Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is a divorced union container crane operator with few skills as a father. Ray’s ex-wife (Miranda Otto) drops off their rebelious but coming of age teenage son Robbie (Justin Chatwin), and meek 10-year old daughter Rachel (Dakota Fanning) for a weekend visit with their father in New Jersey. (Filmed in Bayonne in the shadow of the worlds longest arch bridge.) Ray is a self-absorbed individual who feels imposed upon by having to baby sit his own children. Then something happens that will change their entire lives. An unusual and violent lightning storm hits the town. In the intersection down the street, Ray sees a huge three-legged war machine rise from beneath the street. The machine begins to fire and incinerate everything and everybody. The Martians have begun the war by attacking Earth with only one goal in mind, destroying everything in sight. Ray becomes a real father when he decides to protect his children and take them to their mother house. Ray grabs his handgun and a few supplies and steals a minivan from his friends service station, begging the friend to come with them, but leaving him behind when he doesn’t understand the danger and refuses to get in. The mother and her new husband have already left for Boston so the Ferriers hole up in their house. Overnight, the Martians show up around their and cause great destruction. A news van is outside and the reporter informs Ray the Machines are in all cities. They decide to try to make it to Boston They start running for their lives and are just ahead of the Martians, when they get caught up in a frantic mob of people in upstate NY who are also fleeing the machines. The mob tries to get in the car or take it away from them. In a Mexican standoff, Ray relinquishes the car to an armed gunman in exchange for letting him get Rachel out of the car. Ray drops his gun which is picked up by another mobmember who shoots the other gunman. They manage to get on a ferry as several more machines rise in the distance and the ferry leaves before it’s full. A machine rises from the river and overturns the ferry but the Ferriers swim to shore. Robbie follows an Army unit into battle against Ray’s wishes but he cannot stop him. Ray and Rachel are taken in by a sole man holed up in the basement of his rural house. Machines are all around and they send a camera tentical into the basement where they are holed up to look for humans which they avoid by moving and hiding. Then some Martians come in personally to investigate, but they’re called back to the ship before they find the humans. Ray and the homeowner dispute over how to handle the situation. The machines have increased in number and are everywhere, and they can not be destroyed by our military. They make it to Boston and the Martians start dying from various sickness caused by germs that humans are built up immunity to, but the Martians don’t have. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
Ray Ferrier is a dock crane worker who leaves his shift in Brooklyn and drives home to meet his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and his two kids, Robbie and Rachel, at his home in Bayonne, New Jersey. When he arrives, late, they are all waiting for him. Ray sees that Mary Ann is pregnant. After a few minutes of debate, over the children sharing a room and Robbie’s homework assignment due on Monday, Mary Ann and her new husband leave for Boston to visit her parents for the weekend.
Ray mildly orders his son to play catch with him in the back yard. Ray notices that Robbie now wears a Boston Red Sox hat; Ray is a Yankees fan. While the two play catch it becomes clear that father and son share a strained relationship. After a brief argument, Robbie allows one of Ray’s throws to fly past him and break a window in the basement. Rachel comments that Ray “won’t reach” Robbie by being belligerent. Rachel asks what they should have for lunch and Ray coldly replies “you know, order.” Ray goes upstairs to his bedroom to get some sleep.
When he wakes up several hours later, he finds Rachel watching cartoons in the living room. She also informs her father that Robbie has taken off with his prized Mustang. Ray becomes furious and rushes out to the street to find Robbie. People have gathered on the street. Ray also sees everyone looking to the north of his block where a strange storm appears to be swirling in the wrong direction. Ray goes into his backyard, taking Rachel with him. The wind picks up, but blows towards the storm. Suddenly, several bolts of lightning begin to strike the ground, some hitting dangerously close to Ray’s yard. He and Rachel rush back into the house for shelter and find that every clock has stopped and the power is out. Ray’s watch has stopped and his cellphone is dead. After telling Rachel to stay in the house, he goes outside and finds Robbie nearby; his son had taken his car downtown and left it there when it stalled. Ray orders Robbie to watch his sister until he comes back. Ray passes by an auto repair shop where the owner, Manny, tells him that the starter is burned out on a minivan he’s looking over. Ray tells Manny to replace the solenoid.
