Prayer Focus

WAR OF THE WORLDS

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images

Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Science Fiction, Action/Adventure
Length:
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
2005
Featuring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Justin Chatwin, Columbus Short, Morgan Freeman, Miranda Otto, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vázquez, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Ann Robinson, Gene Barry, David Alan Basche, Roz Abrams, Michael Brownlee, Camillia Sanes, Marlon Young, John Eddins, Peter Gerety, David Harbour, Miguel Antonio Ferrer, January LaVoy, Stephen Gevedon, Julie White, Marianni Ebert, Rafael Sardina, Amy Ryan, Ed Vassallo, Michael Arthur, Danny Hoch, Sharrieff Pugh, Erika LaVonn, Christopher Evan Welch, John Michael Bolger, Omar Jermaine, Robert Cicchini, Jim Hanna, Tracy Howe, Adam Lazarre-White, Vito D'Ambrosio, Laura Zoe Quist, Ana Maria Quintana, Lorelei Llee, Mark Manley, John Scurti, Becky Ann Baker, Mariann Mayberry, Ty Simpkins, Jerry Walsh, Tommy Guiffre, Daniel Franzese, Ed Schiff, Ellen Barry, Amy Hohn, Daniel Ziskie, David Conley, Daniel Eric Gold, Booker T. Washington, Maggie Lacey, Eric Zuckerman, Daniel A. Jacobs, Asha R. Nanavati, Joaquin Perez-Campbell, Dendrie Taylor, James DuMont, Travis Aaron Wade, Benny Ciaramello, Ricky Luna, Kent Faulcon, Kevin Collins, Terry Thomas, Clay Bringhurst, Jorge-Luis Pallo, Suanne Spoke, Kirsten Nelson, Melody Garrett, Lauri Johnson, Takayo Fischer, Shanna Collins, Elizabeth Jayne Hong, Art Chudabala, Jeffrey Hutchinson, Dempsey Pappion, Chris Todd, Johnny Kastl, Juan Carlos Hernández, Bruce W. Derdoski Jr., John N. Morales, Tom Kenny, Lisa Sample
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Amblin Entertainment, Cruise/Wagner Productions, Damian Collier, Kathleen Kennedy, Paula Wagner, Colin Wilson
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

Extraterrestrials—Are we alone, or is there lots of life elsewhere in the universe? Answer

Bible and ETs—What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

What is Secular Humanism? Answer

Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?

Violence in the media—how does it affect people? Answer

They’re already here.

I have never seen the original 1953 version of “War of the Worlds,” H.G. Wells’ alien-invasion classic, so I cannot compare Steven Spieberg’s 2005 remake. I can compare it to some of the more recent alien-invasion flicks, movies like “Independance Day,” “The X-Files Movie,” or even “Mars Attacks.” What I like best about the new “War of the Worlds” as opposed to the other films mentioned is that “War” is firmly rooted in everyday life. We don’t see politicians fight over how to handle the aliens, or military generals arguing over strategic plans of action. We see an everyday fellow in Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) basically running for his life, trying to protect his kids and trying not to get zapped by the alien death ray.

“War” opens in what looks like New Jersey, where Ray is arriving home to meet his children Robbie and Rachel, who are staying with their bum of a dad while their mom and her new husband visit Boston. The kids don’t care much for Ray, and it appears that the feeling may be mutual after Ray calls his son an “a**hole.” The friendly family bonding is interrupted when a very strange, intense lightning storm hits outside. When it is over, Ray heads out into the streets, where the rest of the people in the neighborhood have gathered to look at a spot that seems to have been struck by lightning numerous times.

Before long, the ground begins to rumble and crack, buildings topple over, and slowly something begins to rise out of the ground. It is a huge metallic robot, that serves as a vehicle for the alien attackers. At first, the townspeople stare at it in wonder, but then begin running for their lives as the pod fires on the people and buildings. Ray runs home to find his children, and they head towards Boston, where it seems Ray wants to get his kids to their mother so he won’t have to worry about them anymore.

They find what appears to be the only working vehicle in the county (the lightning storm caused everything to stop working: cars, watches, lights, cell phones… but apparently not a video camera). Ray and kids drive past throngs of helpless people, hoping to avoid the alien assault that is now affecting the whole world.

The content of “War of the Worlds” will be enough to keep younger children and easily frightened teenagers away. The film contains some very intense, at times distubing, scenes of people being zapped to death by the aliens, shot, chased, and abducted. There is some violence and blood, and a rather disturbing killing, that we don’t see but understand it happened. I felt terrible for a boy of about 9 in the row in front of me. It was clearly disturbing to him, and he had his head turned back on his father’s shoulder toward me for most of the film. The film also contains language, frequent uses of the Lord’s name in vain, and other commonly used (in films) profanity.

What I have come to appreciate most about Steven Spielberg’s films is the sense of wonder and awe they fill me with. Nothing can describe how I felt when I first saw the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” and most of his films have some new, exciting element that sets them apart from films made by less accomplished directors. But, that feeling is missing from “War of the Worlds.” The movie may just as well have been directed by the guy next door, and in that case, I probably wouldn’t have bothered seeing it.

There are holes in the film, scenes that don’t feel like they belong, and an ending that feels forced rather than natural. I must admit, the ending has about as much validity as say, all of “Sahara,” but without the laughs. When it finally did end, “War of the Worlds” added up to a huge disappointment, more along the lines of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” than say “Minority Report.”

If angry aliens aren’t your thing anyway, rent “E.T.” And if they are, well I am sure there are better films out there to rent that have to do with hostile foreign visitors. “Mars Attacks” anyone?

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/nudity: None


Bible and ETs—What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Year of Release—2005 / USA release date: June 29, 2005 (wide)

Viewer Comments
Negative—I was really looking forward to seeing this film as I remembered the old version and hoped this would capture the suspense of the other with updated technology. What a disappointment!!

First, from a Christian point of view, there is nothing to recommend. The human relationships are lacking depth. No one shows any spiritual qualities of any kind. There is little kindness, caring or compassion among the individuals in the film. People are shot and beaten for the use of a car. Others are pushed off a boat. Few are shown coming to their aid. No one is seen praying or turning to God for help. Other commenters here have correctly covered the relationship of Tom Cruise’s chraracter with his family.

There is much use of God’s name in vain—which I did not expect as the PG-13 listing did not include language. If I had known this was the case, I would not have attended. There was an incredible amount of violence to the point of horror. In a scene near the end the blood of devoured human beings was shown spewed all over the place. Also, a graphic scene of an alien ingesting human beings.

