Parents' Guide to

War of the Worlds

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Alien invasion thriller too scary for young kids.

Movie PG-13 2005 117 minutes
War of the Worlds Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 7+

I let my 7 year old watch it.

age 12+

Nothing much bad

Children who are 12+ can be able to watch this kind of Movies. Its about an Alien Invasion, So there should be some Violence to Maintain the Movie In a Thrilling way. There is No Too much swearing or No Sex Scenes In this Movie. I Recommend Children Of 12+ to watch the movie with no problems.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (87 ):

Gangbusters effects and terrific camerawork propel Steven Spielberg's film well into its last act, when it runs out of energy and ideas. This collapse is especially disappointing because War of the Worlds begins as a provocative look at how terror affects family and community, that is, something more complicated than an explosion movie. If the first part of the film offers an absorbingly detailed look at the family's dysfunction, the ride in the minivan tightens the focus, as they struggle to make sense of the disaster unfolding around them. "Is it terrorists?" asks Rob. No, says Dad, this "came from someplace else." Rob tries again: "What do you mean, like Europe?" This brief comedy only sharpens the scares that follow, not all caused by aliens. Indeed, two of the most awful scenes involve people fighting each other.

This and other particulars -- a monstrous surveillance eye on a sinuous, seemingly endless arm invades Harlan's basement; clothes from disintegrated victims float through tree branches; a peanut butter sandwich Ray has thrown at the kitchen window slides almost imperceptibly down the glass as he wonders what to do next; Ray asks a man who appears to have survived a plane crash, "Are you a passenger?" -- create a potent mix of recognizable and fantastic moments. The film's last minute breakdown is really the loss of such clever details.

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