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

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6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 298 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: 75 out of 123
  2. Negative: 30 out of 123
  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. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    An absolutely beautiful emotional rollercoaster. I cannot praise this movie enough on grounds of cinematography, music, and a dozen otherAn absolutely beautiful emotional rollercoaster. I cannot praise this movie enough on grounds of cinematography, music, and a dozen other things. I know I hugged my cat the second I got home. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2012
    8
    We all know that when Director Steven, makes a film, it is always going to be a surprise, no matter the topic/subject. and WAR HORSE was aWe all know that when Director Steven, makes a film, it is always going to be a surprise, no matter the topic/subject. and WAR HORSE was a good surprise! Expand
  4. Feb 29, 2012
    7
    Saw Spielberg's latest WWI epic film in the cinema, although I'm not qualified as an animal zealot, I have yet seriously raised any pets (theSaw Spielberg's latest WWI epic film in the cinema, although I'm not qualified as an animal zealot, I have yet seriously raised any pets (the most intimate contact is two goldfishes once I had at home). But film-wise, it is an overall solid work from Spielberg, far from his best, but still a magnificent viewing occurrence.

    All the elements packing up in the film are slightly deja-vu from Spielberg's oeuvre, the different episodes through which our protagonist horse progresses are patchily distributed, particularly the one centers on the French girl and her grandfather (Celine Buckens is annoyingly snobbish in her over-fabricated role, namely the rolling down of a tear through her cheek scene is loathsomely designed, which is also dramatically underscored in the trailer), which backfires with an incongruously dreamed-up sentiment against the gruesomeness of the warfare. The human race cast is generically on their routine route without any over-exposition, which escalates the horse Joey to distinguish itself as the default tearjerker here, and even though everything is fictional, I feel agonizing to witness animals to being coerced to labor heavily just to earn back some human tears, it is not a fair play as we could never procure any consensus from them. I give the film a 7/10 despite all these said disconcerting factors, cinematically speaking, Janusz Kaminskiâ
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  5. Jan 5, 2012
    5
    Here's the pitch: "Black Beauty meets All Quiet on the Western Front". Hmmm . . . a very odd movie. Starts out as a super slow, cheesy kidsHere's the pitch: "Black Beauty meets All Quiet on the Western Front". Hmmm . . . a very odd movie. Starts out as a super slow, cheesy kids movie. Then settles into the horrors of war, including executions, trench warfare, and mustard gas. Then, wants to revert back to a happy, feel good classic cinema event at the end. I don't know. Who is the target audience? You can't take your kids to it because of the war stuff. Not enough plot or story to be effective as a drama. Too heavy handed and cheesy to be a true gritty commentary on the horrors of war. I don't know. Just felt like it tried to be too many different things and wasn't good at any of them. Midway through, started joking with my friend that the movie was really about a cursed horse who brings ruin, death, or despair to any who's path it crossed. That made it a lot better, and held pretty true throughout. I understand what Spielberg was trying to do, create a package that has something for everyone, nods to classic cinema, cheesy feel good pull your heart strings stuff, and also comments on the horror of war, but I just felt like all that stuff shouldn't really go together in the same movie, they just didn't coexist well. And, in the end, there just wasn't enough of a plot, and it was too cheesy and heavy handed. If you really like horses, or have never seen a horse, and want to feel like you've sat through both a kids movie and Saving Private Ryan in one sitting, then maybe this is for you. Collapse
  6. Jan 2, 2012
    4
    Who is this movie made for? It is all over the place. I can see how the play would be good however Speilberg stretches out the exposition atWho is this movie made for? It is all over the place. I can see how the play would be good however Speilberg stretches out the exposition at the beginning like a freshman film student then he ends it like the expert he is. Go for the last 30 minutes and you will be fine, everything before that just drags and is inconsistent. Speilberg I'm wondering is becoming Altman and Kobrick... when they lost their connection with the audience. Expand
  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 123 User Reviews

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