The film is noisy, dark and HUMANISTIC to the core. And the ending—a total letdown. I cannot recommend it to anyone. And it should have an R rating, not PG-13!
My Ratings: Offensive/3½
—Carol Vincent, age 58
Negative—This is a very dissappointing movie, and an immoral one. In one scene our “hero” murders an innocent man because he is afraid that the man (who is panicking) will give away their position. The movie is also very violent, including a scene where the aliens spray out the human blood of their victims like rain. Language also abounds. The movie should clearly have been rated R. Even these objections aside, the movie is dark, depressing, and violent. Even the ending looses the morality of the 50s classic (where they made it God who ultimately destroyed the creatures by a virus of sorts). In short, this was one of the most dissappointing movies I have seen in years.
My Ratings: Offensive/2
—Dr. Criswell, age 38
Negative—I was looking forward to seeing this movie since I saw the first preview a couple of months ago. My mom and 14 year old niece went with me, and we all walked out after seeing a little more than half the movie. The language is terrible, and it seems to be a movie that showcases Tom Cruise. It really seemed to have no plot and shows people being graphically blown up by the aliens. Save your money on this one.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/4
—Jess, age 26
Negative—Initially, I was under the impression that the language in War of the Worlds would be fairly tame. How shocked I was to hear God’s name blasphemed—over and over again. Jesus’ name was casually used as slang without even a second thought. Another thing I noticed was that in the original “War of the Worlds”, church buildings were used as shelter, spiritual solace and prayer, as well as a source of food, water and medical treatment. In Spielberg’s version, the church building is one of the first buildings to be destroyed within the first ten minutes of the movie. You never see another one from that point on, or anything Christian for that matter. My husband made the comment that we were getting to see Hollywood’s view of how people respond to utter mayhem and destruction outside of Christian influence. The movie (aside from its spectacular special effects), for me personally felt like a major satanic assault, and I was thankful to finally get out of that movie theatre.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/2½
—Pamela M., age 54
Negative—I had high expectations for this movie given my love for everything Sci-Fi. I had hoped to take my older children (14, 12, 12) so I watched it first alone with them in mind. There were several scenes with strong profanity. but I wouldn’t say it was continuous or overwhelming. There were many frightening and graphic scenes of death, dead bodies, and total destruction. You see many scenes with people in terror and dying.

I was also bothered by the relationship between the father (Tom Cruise) and his two children. It’s obvious the children live with their mother after the divorce. The mother has remarried a successful, handsome man and has a new baby on the way. The father obviously does not have his act together, which seems to be an excuse for the children to show him no respect. The older son insist on calling him by his first name and has several confrontations where he confronts his father about the past. There are also several blatant acts of rebellion and defiance by the son.

There is really no mention of God until a reference at the very end of the movie. The people in the movie do not turn to God for wisdom or protection, but instead live or die by chance and their own efforts. In one scene, it’s implied that taking another person’s life is justified if it’s meant to save a loved one. There were never any scenes I would consider gruesome, but we are given enough information to know what’s happening.

As an adult, I enjoyed the movie for its story line, action, and special effects. It would frighten smaller children (7) and isn’t the best choice for those under 13. If you’re a die-hard Sci Fi fan with older teens, you might consider it. Anyone else should take the kids to see Herbie instead.
My Ratings: Offensive/3½
—Sterling Evans, age 37
Neutral—With all respect to Sterling Evans, I have to disagree with his critique about the implication of taking another’s life to save the life of a loved one’s. I am a mother, and I consider it to be a command by God to protect her, especially if all other avenues have been exhausted. Ray did exhaust all avenues when he had to “kill” that one man. He warned him and even tried to stop him from axing the alien’s long camera or whatever that thing was. He also stopped him from using his shotgun.

In the statement about his children disrespecting their father, Ray did not foster a relationship with his children, he completely dismissed his daughter Rachel’s allergy to peanut butter, which she had since birth. Ray was an irresponsible father who did not make it a point to remember when his children were coming to see him. Ray did exasperate his children to the point of their disrespect of him. I cannot expect people to behave in accordance to the Word of God, when He is not in their hearts.

I do not consider the older version of this movie to be any more moral or biblically adherent than this one. Don’t forget that the preacher who was killed by the aliens, felt that the aliens were closer to God because of their technological advancement, and he held his Bible up as an amulet of “protection.”

…our lives and deaths are in vain, unless Jesus is glorified by our mouths, actions, His will in our lives, and His indwelling of our souls. I do agree, the blood and the eating of the humans was disgusting and unnecessary. This movie is like the “food sacrificed to idols,” and respect to those who are weaker. God bless you and grant you discernment. Without giving away the ending of the movie, I will say it was worth it.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Mrs. Megan Empey, age 31
Positive—…I was blown away. I left the theater impacted on all the destrution and devastion that the aliens left behind. It reminded me of the judgments of God coming upon mankind if we don’t repent. let me explain the aliens come in storm clouds and travel into these large machine that have been in the earth (“for God knows how long”) through a lightning bolt. kind of reminds me of what Jesus said: I saw satan fall like lightning. every body on the planet is caught by surprise by the sudden devastation. (“the day of the Lord comes will catch many off gaurd”)if you know your bibles look it up it might not be the same way I wrote it but it means the same thing. Next: the aliens leaves mankind defenseless and powerless at the mercy of these worldly invaders. by the end of the movie it was neither man nor his technology that defeated the aliens but God in his mercy and wisdom. want to find out what his mercy and wisdom is check out the movie.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Joshua, age 26
Neutral—For the reasons listed by other viewers, I am neutral on this film. Exciting special effects are the reason I went, and I was not dissappointed in that. One thing the other viewers have not mentioned is the ending. SPOILER: I was sorry that the director opted for an unrealistic “everyone’s happy” ending because he missed the point of the boy chosing to walk outside of his father’s authority. When choices like that are made, there are consequences to pay and for no reason at all, this boy didn’t pay them. It made me feel very let down at the end. That seems odd to be let down because someone lived, but there it is.
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Lee Swetnika, age 42
Negative—I attended this movie due to my interest in the works of H. G. Wells, the 1938 Mercury Theater radio broadcast by Orson Welles, and the 1953 film version of the book. Wells invented the “alien invasion” plot device, obviously copied a thousand times, and he should properly be remembered for that. Otherwise, he was an utterly ungodly man who made it his mission to further the causes of atheism, communism, biological evolutionism, and even, some say, originating the seed thought for the theory of nuclear fission and atomic bombs. He was on a first name basis with Lenin and Stalin. Orson Welles caused a great deal of harm using this man’s original idea.

With this is mind, I saw this movie and attempted to compare it to the 1953 film starring Gene Barry. I’ve seen that movie on TV several times, and it always struck me as somewhat more optimistic than the book, even somewhat religious in tone. The screenwriters for the 1953 version did manage to portray people resorting to God and the advice of preachers in time of need, although, to be sure, the original preacher certainly was presented as utterly foolish, approaching the aliens waving his Bible and inviting them to dialogue.

