Steven Spielberg's 25 greatest movies
HitFix ranks the legend's greatest films to date
17. 'War of the Worlds' (2005)
Perhaps due to his infamous public meltdown shortly prior to the film's release, Tom Cruise feels somewhat miscast as the "everyman" hero of Spielberg's modern-day H.G. Wells adaptation - and yet the film's' first half is nevertheless a highly effective apocalyptic fantasy, its floating tentacled invaders the stuff of nightmares thanks to top-notch visual effects work and Janusz Kaminski's haunting cinematography. Unfortunately Spielberg's bleak sci-fi vision makes a hard right turn into cornball territory in the final stretch, the director providing his audience with a feel-good denouement that feels very nearly like a betrayal of everything that's come before. Nevertheless, when "War of the Worlds" is good, it's very, very good - a visionary and frightening blockbuster with real brains, and one not so easily forgotten.
- Chris Eggertsen