Movies: Running from the Rays

War of the Worlds paints a thrilling picture of Americans under attack and a trite one of a family

No other director does foreboding with the finesse of Steven Spielberg. He gets a puzzle ticking in your head with a thick carpet of clouds, then allows you an anticipatory shudder at an eerie lightning storm. When city streets crumble like a concrete cookie and a fissure speedily climbs the fa├žade of a church and cracks it, you wonder, What next? Since this is a Spielberg thriller, you know that the answer has to be, Something worse. Something wonderfully worse.

You know the rest if you've seen this latest adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (script by Josh...

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