But this movie is uniformly an attack on the God of Scripture and Christians. Its thesis is atheistic, evolutionary, immensely profane (as others have noted), and totally pessimistic about humanity and the meaning of life, jammed full of death and destruction. The plot even served the director’s own interests, making fleeting references to his older works, such as the alien playing with a bicycle wheel, a la “E.T.” For some reason, the scriptwriters felt the need to bring up the leading character’s broken family and his failure as a husband and father and use alien invasion as a backdrop, making this movie all the more depressing.

…the amount of blood and gore depicted should have earned this movie an “X” rating. The alien beings look like medieval demonic caricatures. Inexplicably, they harvest lots of human blood. Alternately, the church building was the first to be toppled, which seems highly symbolic. Dumb luck and an ax or shovel to beat someone’s head in is what you need to survive, in the minds of the protagonists. That’s the doctrine of demons.

The movie also massively insults the intelligence of viewers, suggesting that ordinary people are stupid enough to stand and gawk at a monstrous, menacing, obviously space alien machine emerging from the crater. I asked myself the question: if the ground started quaking, would I just stare and dance around the fissures? And upon seeing the tripod rise up, would I immediately think, “Wow, will ya look at that! This is better than the amusement park! What will they think of next!” But, let it disintegrate hapless onlookers and maybe the rest will wake up to the fact that the aliens are not amused. This is the same type of elitist assumption H. G. Wells used so often.

I presume that the prolog and epilogue to this movie, that cast the humble bacteria (as Wells did) as being the unwitting ally of the humans, is a tribute to Wells. But one wonders, if malevolent space aliens have been watching us for the suggested million years, burying their incredible weapons of destruction for that long and have the technology to travel across interstellar distances and ride lightning bolts into the earth, why is it they’ve never heard of the little critters and the havoc they might wreak on their sinuses and their tripods? And what about the little critters they undoubtedly brought with them from their home world? Are we to assume that their bacteria are earth-friendly?

Tom Cruise did a passable acting job, but this is a devilish, horrible, frightening and depressing movie, CGI action and heart stopping suspense notwithstanding. Better-equipped enemy aliens would overrun the planet in a day, leaving no one alive. That would mean that the Lord Jesus would have no one to come back for. That would suit Hollywood just fine, I suspect. They’d rather go down fighting invading aliens than answer to an almighty God who is holy and just and who cannot be thwarted.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/3
—Alan Roberts, age 55
Positive—First off, let me say this: this is NOT for those who have survived any brush with the Holocaust or have seen any sort of war-related violence up close. The similarities between the Martians and any enemy the US has fought (or the US itself, come to think of it) is striking, and truly frightening.

Secondly, this movie is, for all intents and purposes, an excellent movie. Out of a horrible disaster in which one billion people are incinerated, drained of their blood, or killed by other people, one man and his children reconnect in a way nobody but God could have orchestrated.

God is present in the film, if only as an after note. Still, the ramifications of that after note, that is, God’s tiniest creatures, viruses which we ourselves are/came to be immune to, were our built-in defense mechanism for this attack, which He in his infinite wisdom foresaw, make one take another look at the movie.

Disaster movies are plagued with bad language and scenes of violence, and “WotW” is no different. Violence shouldn’t be a problem for Christians, since we read the world’s most violent book everyday (beheadings, wars, fire and brimstone levelling cities). Language might keep a few away.

Two scenes of note come to my mind when I say this: children/teenagers who are easily frightened/impressionable/too young/whatever should not be taken to this film. The first is a scene in which the main character and his children are attacked by a swarm of people for their van, and a scene in which a tripod uses a large harpoon-like extension to suck the blood out of a flailing, pleading human. This happens behind a beat-up truck, but one can still feel the agony of what is happening to this man.

All in all, this is a grim look at both war, the de-evolution (sorry, couldn’t think of anything else) of mankind’s values during a time of crisis, and the way in which God uses a large event (The Invasion) to cause a smaller event (The main character’s reconciliation with his children.) to occur as part of his great plan.

Go see this movie if you’re in the mood for fast-paced sci-fi action and poignant moments with a man trying his hardest to reconnect with children that he, in his blindness, forgot about.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Sean Domis, age 19
Negative—The movie was not the sci-fi I expected, but very bloody with extreme blood horror movie, and grizzy loud noise over and over. It could cause a flash back or shock to a recent war vet. It is immoral; there was no God anyone called on except to profane… many more curses than expected. It really was a rated “R” movie cloaked as a PG-13. I liked the special effects (which were great) of the aliens, expect how lasers (too evil/realistic?) murdered so many people. …when they were trapped in the basement, which seemed like a dungeon, one guy was insane, who Tom has to murder, the aliens are spraying blood as fertilizer; blood is everywhere—it was very Satanic at this point. I should have walked out. Do not expose your heart to this—the enemy’s hands are on it. You will feel attacked spiritually.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/4
—Greg, age 45
Neutral—“War of the Worlds” since it first aired on the radio has set the bar for alien films. So naturally going into the theatre I was excited to see Steven Spielberg’s verision of the story. We all have seen and loved ET and other family films that he has made over the years. So you can only expect this would be a hit even if Tom Cruise has acted a little crazy in public lately. Could not have been more wrong.

H.G Wells wouldn’t be happy. Sure the effects were fantastic and was eye candy for the senses, yet sin is the same or we wouldn’t do it. Just as sin masks itself as good when is really evil, so does this moive (to an extent). It projects itself as a family movie then uses words that I can read on a bathroom wall and save my $7.50 if I wanted. The gore is not graphic in the sense that you see someone get opened up and blood pours out They make it seem as though its just some strange root growing or something being blown out of the machine until Crusie sees for himself what the aliens are really up to.

