Tom Cruise plays a regular working class guy, something that is a bit hard to believe in when it comes to Tom Cruise. But the film has a 70s rawness and grittiness to it that works quite well. The film shows both Spielberg's strenghts and weaknesses. The attack of the alien tripods is actually quite scary, and there are some really haunting images - the dead bodies in the river, the runaway train on fire. But it's a Spielberg film so of course you can't get away from his usual sentimental touch: Will there be a phony Sophie's Choice moment where Cruise has to choose between his two kids? Will there be a tearful reunion at the end? Will the whole experience bring Cruise's family closer together? Yes, yes, yes, it will. Too bad. But the first hour is terrific.