Ray walks downtown to the site where the lightning struck. A crowd has gathered around a large hole in the street. Ray touches a piece of the cracked pavement and finds that it’s unusually cold. Suddenly the ground under the hole surges upward and everyone scatters. A car that fell into the hold is thrown out. A huge machine on three stilted legs bursts out of the hole and observes the crowds. It lets out a loud blast like a fog horn and as the crowd continues to scatter, it begins to incinerate dozens of people with blasts of heat beams; people are turned instantly into ash when the beams strike them. Ray runs, escaping through a department store; as he does, the ash from an unfortunate victim covers him. Ray hides behind a building and watches the monstrous machine walk by. He is reminded of Robbie and Rachel when a man runs by carrying his own child.
Ray returns home in utter shock. Barely speaking to his kids and washing the ash from his face and hair, he tells them both that they’re leaving immediately. Ray has Robbie take everything in his refrigerator and Ray retrieves a small pistol, tucking it into his belt. They go to Manny’s garage and climb into the minivan the mechanic had been working on; since he’d replaced the solenoid, the car is able to run. Manny thinks Ray is joking with him until Ray tells him in a serious tone to come with them. As he tells Ray to get out of the car, the nearby Bayonne Bridge collapses. Ray speeds off while his kids become panicky, especially Rachel, who has a problem with enclosed spaces. Robbie tries to calm her. Ray tells Robbie about the machine and the destruction it caused. Ray plans to take his kids to a safe place, hopefully their mother and stepfather’s house.
Arriving at Mary Ann’s house, they find it deserted. The trio have a brief argument over what to eat and Ray takes them down to the basement where they’ll spend the night. After a few hours of restless sleep, Ray wakes up and hears a commotion outside, which becomes a deafening roar. The three rush into the basement’s utility room and lock the door against a wall of flames.
When Ray wakes up several hours later, he walks upstairs to find most of the house demolished. The commotion from the previous night was caused by a plane that had crashed in the neighborhood. While Ray walks by, he sees a man in the wreckage of the plane, cleaning out the food service carts. Ray finds out that he’s a cameraman for a news network and is there with a woman reporter. The woman tells Ray that the reports about the tripods are all the same, once they start moving, no more reports or news come from the area they attack. The woman eagerly asks Ray if he’s a survivor of the plane crash; when he tells her he isn’t, she and her crew hastily leave.
Ray gathers his family and they set out again in the minivan. They drive for a while and pull over when Rachel needs to relieve herself. She defiantly walks farther than Ray wishes her to and stops by a creek. While she looks at the water, she sees dozens of human bodies floating by. She is terrified by the sight until Ray suddenly finds her and scolds her for wandering off too far. Back at the truck, and Army convoy passes by. Robbie seems overcome with anger and wants to join them in their counterattack against the invaders. Ray tries to reason with Robbie, telling him that the idea of them joining up with the Army is ludicrous.
Ray lets Robbie drive for a while so he and his daughter can get some sleep. They come to a small town where evacuated people have gathered. The crowd quickly becomes hostile toward Ray’s family and wants their vehicle. Ray and Robbie are forcefully pulled from the truck and beaten by the mob. Rachel panics and Ray, gathering his senses, uses his gun to force the crowd to retreat a bit. Moments later, he is forced to drop his pistol when another man, determined to take the truck for himself, holds a pistol on Ray. Ray is permitted to get Rachel out of the truck and walk away. The crowd again becomes violent and the man who took the minivan is attacked.
The family continues to walk with the crowds of evacuees. At a railroad crossing, a train zooms by, the entire length of it is on fire. At a ferry crossing in Athens, New York, the family waits to cross the river on one of the boats. Ray meets a woman he knows who has her own daughter in tow. The sound of the alien call is heard nearby and the crowd of people begin to rush the ferry. Army guards close the gates and deny Ray, his friend and their kids entry. The see a way to bypass the gates and make it to the boat, but only Ray and his kids are able to board. Robbie sees that several people are trying to climb over the ferry’s ramp and goes to help them. As the boat crosses the river, another tripod rises from the river and attacks, turning the ferry over and spilling cars and people into the water. Ray and the kids surface and swim for shore as tentacles from the tripod grab people out of the water. Ray and the kids make it to the opposite shore. While they steal away, they see garments floating down from sky.
