Divorced stevedore Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his two kids have to go on the run when huge, three-legged alien machines burst out of the ground and start killing people…
Seen before? Once, on BBC Three a few years ago.
Best performance: Dakota Fanning (playing Ray’s daughter) is astonishingly naturalistic for a 10-year-old. She’s equally terrific in Tony Scott’s Man On Fire.
Best scene/moment/sequence: The first appearance of an alien machine is brilliant – it’s a heady, seamless blend of practical effects, stunts, pyrotechnics and really good CGI. A few minutes later it’s topped by a scene in a speeding car, which is (on the face of it) all one extraordinary long take. Check it out here:
Review: Enjoyable for the most part. There are lots of wonderfully staged scenes and the first 90 minutes of the movie have an energetic momentum – both are necessary as the story is paper-thin. Once Tim Robbins turns up (part plot device, part Basil Exposition), it loses its way somewhat and the climax is a bit flat.
Seven crashed Boeing 747s out of 10.