesn't do what he says. A man and his teenage son play catch while talking angrily, their throws become stronger with each pass and one throw crashes through a window. A man yells at his children in a few scenes. A young girl yells at her teenage brother and shoves him. A man drives his car fast, skidding as he takes a turn. A man puts a loaded gun in his pant's belt. A man gets angry and throws a piece of peanut butter-covered bread that sticks to a window, and then begins to slide down.
► We hear that the army's attacks on the tripods have had no effect. A woman talks about how many tripods there are, where they came from and the extent of the destruction they are causing. We hear many news reports of severe electrical storms.
PROFANITY 4 - 12 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid), 5 religious profanities, 7 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - Two men drink peach schnapps.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Alien intelligences, complacency, H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," envy, divorce, terrorism, being selfish, solar flares, war, extermination, sibling relationships, re-marriage, catastrophic weather phenomena, anger, terror, panic.
MESSAGE - There's always hope, and assistance can come from the unlikeliest of allies.
(Note: There is a reference to God having created bacteria and viruses.)