The story is probably one we are all familiar with; indeed it's pretty hard to avoid the classic H. G. Wells tale, seeing as it has already been a book, a film and a TV series before this version. However, storyline takes a back seat in this version as Spielberg returns to what he does best – sustained suspense.
Tom Cruise plays the hero of the film, Ray Ferrier, who is trying to look after his children for a few days when a particularly bad lightning storm strikes his neighbourhood. As if that's not scary enough for Ray and his tiny daughter (Dakota Fanning), huge alien tripod things start popping up out of the ground and destroying everything they can find.
What follows is around ninety minutes of Ray and family running away, hiding, narrowly avoiding death and grabbing a few precious minutes of sleep before they are called upon to soil themselves again. And you know what? It's damn good fun to watch. Although how this movie has escaped a 15 certificate is a bit of a mystery.
The special effects in the film are everything we've come to expect from a summer blockbuster and particularly one with Spielberg behind it. The film as a whole is even more impressive when you consider it wasn't given the go ahead until last year and filming started only seven months ago!
All in all, although there's not much to this film, especially in the way of plot, it is very well done and deserves an awful lot of credit for simply keeping you on the edge of your seat and biting your nails for the entire duration. If you go and see this one, expect to break into a sweat and come out of the cinema full of adrenalin and watching the skies. It's one of the few films released this year that is so intense, it will pick you up, sweep you along and spit you out at the end feeling like you've been through every minute of the protagonist's ordeal – well worth seeing!