War Horse

War Horse Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 327 Ratings

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  • Summary: Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinarySet against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land. The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. War Horse is one of the great stories of friendship and war—a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is arriving on Broadway next year. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history. (DreamWorks Pictures)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    Spielberg has been ridiculed for shooting his actors from below against impossibly Spielbergian skies and a denouement that lays the love on copiously. But there's nothing simpleminded about how he uses movie magic, as a spell to dispel nihilism, to save us from the worst of ourselves by summoning up the best.
  2. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 20, 2011
    100
    War Horse is a don't-miss Spielberg classic that reaches true perfection.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 21, 2011
    88
    War Horse is bold, not afraid of sentiment and lets out all the stops in magnificently staged action sequences. Its characters are clearly defined and strongly played by charismatic actors. Its message is a universal one.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Dec 19, 2011
    75
    For certain movies, the adjectives "formulaic" and "predictable" are complimentary. War Horse is one of them.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 22, 2011
    75
    There are extraordinary and beautiful things in War Horse, enough of them to make the movie a pleasure and a worthwhile experience, though not enough to trick the eye or get you believing this movie hangs together.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 26, 2011
    60
    Has the sweep of a classic John Ford movie, the sentiment of Frank Capra and a spirited steed named Joey who will steal your heart. The film itself is more difficult to love.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Dec 16, 2011
    40
    Director Steven Spielberg doesn't have a steady grip on War Horse's careening tone, but he'll be damned if there's not 15 minutes in there for everyone.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 130
  2. Negative: 30 out of 130
  1. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    It is an emotional journey in full gallop. The project is tailored for Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan', a specialist in military history andIt is an emotional journey in full gallop. The project is tailored for Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan', a specialist in military history and also for Spielberg's 'ET', the chronicler of infantile wishes and desires family. Expand
  2. Oct 20, 2015
    9
    Spielberg sabe manejar perfectamente la acción y el drama en esta gran película. Una bella historia con muchos personajes bien desarrolladosSpielberg sabe manejar perfectamente la acción y el drama en esta gran película. Una bella historia con muchos personajes bien desarrollados gracias a la estupenda dirección de Spielberg, no es su mejor película, pero es sin duda alguna una increíble película. Expand
  3. Jul 29, 2016
    8
    In #WarHorse, Spielberg returns to the genre which he is best suited. No, not epic war films, but films about coming of age. War Horse is bothIn #WarHorse, Spielberg returns to the genre which he is best suited. No, not epic war films, but films about coming of age. War Horse is both beautiful and horrific, epic and personal. With the assistance of Janusz Kaminski, #Spielberg masterfully employes his dramatic trademark dollies into closeups of the earnestly emotive faces of actors giving the best performances of their lives. Spielberg continues to pay homage to Ford and Wilder as he does in all his films, giving cinemaphiles an extra layer of complexity.

    However, this story is as simple and poignant as ET or AI, drawing upon those relationships we forge in childhood. Some have criticized War Horse for being too mature for young audiences, but compared to the abattoir which is modern cinema, War Horse is a throwback to movies of two generations ago. The violence is not sensational, but realistic enough put those characters we care about in real jeopardy without being manipulative.

    Spielberg's cast is not star studded, which works to the advantage of this film. By casting those who are not recognizable, we are able to see ourselves in them much more easily, they are everymen and everywomen.

    The star is clearly the horse. The character Joey is not as two dimensional as The Black, in The Black Stallion. Granted, there is a danger of anthropomorphizing an animal, but anyone who is the custodian of a domesticated animal knows that they are intelligent and have a wide range of moods. War Horse's animal trainers and horse wranglers deserved a special Oscar for delivering incredibly expressive performances from the horses of this film. Joey's harrowing experience in No Man's Land is both the most heart wrenching and most uplifting scene I've ever seen in cinema.

    Though this story is completely implausible, it succeeds in suspending our disbelief, due to Spielberg's gift of magic and the innocence of the children's novel from which it is drawn.

    A must for your BlueRay collection.
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  4. Nov 7, 2012
    7
    War Horse is a live action, more violent version of a Pixar film. The plot surrounds an empathetic bond being broken, a bit of meandering, andWar Horse is a live action, more violent version of a Pixar film. The plot surrounds an empathetic bond being broken, a bit of meandering, and the restoration of that bond. Despite this, the movie is beautifully filmed and Speilberg's talent shines through its visual captivity. Expand
  5. May 5, 2012
    6
    This film was okay in my opinion. A few parts of the film made me think of the past. Story's a bit simple to me. Some bits made me smile inThis film was okay in my opinion. A few parts of the film made me think of the past. Story's a bit simple to me. Some bits made me smile in the film. War Horse 6.3/10 Expand
  6. Jan 11, 2012
    4
    It's a collage of two films that don't mix, Akin to A mason jar of Makers Mark bourbon blended up with twinkies.

    Why did they make "
    It's a collage of two films that don't mix, Akin to A mason jar of Makers Mark bourbon blended up with twinkies.


    Why did they make " Warhorse" ? Why did they spend $80,000,000 Dollars ? Who is this movie aimed at?

    "American Velvet" meets " Deathcamp For Dobbin" ?
    - not a good mix for children ; Don't take your kids, - really.

    "Lassie Come Home " Meets " Saving Private Ryan, the ghastly parts"
    - Not a good mix for adults. Don't take your friends who just want a holiday film

    Why, then, was this film shoved out the door on Christmas day?

    The sets are nice, the effects are nice, the opening is nice.. the ending is all heartwarming;
    - It's only the middle two hours are kind of a mess.

    Make up your mind, guys, why not just make two films.
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  7. Jun 28, 2013
    0
    This is a stunningly disaster of a movie. Complete rubbish. I don't recommend this to anybody that has taste in movies. Pointless stupid film.This is a stunningly disaster of a movie. Complete rubbish. I don't recommend this to anybody that has taste in movies. Pointless stupid film. Speilberg needs to get back to what he does best. Expand

See all 130 User Reviews

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