The Disney+ Sci-Fi Thriller Blockbuster Fans Found Controversial

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

war of the worlds

The success of franchises like Mission Impossible and Top Gun has proven that Tom Cruise has the Midas touch when it comes to creating successful blockbusters. However, there was one major Tom Cruise film helmed by legendary director Steven Spielberg that some fans had trouble making heads or tails of.

To see what the controversy is all about, those who subscribe to both Disney+ and Hulu can now check out War of the Worlds and make their own judgments about whether this was a killer sci-fi thriller or a big-budget disappointment.

War Of The Worlds

tom cruise

The plot of War of the Worlds follows the same (very) basic plot of the H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. When aliens invade the planet using giant machines, then the hapless humans on the ground must survive nothing less than hell on Earth.

We follow the misadventures of a dock worker as he struggles to protect his children in a world suddenly filled with alien threats around every corner.

Tom Cruise And Dakota Fanning

If nothing else, it’s worth checking out War of the Worlds because of its awesome cast. To nobody’s surprise, Tom Cruise plays our heroic dock worker, and Dakota Fanning plays one of his children.

The entire movie is narrated by Morgan Freeman, and even some of the bit parts are played by major talents (definitely keep an eye out for a young Channing Tatum).

Teaming With Steven Spielberg

war of the worlds

While everyone in War of the Worlds seems to be having fun, nobody is having a better time than Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg.

The two previously worked together turning the 2002 film Minority Report into one of the most captivating sci-fi adaptations ever made.

It stood to reason that since the two of them were already able to spin gold out of adapting one famous sci-fi author’s work (Minority Report was adapted from a short story written by Phillip K. Dick), they could do so again by adapting H.G. Wells famous story of extraterrestrial invasion.

A Box Office Smash

war of the worlds

From a commercial standpoint, they certainly succeeded in this goal. The movie was made on a budget of $132 million and managed to earn a whopping $603.9 million.

That meant that War of the Worlds was an unmitigated financial success; generally speaking, it was a critical success as well, though critics and fans alike found certain elements of the adaptation controversial.

Critical Reception

war of the worlds

On Rotten Tomatoes, War of the Worlds currently has a 76 percent critical score and a 42 percent audience score, meaning that critics generally thought the film was fresh and audiences…well, audiences generally hated most of what they saw.

Common complaints included that the ending sucked, that the Freeman narration was unnecessary, and that the second half of the movie feels completely phoned in.

A Polarizing Hit

war of the worlds

In other words, War of the Worlds is one of the most polarizing sci-fi blockbusters ever created: despite its financial and critical success, many fans consider this movie a colossal waste of time, money, and talent.

Others consider it a highwater mark for the careers of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise and for genre cinema as a whole. The only way to see whether the invasion of alien tripods will leave you on the edge of your seat or just leave you reaching for the remote is to stream this controversial thriller for yourself.