Overall the movie is realistic, if you believe that there are aliens that can come down and take over the world. But don’t go if you wanted to see a movie that takes a stand on the existance of God. They are to busy making you believe that there are aliens in the universe.
My Ratings: Average/2½
—Brian Shannon, age 33
Negative—…This movie is one of the worst I have seen in the theater in a long time. Not that there are not a lot of worst pictures, but I usually avoid those. This was an immoral movie which features a hero who murders a man in cold blood simply because the guy was panicking (ever heard of a slap in the face? or perhaps find somewhere else to hide?). The movie also should have been R. It has excessive foul language and a scene where human blood is sprayed all over the earth like rain! In short, the movie is sick and lacks humanity. The providence so evident in the original is replaced with the god of nature and a short remark in the narration. One expected Tom Cruise’s character to change but ultimately he never did. A big disappointment.
My Ratings: Offensive/2
—D Criswell, age 38
Negative—I hope that this is not the best effort that Spielberg can put forth. I found the movie to be the worst adapatation of a classic I have ever seen. First, in place of actual acting we have special effects. Very good special effects to be sure, but aside from a lot of open mouth stares and screaming there were few lines to learn. I had free tickets so at least I didn’t pay to get in to the show. Tom Cruise puts forth his usual string of profanity. and I have to wonder just how many millions of gallons of red paint or food coloring was used for all the blood. All in all I would rate this movie a “must miss.”
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/2
—John C. Lasne, age 55
Neutral—I saw “War of the Worlds” today. The good side is that it doesn’t have nudity or sex or any sexual innuendoes. It emphasizes family closeness and the importance of family. The downside is that it contains several abuses of deity and no one is seen praying to God. In fact, a whole church is destroyed in some sort of humanistic, symbolic manner.
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Shannon, age 23
Negative—This movie is one of the worst I have ever seen. So many scenes didn’t add up. and they left you saying, “huh?.” Not to mention the horrible ending. The ending came out of nowhere and with no explanation. Terrible let down. Throughout this movie I felt a sense of hopelessness, and it did not make my spirit feel good. No one turned to God, nor is there ever any mention of Him other than to blaspheme His name. I had a headache by the end of the movie, and if I hadn’t gone with other people I would have walked out (by the way, the people I went with couldn’t stand the movie either). I had read the bad reviews before going, but I wanted to make up my own mind. Next time I’ll know better.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/1
—Andrea Buckalew, age 29
Positive—How would people react to a massive attack on our planet? Probably the way they react in this movie, and it isn’t pretty. Despite scattered plot holes, I found this a suspenseful and entertaining film that was, even with a fairly thin plot and strong reliance on special effects, nevertheless thought-provoking. The film isn’t for young children, nor for those who would be offended by seeing how people would behave and talk under such circumstances. But the film had a surprisingly strong pro-family message, offered the possibility of redemption, and even (SPOILER ALERT) kept the ending of the book and the 1953 version of the film (which is actually quite good even though it’s as old as I am). The film raises a number of moral issues, which might be a good reason to talk about it with your kids afterward.
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Eric, age 52
Negative—On the positive side the special effects and acting were well done in this movie, however, it is definitely very disturbing, and I have one major objection to it. Since it is an alien movie, I was not expecting God to be present at all, and throughout the entire movie He was absent. Then all of a sudden at the end He is thrown in, and it is said that the creatures were destroyed by bacteria which God, in His wisdom and mercy had placed on the earth. I thought that was completely out of place in a movie that spent the whole time ignoring God. And then it raises questions, such as who came first aliens or God? It would have been better to leave God completely out than to try and mix Him in with a humanistic worldview. You can’t have both!

Yes, you could say that God allowed this to happen, but He is completely sovereign over evil and so eventually beat it in the end. Yet, it still doesn’t mix with the whole alien theme, which seems so anti-God to me. We as humans want to believe that there is a higher power out there, as long as it doesn’t hold us accountable for our actions. Why would God create aliens and then keep it a secret from us? Throughout the Bible His heart and focus were on the earth, why would he have created another planet? Perhaps they live in another universe where God is not present. But if so then He is no longer God. Finally, if God did create aliens, did they fall into sin too? Did Jesus have to go and die for them? That’s not biblical. But if they were perfect, God could have put one of them in human form and nailed it to a cross for our sins. It doesn’t add up. Obviously “War of the Worlds” was not going to be a Christian movie, so don’t try to make it one by putting God in as an afterthought to justify your conscience.

As for the violence, gore, and swearing, I’m not expecting people who aren’t Christians to behave as if they are. It was very in tune with our sinful world. However, I already live in this world, so do I need to fill my mind with more swearing, blood and violence?
My Ratings: Very Offensive/4
—Melissa, age 18

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Neutral—Spielberg/Cruise have done it again! I JUST got home and raced to my computer to tap out my comments while the movie was still fresh in my mind. The movie is definitely dark. But I’ve noticed that with all of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi movies of late. They all have a grey overcast to them and “War of the Worlds” was no different. We see a father’s transformation from completely selfish and insensitive to fighting (and killing) to protect his children. There was a LOT of blood which is rare for Spielberg. (Even “Jurassic Park” kept it minimal!) Maybe he caught a taste of it while filming “Saving Private Ryan” and feels he needs more of it in his movies. Dakota Fanning was SUPERB as always. And while God did not appear to be present DURING the movie, once you get to the end, you understand how His providence was there all along. Like so many others have said already, the language was neccessary to convey a sence of realism to an attack from a merciless alien invader. Would you rather have had people looking up at the sky saying, “Oh look. We’re under attack. What’s for dinner, Honey?”
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Pete, age 26
Positive—“War Of The Worlds” struck me as a healthy mix between “Independence Day” and “Signs”. First off, it’s about real people, not epic movie heroes (like “Signs”). At the same time, the film shows first-hand the epic war between us and the relentless weaponry of the aliens (like “ID4”). I didn’t know what to expect from this movie due to the vague nature of the trailers. Let me say that it is what we should come to expect from Spielberg Sci-Fi as it is very familiar tone-wise. I was reminded of his previous Sci-Fi efforts throughout the whole film.

The story is very engaging on many levels. There appears to be no way of returning fire to the alien forces which leaves no option for the characters but to run for their very lives. The hopelessness is very strong, adding dread as it becomes increasingly difficult to flee from the constant attacks. The film creates some very strong suspense, mainly where we see what people can become in the face of such onslaught on life as they know it.

Visually, the film is stunning. In addition to Spielberg’s trademark cinematography and lighting, we are treated to seamless special effects and spectacle. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I believed it.

Morally, “War Of The Worlds” is difficult to surmise. Tom Cruise’s character is by no means a good man or parent, and makes some terrible choices along his journey. His interaction with his children is painful to watch: a crash course on how not to raise a family. We can see that he loves his kids, but he is so fundamentally flawed that he has trouble showing his love in a productive manner.

The trailers indicated that there would be some subtle political messages, but they are almost non-existent. Just when you think the film is going to launch into a preachy tirade, it jumps around and shows another side to the coin. The film is very pro-military. It shows countless soldiers fighting selflessly and bravely, however fruitless their efforts may seem.

Content-wise, it was not offensive to me, but could very easily be to many people. There is a hefty amount of language, some of which is uttered by children. The violence was pretty graphic, and there is gore to be dealt with as well.

There were very few things I was disappointed with. The first few could have been fixed by a little healthy exposition. The second is the ending which is, to say the least, abrupt. I suppose I should have seen it coming as that is how the book ends as well. The movie leaves the audience in the dark without knowing much more about the aliens than when we started.

