Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | Release Date: December 25, 2011
6.7
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 387 Ratings
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Positive:
259
Mixed:
74
Negative:
54
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4
canadadaApr 27, 2012
Considering the 'budget', what a disappointment. Too saccharine, with shades of 'Gone With the Wind' over-the-top drama. Great story potential, but Spielberg failed to make this work - on child or adult level.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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5
HfahmyMar 2, 2012
Beautifully shot movie, excellent scenery, attracting but its events are thinly related. The good point is the new actor, the war horse, no human did match him. The poor is the scenario , sometimes slow, other times fast, most of the timeBeautifully shot movie, excellent scenery, attracting but its events are thinly related. The good point is the new actor, the war horse, no human did match him. The poor is the scenario , sometimes slow, other times fast, most of the time beyond logic, events are basically cut and paste, how, why, where, when, no answer. It is a lengthy movie that will attract you and bore you, over its course. The war horse is the prime motive, disregarding other cinematography logic and requirements. Anyhow it is worse seen, it is not a regrettable experience. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
humousJan 30, 2012
I was a bit wary going into this movie as I thought it might be rubbish but I'd read some really hot reviews so I tried it. Unfortunately, my instincts were right. Generally average acting made impossible at times by simply unbelievableI was a bit wary going into this movie as I thought it might be rubbish but I'd read some really hot reviews so I tried it. Unfortunately, my instincts were right. Generally average acting made impossible at times by simply unbelievable scenarios. The scenes just leap from one to the next with very little flow. Also, I don't mind people talking to horses in movies - but there was so much dialog with the horse (as if it were human), the horse even looked embarrassed at times.

I had no idea who this film was aimed at - a few scenes were violent and distressing but others could only be appealing to *very* small children. So, I would have to say that the biggest criticism of this film was that it didn't commit - it wasn't a kid's film, in which case I could suffer all the pathetic human-horse conversations and it wasn't anywhere near gritty enough for adults, a common problem with Spielberg - at least there weren't any freaking aliens.....
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
EMPFeb 7, 2012
With a outstanding picture, Spielberg shows a cruel and crude war; but the relationship between the horse and his owners or between both horses are childish instead. Mind you, they look like Lassie or Flipper. It only fault that theWith a outstanding picture, Spielberg shows a cruel and crude war; but the relationship between the horse and his owners or between both horses are childish instead. Mind you, they look like Lassie or Flipper. It only fault that the miracle horse can read. The movie can hitch me and I enjoyed it but I think it is not for an award. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
zendoaJun 21, 2012
Starts 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 itStarts 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
gfnyDec 31, 2011
Good cinematography, weak story, lazy screenplay, and lackluster direction -- a disappointment. The film has a feel of an outline of a story being made into a film. Animal cruelty further contributes to the awkwardness of the film.
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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5
thedude74Jan 5, 2012
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 kids movie. Then settles into the horrors of war, including executions, trench warfare, and mustard gas.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 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. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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4
ShokiDec 29, 2011
They really should have called the "Bore Horse"... How long was it? It seemed like 3 long hours. There were 3 or four good scenes but the rest of the movie dragged on and on. I hate to beat a dead horse but how did this movie review so well?
