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Steven Spielberg directs this extraterrestrial diaster/action film, which is a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel of the same name. Tom Cruise stars as the main character of Ray Ferrier, a divorced dockworker and father trying to make ends meet. Estranged from his children (played by Dakota Fanning & Justin Chatwin), Ferrier's ex-wife drops them off for him to look after for a few days. Coincidentally, at this same time, the planet is invaded by alien-fighting Tripod machines. As earth's armies are defeated, Ray is in a fight for survival, trying to protect his children as he flees to rejoin his ex-wife in Boston.