War of the Worlds ★★★½

Picked this up in 4K on Amazon’s when it dropped to $9.99. I hadn’t seen this film since I was a teenager, before critiquing films, so about 7-8 years ago. Maybe longer. Anyways, I saw it several times on DVD & remember enjoying it despite having issues. All these years later, same assessment, except even more appreciation for the excellent filmmaking. The cinematography is intentionally desaturated & I personally think it’s a good stylish choice. Especially for the dark tone of the film. The score by John Williams is typically great, directing by Spielberg is per usual, very strong at combining Science Fiction, Action & Horror. The acting is rock solid. I enjoyed Tom Cruise’s lead performance. The visual effects hold up very well too. I honestly think it’s because a lot of the film is in camera & more practical then CGI effects. Sound mixing & editing really help with getting immersed in the world. Speaking of which, the world building early on really got me involved with the characters. Which leads me to the negatives: I saw that they did foreshadow what the son’s choice would be, but the arc of his character felt too sentimental in a film that is mostly serious & trying to be realistic. Same with some overly patriotic moments towards the end involving police & military. Which I get why they did: It was a couple years after 9/11, the film has moments that were inspired by said event & many films & TV shows therefore put police & military in a more positive light. I get that in terms of film history, but I still wasn’t a 100% a fan of those moments at the very end. Nonetheless, this is a well crafted film that flaws aside, is very entertaining, well crafted & am very happy I picked it up for my collection. Recommended!
3.75/5 stars.

chadsabourin liked this review