This movie far exceeded my expectations. It's scary, the effects are amazing and the action non-stop. I'm not the biggest Tom Cruise fan but he's much better here than in Spielberg's MINORITY REPORT.The story starts off with Cruise getting home from a long day of work to watch his kids for the weekend. His ex-wife (Miranda Otto of LORD OF THE RINGS) dropped them off because she and her new husband are taking a vacation. Immediately, you get the sense that he doesn't pay much attention to them and that they're more of a nuisance.But after there are these strange lightning storms and the huge Tripod machines erupt from the ground and start zapping everyone like bugs, he becomes much more attached to his children.They, and just about everyone else, run away-yet these machines follow, either killing people right away or taking them captive and using them as fuel or food for these giant contraptions. In one gruesome scene we see a man impaled by one of the tentacles from the machines-and it sucks out his blood. Actor Tim Robbins has a brief role as a crazed survivor who gives Cruise and his daughter (Dakota Fanning) shelter-and they don't exactly become friends.The aliens are defeated the same way as the H.G. Well's book and the previous 1950's movie version. The only thing that sucked is the very ending, when Cruise makes it to Boston, to the house of his ex-wife. One of the characters should have died but somehow miraculously survived. It would have been far more effective, powerful and realistic if they left him dead. Well, that's Hollywood for you.Still, this is one of the best movies of the 2005 Summer.