Overall, “War Of The Worlds” was a fun ride until the end. Not a classic by any means, but a solid summer movie. In the film’s conclusion we are basically told that God is responsible the saving of mankind from the invaders—a very brave statement to make. I appreciated that little tidbit a lot. It’s nice to know there are some in Hollywood who realize that we can’t rely on our own power and will to save us. We need our creator.
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Cade Loven, age 18
Negative—Thought this was going to be a decent movie. As others have mentioned there is a fair amount of language. Once again another broken-family Hollywood movie. Lame father, disobedient children, horrid family relationship. Son calls his father by first name through most of movie. Acting is fair at best. Once again stupid people doing things that a normal person with any common sense would not do. First part of movie gets going, but there is a lot of violence. Second part of the movie drags a lot. Also there is a lot of blood and gore added as the alien ships collect humans and spew their blood all over the screen. It was very graphic in my opinion. The ending was not very well done either. It just kind of came to an end. Hard to explain, but when you watch it you might agree. Special effects were fairly good, but not the best. No mention of God until the very end of the movie and that was by the narrator. Limited to no Christian value at best. I will never go to an opening day of a movie again. If I had know that it was going to be like this I would have avoided it all together. I thought Spielburg would do much better.
My Ratings: Average/2
—SMR, age 44
Neutral—Despite some amazing effects, I can’t recommend this movie without some major disclaimers. First, this movie should have been rated R. In fact, I’ve seen many R movies that weren’t this intense. There are many scenes of death and destruction and the movie leaves you with a feeling of hopelessness throughout. In fact, I couldn’t help but think that Spielberg may not have been evisioning an alien invasion so much as unwittingly making a movie of the end times. People are selfish, have no direction or outlet for their fears, and are unable to do anything about their situation. Had the emphasis on God delivering the earth from annihalation been more strongly played the movie could have had a truly inspiring message. Instead, all you get from the movie is there’s nothing we can do, nor anyone or anything to take hope or comfort from, and, worst of all, it’s okay to do evil if you feel threatened by something. If you want a Spielberg movie filled with overwhelming despair go see “Schindler’s List” again instead.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/3
—Mike Goldsmith, age 29
Positive—I have the original Orson Wells movie. I thought Speilbergs version was just amplified to the maximum. My family and I were on the edge of our seats most of the movie. It was shocking, scary and very entertaining as far as science fiction movies go. It was Speilbergs imagination, elaborating on the original film and the aliens were definitely terrible creatures stomping on the human race with their gigantic killing machines.

In the original movie, when the aliens shot at people they would completely turn red and then you would see a dust spot on the ground in the image of their physical body. The new movie had them immediately vaporize into nothingness with a bit of their clothing floating in the air, but exterminating the people in mass amounts. It was quite scary to say the least. I thought it was almost realistic in the way Speilberg tried to make it believable if earth was attacked by a alien being who absolutely hated the human race. Of course, this movie is fictitious and I would say these aliens were demons in space ships.

It led you to believe that somehow the aliens were taking the blood out of the human beings when they vaporarized them and using the blood for whatever reason and then spewing it all over the earth where it looked like tree roots covering the earth. My daughter got very upset at that point and actually did not feel well, until I told her it was the aliens using the restroom on the earth.

I don’t know why people would go in thinking they were going to find a Christian movie called “The War of the Worlds.” In the first movie there is a preacher who goes out trying to make peace with the aliens, praying Psalm 19 and the aliens obliterate him. Then throughout the movie, they have people taking sanctuary in churches,, but it didn’t stop the aliens. The new movie, I don’t know if many people noticed, but Tom Cruise in the beginning, when he is running is saying under his breath, “God help me, God help me.” Then you don’t hear about God until the very end, where it explains that God was in control. It’s not a Christian movie; it’s a science fiction movie. I thought it was really done well.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Donna Moynahan, age 49
Positive—This movie was extremely entertaining. I was impressed with everthing about it from special effects to the plot. There were some offensive parts when they say GD but other than that nothing real bad. In the very end they make mention of God’s infinite wisdom… This is a good movie to see.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Alex Parker, age 22
Negative—There was very little real violence in WotW. We see many people explode onscreen when hit by a death-ray, but there is little blood or gore. In another scene, a red mist is sprayed out by a robotic showerhead, and we come to understand that this mist is human blood. As for language, as a businessman who deals with very average people, I can tell you for sure that this is below the language that most people use. The problems come up in the story itself. Instead of focusing on any warlike elements, the film instead becomes a dark psychological horror film that glorifies survivalism. There was one scene wherein there was a rather large battle with the aliens, and we never see any of it, only a few tanks firing shells, and the aliens coming up out of the pit. In addition, the aliens are shown as being far too invincible. For a movie like this to work, there has to be the idea that, while they are much stronger than we are, we can still fight them. The “invincible shields” idea doesn’t do much for that. We’re told that somehow they figured out how to fight them in Bejing (or somewhere), but we never see it happening. Basically, what should have been a great sci-fi war film with a lot of human interest simply became a rather weird attempt at a horror movie. The production quality was as excellent as you might expect from Spielberg, but that just doesn’t cut it with this movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3
—Nathan Gundlach, age 20
Neutral—I found this movie very compelling, and (to say the least) very graphic. However, I must admit that I to, like many others, are dissapointed that in the movie the characters don’t ever seem to pray or turn to God. The lack of a relationship between Ray and his son is also sad. However, I found this movie, despite the over the top situations, to be very real. Through many scenes, including a graphic scene when the Ray crashes his van or how he handled Tim Robbins’ character, I asked myself just what I would do in those situations. And I realized that in those scenes I would’ve done the exact same thing Ray did. I found this movie very ironic. Not just because of how it ended, but because it wasn’t just aliens Ray had to protect his family from. Ray also had to defend his family against other people, who tried to harm his famly to save themselves.

