War of the Worlds in Stunning 4K Ultra HD

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, joins two other Cruise films in getting a 4K Ultra HD upgrade.

Steven Spielberg is the type of filmmaker that typically uses the same crew in many of his films.  It’s because of this that a Spielberg production is usually top-notch.  War of the Worlds is no exception.  This especially shows through on the film’s technical side.  The film would earn three Oscar nominations for its technical achievements in Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.  The film also has a way of expertly weaving John Williams’ score into the destruction.  It’s there–even as things are being blown up left and right.

Steven Spielberg would direct two films in 2005–the other being Best Picture nominee Munich.  After directing Tom Hanks in 2004’s The Terminal, he returned to the sci-fi genre.  While the film probably may not rank as high as E.T. the Extra Terrestrial or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it manages to hold its own.  The story gets a fresh contemporary update and its to our benefit as an audience.

Perhaps one of the strongest choices in the script was that no iconic landmark got destroyed in the film.  It’s not unlike a film of this nature to destroy such landmarks.  In some ways, the script does also manages to stay true to the H.G. Wells classic.  In an era known for addictions to electronics, our beloved phones and cars are certainly among the first things that get taken away during the alien invasion.  At the same time, it’s also an interesting story to visit a few short years following 9/11.

Another familiar theme that many Spielberg fans will certainly notice in the film is the relationship between son and father.  It’s also not unlike Spielberg to be drawn to these sorts of stories.  The familial theme is certainly one that recurs in his filmography.  While the Wells story is a classic, Spielberg manages to find a way to truly make War of the Worlds his own.


  • Revisiting the Invasion
  • The H.G. Wells Legacy
  • Steven Spielberg and the Original War of the Worlds
  • Characters: The Family Unit
  • Previsualization
  • Production Diaries
  • Designing the Enemy: Tripods and Aliens
  • Scoring War of the Worlds
  • We Are Not Alone
  • Theatrical Teaser Trailer HD

DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
SCREENWRITERS:  Josh Friedman and David Koepp
CAST:  Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins

DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures opened War of the Worlds on June 29, 2005. The film is now available digitally in 4K Ultra HD with a physical release to follow on May 19, 2020. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.