Still walking, the family passes by a battle between the aliens and the Army. Jets zip by overhead and Robbie somehow becomes entranced by the battle, which is unseen and taking place over a hill. Robbie approaches it while Ray and Rachel yell for him to come back. Robbie ignores them and is stopped at the top of the hill by Army personnel. Ray leaves Rachel under a tree and confronts Robbie, telling him that he doesn’t need to become involved and that his sister is very worried about him. Robbie insists that he needs to see the battle and Ray reluctantly lets him go, accepting that he can’t stop his son’s obsession and needs to protect his daughter. Ray picks up Rachel just as a final assault of helicopters fails to stop the tripods. The last thing Ray sees after Robbie rushes over the hill is a tripod looming over a wall of fire. It also becomes obvious that the tripods have a protective shield covering them that repels all bombardment. Just then Ray and Rachel are called by a man who owns a nearby house. The owner, Olgilvy, offers them sanctuary in his basement. However, it becomes clear to Ray that Olgilvy is mentally unstable and plans to tunnel out of the basement.
A series of loud noises from upstairs prompt the group to hide. A snake-like probe is sent into the basement. The group narrowly avoids detection and the probe is withdrawn after a few minutes. Later, three of the aliens enter the basement – they are three-legged and very curious. Ray also stops Olgilvy from shooting them with his shotgun, knowing the noise will attract more of them. The aliens leave when their horn sounds.
Ray also discovers that the aliens are covering the landscape with a mysterious and rapidly-growing red vine and they are using blood harvested from humans they’ve captured to fertilize it. At this revelation, Olgilvy becomes extremely agitated, digging frantically in his basement and muttering “Not MY blood!” repeatedly. Ray realizes that if Olgilvy continues to act the same way, he’ll only grow worse and they’ll all be found. Ray tries one last time to calm the man but fails. Ray has Rachel put on her headphones and listen to her music while he confronts and kills Olgilvy behind a closed door. After he emerges from the room, Ray and Rachel fall asleep. When Rachel awakes, she sees the alien probe has returned and they’ve been discovered. Ray uses an axe to cut the eye of the probe off, however, Rachel has fled the house. Ray rushes out in time to see her captured by a tripod. The tripod attacks Ray, who hides in a nearby Humvee, and he’s flipped over. The tripod loses interest in him, however Ray uses a grenade from a belt he finds to get it’s attention. It uses a tentacle to lift him into an underslung cage filled with other people. Ray finds Rachel, who’s in deep shock. While Ray figures out how to escape, a large valve opens overhead and sucks up one of the captives. The valve then tries to capture Ray, who takes the grenade belt with him. His fellow captives keep hold of his arm and drag him back. When Ray lands in the cage, he shows a soldier that he’d pulled the pins from two of the grenades. They explode inside the tripod and the cage is released, falling onto a nearby tree, freeing everyone.
Ray and Rachel make it to Boston. While being directed by more soldiers, Ray notices that the red weeds are dying and that a tripod has come down. Another nearby tripod sounds it’s horn and everyone flees. Ray notices that a small flock of birds have landed on the tripod – it’s shield is not functioning. Ray relays this discovery to a captain standing by, who orders his platoon to bring up Javelin missiles. Several rockets are fired at the defenseless tripod, which collapses, demolishing a building. The evacuees and soldiers approach the tripod, which opens a hatch, spilling a bright orange fluid. An alien arm with a pink hue (instead of the steel-gray color Ray had seen on the aliens in the basement) falls out limply. The aliens are dying of some unknown cause.
Ray walks Rachel to his in-laws’ house. His ex-wife and her new husband are there, along with her parents. Rachel runs to her mother. Robbie steps out of the house too and he an Ray embrace.
The narrator’s voice returns and informs us that the aliens had killed billions, however they were defenseless against disease-carrying bacteria to which humans have long been immune.
|Tagline:||They’re already here.|
|Cast:||Amy Ryan, Ann Robinson, Camillia Sanes, Channing Tatum, Columbus Short, Dakota Fanning, Daniel Eric Gold, David Alan Basche, Dempsey Pappion, Gene Barry, James DuMont, Jim Hanna, John Eddins, John Scurti, Justin Chatwin, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Marlon Young, Miranda Otto, Morgan Freeman, Rick Gonzalez, Roz Abrams, Takayo Fischer, Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise, Tom Kenny, Travis Aaron Wade, Ty Simpkins, Yul Vazquez|
|Director:||Adam Somner, Ana Maria Quintana, Colin Benoit, Steven Spielberg|