The special effects were outstanding, and the whole trying to run for your life while a holocaust is occuring right behind you made me sit on the edge of my seat through out the entire movie. Parents should use common sense when thinking about bringing their kids to see this movie, as it can be very scary. I disagree with it’s PG-13 rating, but their’s no nudity to bring it up to an R rating. “War of the Worlds” is a good movie, and when seeing it, I knew to expect very graphic situations. People (especially parents bringing kids) should do the same.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Anthony, age 18
Positive—…very well done and worth the money and time we spent on it. …I would like to say how realistic some of the scenes were and how they could really happen. Except for the alien element, of course. In the end times, I can see people killing and rioting over the only working car in the country. I could see my husband killing a man in order to keep our children alive. Given the situation, I thought it was highly plausible and anything else wouldn’t have been realistic. I especially noticed how the children, even in times of crisis, did not obey their father since they had no relationship with him and did not trust him.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Molly Farhangi, age 29
Negative—…Its PG-13, and deservedly so. I can’t think of an R rating being justifiable for this film, and people who might suggest it probably don’t watch films that are rated R for violence. That said, this movie was shot very well, with each camera angle interesting and refreshing. It was a blast visually, with the aliens being quite realistic looking and sounding. My main problem with this movie is that it has too much disaster content to be a dramatic family movie (“Cinderella Man” pulled this off so much better), and it has too much emotional content to be a satisfying sci-fi blockbuster. It comes off as either a sappy sci-fi movie or an over-produced family drama. Either way, I didn’t care enough about Tom Cruise’s character to be interested in his family’s story, nor did they spend enough time explaining the alien’s mission. If you want to watch a sci-fi movie that got the action part right, rent Independence Day. If you want to watch a sci-fi movie that got the drama part right, rent Signs. Don’t bother wasting your money on this one, this is Spielberg’s worst since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
My Ratings: Average/2
—Tom Breimaier, age 21
Neutral—If you saw the original you can wait for the CD (to see the special effects) to avoid spending $7 to 8 per person for this film.
My Ratings: Average/2
—Bob C, age 41
Negative—Of course, it’s terrible but Christians need to know why. H.G. Wells, the author of the 1898 novel, was an oustpoken atheist/socialist secular humanist who embraced all forms of evil, eugenics, communism and the like. He met with Lenin! His novels are unrelievedly grim and redolent of a world without God. No Christians should have anything to do with this disturbed man’s work.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/1
—Barry, age 52
Positive—…very well made. More importantly, I want to note that I have viewed several audience reviews on this Web site, and I am now very confused. Many of you view these films in a close-minded fashion, expecting the filmmakers to share your exact sentiments about the world. I ask, how is that possible? Not everyone is a Christain. For example, Spielberg, the director of WOTW is Jewish, so why do you expect him to make a Christian film? I have also noticed that many people get upset when characters don’t act in a Christian mannner, which leads me to ask, how is it possible for everyone in the world to act just like you? Films are art and they are about exploring different types of people and situations. Therefore, it is a necessity to explore dark subject matter at times, because that’s reality. In case you haven’t noticed there’s a major war going on right now in which people are being killed for no reason. The world isn’t always happy, so why must films turn their back on reality?…
My Ratings: Good/4½
—The Dude, age 21

Comments from young people
Positive—This movie is nothing close to a waste of money or a let down. I saw it the opeaning week and loved it. It kept me in suspence the entire movie. The special features are amazing and made this movie totaly worth it. I can’t wait for this movie to come out on DVD so I can watch it again with my family. This movie is a great example of what the end times could look like. In the end one of God’s smallest creations saves the entire universe, showing again that every living creature has and was made for a purpose. In the beginning of the movie Tom Cruise’s relationship was down the drain whith his 2 kids. In the end even through all the death and trama they go through they end up all coming closer together and their relationship were restored. I think this is a overall great movie and a must see…
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Daniel Foltz, age 14
Neutral—I thought that this movie was just okay. The special effects were great, but one tripod attack after another just got kind of old. The aliens were only shown briefly, which I was kind of disappointed in. The language was pretty bad too, with about 3 GD’s and 3 vain uses of Jesus. There had to be at least 8 SH, and several A, once with hole. It wasn’t that scary either. The part in the cellar reminded me of Jurassic Park 1 when they were hiding in the kitchen from the raptors. Overall, if you’re at all interested in the movie, rent it.
My Ratings: Offensive/2½
—Geno, age 15
Negative—This movie was not all bad. In fact, I really got into the movie all the way up to the end. In the end I thought I was left think “what was that movie about?” They create this great story then leave you hanging. If their it a nummber two I would see it but only to get some of my questions answered. Save your movie go see somthing else.
My Ratings: Better than Average/1½
—Chris, age 17
Neutral—I thought this movie was extremely good, and though it had a few cuss words, was a very fast paced, intense through movie. People keep sending in comments in about how they don’t approve of the profanity, but how can you not expect it in a movie about aliens destroying the world? I saw the movie three times, and could actually see it again. This movie is definitely not intended for younger audiences, and has many scenes that would scare kids. The thing about the movie I liked was that it took about 10 minutes to get into the action. The main characters were introduced, the family conflict was pointed out, and the action started. Definitely don’t recommend this movie for young children.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Ty Forney, age 14
Positive—This is a great movie for prople who are into sci-fi and horror movies. If you don’t like violence or blood,or don’t see this movie. Childern should also not see this movie. If you do like those kind of movies, and you mature enough, then this one will not you down. I was on the edge of my seat during several scenes. The acting was OK, Cruise could have done better.(The best acting in my opinion was done my the army guys, played by the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, New York. You go guys!) There a scenes of intense violence, both by Martians and Humans, and blood. So be forewarned. My Ratings: [Offensive/4
—Jim, age 17
Positive—Plenty has already been said about the level of violence and use of profanity in this movie, and they have been valid points; families should use discretion in bringing their children to this movie. However, I would by no means call this movie humanistic. [SPOILER] Although the entirity of the film focuses on the humans’ attempt to defeat the invaders, we learn at the very end that the battle was won before it started because God had built a natural defense against them into His creation in the form of bacteria. There is a very good parallel between the people’s struggle against the invaders and our own struggle against sin. Sruggling against one’s own sin is as futile as trying to fight the aliens on one’s own power. And just as God already had the aliens defeated, he has already defeated sin through His Son, Jesus Christ. Whether this parallel was intended by the moviemakers or not, it makes for good conversation with the family if you choose to take them.
My Ratings: Average /3½
—Neal Johnson, age 17
Negative—Not only was this movie extremely boring and difficult to sit through, it was offensive, and I cannot even count the times God’s name was used in vain. I was very disappointed at the lack of creativity. The aliens looked exactly like the ones from “Independence Day”; the plot was boring and unoriginal. Sure it was a remake, but why make a remake if it’s exactly like everything else. This movie lacked MAJOR originality. It didn’t seem to me like this movie was very well thought out. The scene where the father and his daughter hide underground in a basement was extremely long, boring and dull. Basically the same things happened over and over and I just wanted to get up and do something else.

The part that struck me as very offensive was when Tom Cruise’s character killed another man and told his daughter to cover her ears and sing a song. This is very disturbing, and I could feel Satan using this for his advantage. The violence was very extreme and hard to watch; this movie is very gory, gross and has much offensive language which makes me sad… I cannot even imagine how sad it makes God to see his name used in vain, people being entertained by other people getting killed, and children having to watch their father kill another man for no reason whatsoever!!! This movie is definitely NOT appropriate for children OR adults!! My philosophy is: if our children aren’t supposed to be watching this, we aren’t either! I don’t think Jesus would sit in on this movie, and I wish I hadn’t.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/1
—Natalie, age 16
Neutral—I had been looking forward to this movie for a while, and had psyched myself up to see by watching the trailers before me and my sister went. I expected a sci-fi movie, with little or no horror. But I got a movie that was mainly focused on giving the viewer a sense of fear for the characters. I am not totally against this, but I thought it could have been done better. In addition to horriffic scenes of blood spattered and sprayed across the landscape, the foul language and violence only added to my disapointment.

But it wasn’t all bad. The father of the familly that the movie follows (Tom Cruise) shows some love and concern for his children. The movie also forces you to ask your own questions during almost every part of the film (but ultimately leaves most of them unanswered). The special effects are also done nicely, and it definitely follows the “alien invasion” scenario.

