The 2005 version of War of the Worlds was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp, loosely based on the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells. It stars Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins, with narration by Morgan Freeman.
We see Tom Cruise’s character, Ray Ferrier, fighting for his life and the lives of his family in a world that is crumbling down around him.
This scene occurs about an hour into the film when refugees flee down a street trying to escape the attacking aliens. Ray Ferrier, his son, Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and his daughter, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) are being hustled down a street and onto a Hudson River ferry, grim-looking soldiers hollering at them along the way. They look like cattle or refugees, and every face in the crowd looks exhausted.
Moments later, the family arrives at the ferry. Just before getting onboard, they pause…and then look back over their shoulders, towards the camera: a Tripod has entered the horizon towering over the trees that surround it.