Something I noticed is that Speilberg changed something of the original movie that made the new one less credible. In the original story, and the earlier movie, didn’t the alien ships just swoop down out of the heavens and start kicking butt? In the new one, those tripod things rise up out of the ground. This made for some neat special effects, but I immediately lost some of my suspense of disbelief, because my skeptical nature kicked into full gear: these things would have had to be there for decades, centuries in some cases, and we didn’t stumble upon any of them already?
Then at the end, they want us to believe that an advanced alien race studied us for hundreds of years, and just now came upon bacteria? At least in the original, the aliens were understandably ignorant of them. No excuse for these guys.
Before seeing the movie, my wife commented how she heard a radio host say that the ending was a surprise that they couldn’t say anything about or it would spoil it. I thought “well, I guess it can’t be germs, because everyone on the planet surely knows germs killed the aliens in the original.” So I myself was surprised by the ending.