I recommend this movie, but I advise you: Don’t take the kids, and realize that you are seeing a horror film, that leans on the “R” rating.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Daniel, age 15
Positive—This movie isn’t all that bad. The special effects were really good and the acting was believable. Yes, there is language in the movie but given the horrific situation the people are in language isn’t acceptable but at least it wasn’t thrown in there for the heck of it. I wish there was more prayer in this movie, but at least religion wasn’t mocked and even at the end God is referred to as the wise creator of the earth. There is a lot of violence, but most isn’t very graphic something usually obstructs your view or it happens so quickly you don’t see all of it. I thought it had a very good story line, and I’m glad it didn’t take long for the aliens to attack unlike some movies where we wait around for an hour for the gigantic attack. There was no sex in the movie, and it encourages family bonds and to never give up. Sure, there is some objectionable content, but if you were hoping not to see violence or hear foul language why did you go see a movie about aliens destroying the world?
My Ratings: Average/4
—Matthew, age 16
Negative—This was just another movie with a bad story line, good special effects and foul language. The movie was not very boring and even though it was just 2 hours it seems that the movie was stretched out to much. The movie was just what I hoped it wouldn’t be, but worse—a big budget film that was too “Tom Cruisey” and “Speilbergy.” Some of the language was too foul and wasn’t necessary. The relationship that Ray had with his son is terrible, and there was no need for them cursing at each either, especially in front of his daughter.

Overall, I give this movie a 2 because of the foul language and bad story line. I do not recommend this movie for kids under 13 at all. The orginal was much better than this movie.
My Ratings: Offensive/2
—Daniel Brasher, age 15
Positive—If you have not seen this movie, do not read this entry, as it will spoil many parts of it. Tom Cruise’s character never explicitly killed anyone. All they showed was him closing the door and his daughter singing. He very well could have whacked the man over the head. And it wasn’t for “no good reason,” either. The man was endangering them, and something had to be done.

Also, there were several instances where people lent a helping hand. First, Ray Ferrier tries to persuade his autoshop friend to get into the van with them. Unfortunately, the man declines and is soon killed. Later, Robbie runs across the ferry to help those hanging off the edge of the ramp onto the boat, saving them from the water. While in the field, the man and woman take Ray’s daughter for the fear that she is alone. The man in the basement hails anyone who is willing to take cover in his shelter. Ray tries to tell people that the tunnel near the end of the movie is the safest place to be at that moment. Ray also tries to prevent the basement man from firing his gun and severing the “camera.” He also frequently shields his daughter from the horrors surrounding her young mind.

I loved the ending. I was thrilled that Robbie hadn’t died. I’m sick of these endings where the filmmakers are trying to NOT make an ending you’d expect. It’s becoming to be what I DO expect. An unhappy ending. Also, I enjoyed the narration: “…It was God’s little creatures…” Beautiful.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Katie, age 18
Positive—…I was hesitant about seeing the movie because of the comments about it being terribly gruesome. I went anyways, and was expecting it to get really bad, but it didn’t. The aliens would zap people, and no blood was shown at the beginning. Later in the movie the aliens would pick people up and place them inside their machines and suck them up. The only questionable thing would be when they sprayed peoples blood over the ground, but it wasn’t emphasized and was only shown in two very short scenes. There was NO chopping, crushing, severing, or tearing of the bodies. I would consider it less gruesome than most war movies. I enjoyed it and thought it was a great movie with excellent acting.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Lindsey Kirkland, age 14
Neutral—I saw this movie with my dad and my sister (19). We liked it overall. The special effects were pretty good. The acting was excellent. Dakota is great! Tom is, too! And Justin Chatwin rocks!

In one part of the movie, a man tells Cruise that the aliens buried the huge robots in the earth before any life was evolved. Which was rather disturbling. There was some language; the people in the movie were portrayed as heartless and uncaring of others, people murdered each other, and the aliens did horrific things to the people they captured. I am a person who loves scary movies.

By the end of the movie, it shows a teared relationship with a father and his kids being sewed back together. Which was refreshing. I liked the movie overall. I will most likely buy it when it comes out on DVD. If you are going to see this movie, keep in mind that it is not a wholesome family, Christian movie. It is not a movie for younger kids. I would save it for older teens and adults (maybe 15 and up). I think it should’ve been a horror movie. My dad and I were joking around that before they made this movie, they watched “Independence Day” with Will Smith. Personally, I think I liked that one better.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Devynn, age 16
Positive—I have been looking forward to seeing this movie for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. The acting was very good (Dakota Fanning always amazes me) and the overall artistic quality was excellent. As previously noted, it was a dark movie and there was a lot of violence, but what else would you expect from a movie about an alien invasion? You know what you’re getting into when you buy the ticket. I also noticed that many viewers were offended at the lack of kindness and morality of the humans in the film. My response to that is this: human beings are, at their core, depraved, fallen creatures. When tragedies and disasters occur, there are always riots and angry mobs that accompany them. It’s a fact of life, and this movie was very realistic in that sense. My conclusion is that this movie CAN be a very thought-provoking, beneficial experience for those who are mature enough to handle it. On the other hand, I would definitely not recommend it for younger kids, or for people who are easily frightened or squeamish.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Bethany W, age 17
Positive—This movie is very gripping and kept me glued to my seat with my hands together. It has great action but it is violent. The aliens suck human blood and disintegrate hundreds of people with lasers. In desperation, people also kill and hurt other people to survive. There is a fair amount of language also (although no f words). If you thought about it, it also some themes about god and why he allows certain things tom happen.This movie is a little confusing but overall has good action and a good plot. Probably not for kids under 12 or anyone who in squeemish or really sensitive.
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Tyler Smotherman, age 13
Positive—This movie was very good in many different ways. First of all the acting was wonderful. Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning do a wonderful job, and the plot was very good, but very unrealistic! The realationship between the dad and his children is very rocky in the beginning but throughout the film the dad progresses in showing his love toward his children and they become closer than ever. This film also recognizes (in the end) that God made everything. The one thing I did not like was how scary the movie was! Aliens were zapping people and all of the sudden they would disappear! This movie was very Sci-Fi and very interesting, but I would not recommend this movie to young children.
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Katy, age 13
Neutral—I saw this movie with some friends and wanted to bring my impressionable younger brother (age 13). He refused which probably ended up being the best choice he could have made. This film is far on the horror end with a touch of sci-fi storytelling that should have been rated R. I would definitely be VERY CAREFUL bringing impressionable people to this film. From a Christian standpoint this film shows the flaws with humanity and that we need a savior. However, this film is very disturbing, especially considering the fact that much of this is seen through the eyes of a child (Dakota Fanning).

