I admit it: I love Tom Cruise. In the purest sense, he is a movie star. He has the look, the style, and the charisma of one. I can even forgive his giddy appearance on Oprah as he raved about Miss Holmes. I cannot forgive poor performances and Cruise hasn't given any.
In Steven Spielberg's re-telling of War of the Worlds, Cruise plays an everyman divorced dad who encounters some real bizarre occurances before he figures out what is going on. The trailers for the movie wisely never show the aliens, leaving that surprise for the movie. These are not the nice aliens in Spielberg's Close Encounters or E.T., these are bad aliens from parts unknown who seem intent not on war, but exterimination.
As you would expect, the special effects are eye-popping and Cruise's supporting cast is solid, especially Dakota Fanning as his daughter Rachel. That's one kid you hope never grows up and loses her cuteness (hello Drew, hellow Henry Thomas). Tim Robbins has a nice turn as a severely bugged-out guy hiding from the aliens. Morgan Freeman is the narrator (what, James Earl Jones was booked?).
This is a real, old-fashioned "popcorn" movie. My only complaint: the rather abrupt ending.
Interesting to note that when the weekend box office receipts are released, Cruise will have the number one movie, Miss Holmes in Batman Begins could be at number two, and nicole kidman in Bewitched might come-in at number three. All right, Mimi Rogers, your turn.