This is one unique movie, in my view, where the story revolves around father and daughter relationship. Unlike the usual tired script about love, as in romance.
I can relate with the movie. I have daughters too, the little one around the same age as the girl in the movie.
Somehow I put myself in Tom Cruise character's shoes and I could feel his emotions. I would do exactly the same things he did in the movie.
Running and hiding from wicked aliens with a very young daughter is definitely not the same as doing it alone or with friends. Your reactions to life threatening situations are diffrent. You have your own helpless innocent little girl to protect. Even to split up momentarily in chaos is so heartbreaking.
I thought if the daughter was a little older and slightly independent, the story will be different. It will also be different if the kid was a boy.
I don't have sons, but if I had, I would make him rough and tough.
Daughters are sweet little creatures, I wouldn't allow even a tiny scratch on them. I guess that's a natural instinct of being a father.
Anyway, I watched War of the Worlds movie, broadcast on TV, with my 2 daughters. The elder one enjoyed the thrill, the little one covered her eyes (and ears with a couch pillow).
Personally, I thought the Tom Cruise movie was great only in the beginning, with awesome machines and special effects. In the middle of the movie, where gory scenes are strong, is when I decided never to watch it again. I hate bloody movies!