Grandma was in town and could watch kids, wife was on call, Grandpa and I slipped out to the local cineplex for the latest Spielberg offering. Among his blockbusters, I think The War of the Worlds is the least interesting. Bad word of mouth is going to make this film tail off rather quickly. It will still make a lot of money, but not mega-money and not massive DVD sales.
Tom Cruise has talent. He and Dakota Fanning make a convincing pair as they flee the devastation consuming both city and countryside around them. His scene with Tim Robbins is good and gives one a sense of small scale human drama in the midst of annihilation. One can't complain about the acting.
What one can complain about is the plot. It is absolutely full of holes. I don't want to put spoilers in the review, so I'll simply report that the willing suspension of disbelief is severely strained by a lot of "Yeah, but what about x?" from the viewer. Spielberg generates terror, but not compelling terror because there are too many pieces that don't fit.
I have to agree with S.T. Karnick that the film was unnecessary, and since we already know the ending, lacks even the punch that the Twilight Zone style twist would provide. I'd say skip it, but if you're a movie fan, there isn't much else out there right now.