From a technical standpoint this movie rocked. Brilliantly acted and edited with a fantastic score by John Williams (I missed the first few minutes of this movie but it was easy to catch up because this movie hits the ground running). Also this movie has a very unorthodox ending which you wouldn’t really expect. All in all a great movie, but if you’re debating over whether your child, a friend, etc., should see it, don’t. It’s never overtly graphic, but rather leaves many disturbing concepts up to your imagination.
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Justin Dobies, age 15
Positive—I went to see this film with relatively no expectations, positive or negative. Having not read the book, I didn’t know what to expect. But, in my opinion, the film was very well done. There is a lot of cursing, countless da*ns, at least 10 shi*s, and and many instances of the Lord’s name being taken in vain, although that’s not exactly surprising in today’s society. There is very little actual gore, with the exception of a disturbing scene with hundreds of dead bodies floating down a river.

While the characters never actually stop and express faith in God, Morgan Freeman’s narration at the beginning and end of the film suggest that it was God’s plan which saved humanity from complete annihilation, and also that we do in fact NEED God to survive, because all of our military and technological power couldn’t even damage the aliens, and in the end it was God’s plan that saved us.

In conclusion, this film is definitely not for children, but if you are a Christian, or even just an avid movie-goer, “War of the Worlds” is a brilliantly done film, that, though not directly shown, professes the truth about the saving grace of God.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Jeff, age 15
Neutral—I thought this movie was extremely good, and though it had a few cuss words, was a very fast paced, intense through movie. People keep sending in comments in about how they don’t approve of the profanity, but how can you not expect it in a movie about aliens destroying the world? I saw the movie three times, and could actually see it again. This movie is definitely not intended for younger audiences, and has many scenes that would scare kids. The thing about the movie I liked was that it took about 10 minutes to get into the action. The main characters were introduced, the family conflict was pointed out, and the action started. Definitely don’t recommend this movie for young children.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Ty Forney, age 14
Positive—This movie was great …people… should have known that the film would be violent and contain strong language. The film is still great and is fun to watch. Any responsible parent would know not to bring their ten year old child to this film. This is a realistic way of seeing a possible attack on earth from aliens. The film’s c.g.i was amazing, and it is very close to the book.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Seth, age 14
Positive—…I loved the scenes with the ground going in and all the special effects rocked. But at times, it seemed corny and, well, hilarious. Tom Cruise was good. Dakota Fanny, like always was wonderful. In my opinion, she out acted all of them. The boy, Justin-something was very good too, and cute… I enjoyed it though. There was, however, a lot of cussing. Like G-D__ was said maybe 5 times or more. I however enjoyed it, I think I might buy it when it comes out. On a scale from one to ten, I’d give it a 8.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Michelle, age 14
Positive—When I came out of the theatre I was completely impressed. Steven Spielburg pulled out the stops to make this film truly one of the biggest films and he succeded! This movie wasn’t scary—frightening. It had a lot of sudden things that make you jump but you aren’t disturbed. I do not recommend this to children under 12 or 13. It has a lot of blood, but not over the top. It really gives alien movies a good name. I would recommend this movie to someone who’s looking for a good movie night with your TEENAGE children. It has Laughs, Scares, and cries.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Jack, age 13
Positive—It is funny to see the difference between what adults and young people think about this movie. …this movie takes the side of Christianity at the very end of the movie. The movie is violent and has language that is mild compared to other PG-13 movies. The special effects are amazing also. …All in all “War Of The Worlds” is a enteraining movie with above average acting which isn’t perfect but is still a very good movie with a good message if you stay for the “whole” movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Jonathon Berry, age 15
Positive—This was an excellent movie as far as film-making; yes there was a lot of swearing and language offensive to Christians and to God. However, there were many instances of people risking their lives to help others; the son Robbie helped drag people onto the ferry so they wouldn’t drown, the father Ray allowed the alien machine to capture him so he could stay with his daughter and he pushed her away so the device would grab him and not her. Also, there were many points of the father learning about not caring only for himself; he originally wanted just to dump the kids off and not worry about them, but Robbie showed him that error, and in the end, there was a kind of understanding between them, like a good father/son relationship. And in the end of the movie, God WAS credited for destroying the alien invaders; the small creatures/bacteria which “God in His infinite wisdom” placed upon the earth! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, yes a lot of violence, swearing, blood/guts, but overall an intense suspenseful plot for avid sci-fi fans.
My Ratings: Offensive/4½
—Beth, age 15
Positive—I thought the movie was reasonally good. It had a little too much “language” but it was ok. The special effects were GREAT. All in all it was a good movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Robert, age 14
Positive—This was a very high quality movie with the best special effects I have seen in years. The story was complicated at times, and most of the people that didn’t like the story were probably unable to follow it. Although the movie wasn’t religious, there wasn’t anything very offensive in it. The language was better than many PG-13 movies. There were some arguments between the son and his father, but the son’s attitude changed after the attack. In fact, the son acts like a hero near the end of the movie. I don’t understand why anyone said that the characters in the story don’t care about each other. Most of the story is about how the father is trying to protect his kids. There was nothing wrong with the end of the movie. It followed the story in the book. It was creative, unlike most of the other Sci-Fi movies that involves a giant explosion. This is a good movie, but it can be scary at times. I would not recommend this movie to anyone who doesn’t like scary movies. However, anyone that enjoy special effects will probably be impressed by this movie.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Josh, age 17
Positive—…Wow. This movie was amazing. Although it was extremely violent (could have been rated R for all the violence). it still had no sex in it which is a rare thing to find in today’s movies. The movie did have a lot, I mean a lot of cursing and god d*** in it though. The thing that kind of made you jump wasn’t the thrill from the awesome special effects but the actual horror that was put in the movie. I extremely dislike horror movies but this movie has such a story line that it keeps you interested. The worst part of the whole movie is the ending. The whole movie just stops with a brief explanation and then the theatre lights come on.
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Nick Riportella, age 14
Movie Critics
…Steven Spielberg gives Earth a pounding in sci-fi actioner as Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning keep the focus on human beings… The real question the film raises is whether post-Sept. 11 audiences are ready to view destruction, chaos and horror as entertainment…
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
…Spielberg serves up a stops-out, all-you-can-eat banquet of spook-out creatures and sumptuously staged disasters…
—Jan Stuart, Newsday
…Strong moral worldview, with some humanist attitudes… excessive foul language… its pace and pretensions hold it back from being a truly great action movie…
—Movieguide
…a big, clunky movie containing some sensational sights but lacking the zest and joyous energy we expect from Steven Spielberg…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…stunning and completely engrossing thrill-ride… The violence is fairly graphic… Language is fairly pervasive…
—Jeffrey Huston, Crosswalk
…unleashes a harrowing story of devastation but pulls back in the end…
—Ty Burr, Boston Globe
…Great first half before it goes all “A.I.” on us…
—Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…thunderous but believable computer effects …this is Spielberg at his least humanitarian… Logic is often strained beyond the breaking point…
—Bill Muller, The Arizona Republic