War of the Worlds

Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) races to keep his family safe from an invading army of aliens who have come to conquer the Earth. Based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells, superstar director Steven Spielberg takes the 19th-century story and contemporizes it with some success.

While the special effects are well done, the over-the-top action gets a bit tiresome after nearly two hours. The video encode is serviceable with adequate depth and detail, but it's the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack that is the star of the show. It features very intense bass, a plethora of discrete effects, and reference-quality dynamics.

The storm is coming

  • Chapter 4, 00:14:04
  • Directional cues, surround envelopment, frequency response
  • This is a great scene that draws you into the film. As Ferrier runs to his backyard to get a better view of the storm, listen to his footsteps on the pavement, the whistling of the wind, and the clanging of the unlatched gate as it slams back and forth. When the wind finally calms, get ready for the fun to begin.

Hello there!

  • Chapter 6, 00:25:42
  • Dynamics, frequency response
  • Listen to the quiet chatter from the citizens as they stare at the alien Tripod. When it finally sounds its powerful horn, you can feel its intensity as it shakes the foundation and rattles the windows.

Something is coming

  • Chapter 17, 1:20:53
  • Detail
  • When Ferrier and company take refuge in the basement of a crazy man (Tim Robbins), they soon discover they aren't alone. As the alien enters the building, listen to the creaks of the overhead floorboards, the dripping water, and the whir of electronics as the creature searches for its prey.

Release Date: June 1, 2010
Studio: Paramount

Movie: 7/10
Picture: 8/10
Sound: 10/10