War of the Worlds (US, 2005)

This was a surprise. Easily Spielberg’s best movie since Jaws; an absolutely fascinating take on post-Sept 11 America. The casting of Hollywood liberal icon Tim Robbins as a survivalist was inspired, suggesting all his ideas were bonkers. Cruise as ordinary bloke also works exceptionally well.

Often the camera focuses on Cruise desperately trying to protect his children whilst the conflagration occurs offscreen. There are some fantastic set pieces (the first appearance of the aliens) and the shooting of the frantic car drive is a technical tour de force (one take alternating with close ups from outside the car to long shots).

Combines the gripping narrative of a genre movie, brilliant direction and a thoughtful (and occasionally funny) take on a nation under seige. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/

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