War Horse

War Horse Image
Metascore
72

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

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 326 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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)

    Expand

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to continue:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
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: 76 out of 129
  2. Negative: 30 out of 129
  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. May 4, 2016
    8
    Steven Spielberg (and John Williams as usual) returns in an all new adventure based on the novel that seems to be set before and during WorldSteven Spielberg (and John Williams as usual) returns in an all new adventure based on the novel that seems to be set before and during World War I. War Horse is lovable for history nerds. Expand
  4. Oct 20, 2012
    7
    War horse is an over long flawed premise with a very powerful climax. At two and a half hours running time the beginning sequences can becomeWar horse is an over long flawed premise with a very powerful climax. At two and a half hours running time the beginning sequences can become too long and repetitive. The flawed premise is that millions of people died in world war 1 and yet the film is preoccupied with the life of a horse. However by the end of the film this could be forgiven. Expand
  5. Dec 26, 2011
    6
    Spielberg has always been a master manipulator. He knows just what to do to make a scene feel like it's one for the ages. But in most of hisSpielberg has always been a master manipulator. He knows just what to do to make a scene feel like it's one for the ages. But in most of his films, he's always had a group of characters we can get behind or a story that is like nothing we've seen before. In other words, he delivers the goods before trying to control our emotions. In "War Horse," I didn't feel like the goods were delivered, leaving me fully aware of Spielberg's attempted manipulation. It was like watching a magician perform a trick I already knew how to do. While the cinematography is beautiful, and the story stays engaging as we follow the horse through multiple battlefields, very few characters have much meat to them, especially Albert who's the boy that raises the horse. All we understand from Albert is that he is a determined boy who loves his horse. That's about it. He's like Captain America where he is the epitome of good. And like Captain America, when you have a consistently "good" character, it becomes quite easy to guess what the character's actions will be. He's a character that's easy to figure out early on, and nothing is done to give him any depth whatsoever. Luckily, there are a few characters along the way that bring the movie back up. My favorite group consisted of a French young teen and her grandfather. The young teen is played by Celine Buckens and she is the standout of the film with only 15 minutes of screen time. She, along with Niels Arestrup who plays the grandfather, are the only actors able to breathe life into their characters. After the horse leaves their company, I have to admit I was pretty disappointed, as the horse never encounters any characters of interest for the remainder of the movie. Also, in terms of the plot twists, I kept getting this feeling that Spielberg was in this world pulling the strings to make everything turn out okay. Whenever tragedy threatened, there was almost always some character acting illogically or an implausible event that brought it back around. Because Spielberg does this early on, I came to realize that everything would work out okay for the main characters, and nothing unexpectedly drastic would happen. This took the fun out of the movie a bit, and it made me just wait patiently for the inevitable ending. Now as I'm looking over what I've written so far, it does seem like I'm trashing "War Horse," which is not what I intended. I enjoyed the movie well enough. "War Horse" definitely is one of the most beautifully filmed movies of Spielberg's career, and while the script doesn't offer much depth, Spielberg moves the film along at a nice enough pace to keep us constantly engaged for over two hours. That's a feat few directors can do, and Spielberg handles it like a champ. Overall, I'd recommend this to people looking for a predictably happy ending, but for the rest of you, I'd wait till it comes out on DVD before checking it out. Expand
  6. Jun 21, 2012
    4
    Starts off strong, but changes directions prematurely before any significant attachment can be made to the main character(s). After the firstStarts off strong, but changes directions prematurely before any significant attachment can be made to the main character(s). After the first 30 minutes, the next 90 are unbearable as one pointless tragedy transitions into the next making it seem like a bad rendition of Forrest Gump for horses. The ending saves this from being a complete flop, but it's obvious that whoever wrote this truly only worked out the beginning and the end of the script by the time it was green lit. 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 129 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Spielberg Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best

    Spielberg Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best Image
    Published: June 24, 2016
    We rank every movie directed by Steven Spielberg throughout his 40-plus-year career.
  2. 2012 Oscar Nominations: Full List and Analysis

    2012 Oscar Nominations: Full List and Analysis Image
    Published: January 24, 2012
    Inside, we break down the 84th Annual Academy Award nominations, which were led by Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." What were the biggest snubs, and who are the year's leading frontrunners? Find out inside.
  3. Holiday Movie Preview: 23 Intriguing Films (and over 40 Others)

    Holiday Movie Preview: 23 Intriguing Films (and over 40 Others) Image
    Published: November 9, 2011
    The next two months will bring over 20 major releases and 50 smaller films to theaters near you. Find out which of those films are the most promising, and get a complete guide to all of the holiday season movies inside.
  4. DVD Release Calendar: April 2012

    DVD Release Calendar: April 2012 Image
    Published: March 28, 2012
    The coming month brings some of the better films of late 2011 to DVD, including the latest "Mission: Impossible," Spielberg's "War Horse," and Steve McQueen's "Shame."