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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4
BenardenJan 11, 2012
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 "
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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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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5
hopeJan 1, 2012
This movie is good but i thought it was veary sad and depressing it was so unrealistic and we do not need to see the dead bodies of the animals and humans but i did like it in some ways well it was ok. I think it should be rated R withThis movie is good but i thought it was veary sad and depressing it was so unrealistic and we do not need to see the dead bodies of the animals and humans but i did like it in some ways well it was ok. I think it should be rated R with all the violence and dead boddies shown!!!!And the swaring! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
wordy_actionsJan 19, 2012
A bizarre mix of good and bad scenes. Some scenes are beautifully shot and very well paced. Others are predictable and schmaltzy. There's also infuriating censorship throughout the whole movie. God forbid we see someone get shot in a WARA bizarre mix of good and bad scenes. Some scenes are beautifully shot and very well paced. Others are predictable and schmaltzy. There's also infuriating censorship throughout the whole movie. God forbid we see someone get shot in a WAR movie. This movie makes me wish Spielberg would just ditch the horse, make the movie rated R, and do a war movie that actually has emotional resonance. It's hard for me to care about a damn horse when there are thousand of humans dying all around it. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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5
txrangersfan72Dec 26, 2011
The magic of Spielberg is and always has been his ability to touch a part of our hearts with an emotionally charged scene, or spark a part of our brains to make us think about something historical because it has some relevance to our currentThe magic of Spielberg is and always has been his ability to touch a part of our hearts with an emotionally charged scene, or spark a part of our brains to make us think about something historical because it has some relevance to our current times. Doing so in the form of a near-flawless film has always been a sensory-enveloping experience. However, with stinkers like The Legend of Zorro, the Transformers series, Cowboys and Aliens, The Lovely Bones, etc, he is losing his luster. While War Horse is a beautifully filmed effort, his ability to be thought-provoking is nearly gone. His ability to stir emotions are earmarked for simple stories appealing to the masses. There is no substance to this stylish attempt. It tries. It tries real hard. It fails. It fails real bad. The weak story and over-dramatic acting do not support what Spielberg as clearly trying to evoke in its audience. Through most of the movie, I was irritated at the pacing and the inability to care about the characters. I kept thinking, "c'mon Spielberg...you are going to turn it around...". Yet, it never came. It was just more of the same pile-on of forced sympathy and brutally extracted emotions. By the time the final scene was dragging out in an almost-parody of Gone With the Wind-style cinematography, I was ready to see the credits. Spielberg's movies used to be a "guarantee." After a string of watered-down mass appeal movies, I will seriously reconsider the desire to see his next. Expand
6 of 11 users found this helpful65
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4
namelessJan 2, 2012
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 at the beginning like a freshman film student then he ends it like the expert he is. Go for the last 30Who 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
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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6
wishmasterMay 2, 2012
tedious, slow, somewhat emotionally manipulative, it was nothing extraordinary, but recognize good photography, montage and art direction. Spielberg did his job but went out of his usual war movie, this was very normally.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
NedRyerson1Feb 4, 2012
War Horse is the last movie of the Spielberg collection and as well as those the theme is very original and attractive. Although the story is very sentimental, it involves the Great War so we get the Spielberg that everyone loves. The plotWar Horse is the last movie of the Spielberg collection and as well as those the theme is very original and attractive. Although the story is very sentimental, it involves the Great War so we get the Spielberg that everyone loves. The plot starts a little bit weak, a boy gets a pet and the animal becomes his friend, but it is consolidated in the cruelest and meanest way, the family is broke and the war has started; the consequence is obviously the sale of the horse to the army. From this point it begins the process to reach the climax, and this is developed in a very strange form: the narrator of the story is the horse, but the animal does it using only images; in other words, everything is surrounded by the presence of the equine.
The melodramatic parts of the movie compensate its slow development, a great moment is when the young owner of the horse, that has joined the army, is on a trench and is forced to go fighting but he refuses to. Other special part is the one that the animal is trapped in wires, so two men go in order to help it, one is from England and the other from Germany, the amazing thing is that both became friends, but when the horse is released, they must return and fight against each other. The problem of the picture is the ending; the special effects cannot fix the cheap sentimentalism. Definitely Spielberg has done better.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
OnAnarchyAug 24, 2012
A beautifully made movie that is above average from the standard fare, but only just. The horse acts amazingly throughout the film, which is empathetic and moving at times. Most of the film trots along at a slow pace, with a few speedierA beautifully made movie that is above average from the standard fare, but only just. The horse acts amazingly throughout the film, which is empathetic and moving at times. Most of the film trots along at a slow pace, with a few speedier patches. The battle scenes are unrealistic and will leave anyone with military knowledge feeling cheated. Overall, it's a decent animal movie, but don't expect it to be a best picture like the nomination it undeservedly got. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
TyranianSep 19, 2019
A pretty good war film though very long, the cast is okay and some of the plot is silly but it looks great.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
JollyG87Dec 26, 2011
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 his films, he's always had a group of characters we can get behind or a story that is like nothing we'veSpielberg 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
MagnificentMJun 1, 2012
There's a good movie in there somewhere. Unfortunately it's buried down there pretty deep. War Horse has beautiful cinematography, great sets and costumes, and another wonderful score by John Williams. It even has decent acting. But theThere's a good movie in there somewhere. Unfortunately it's buried down there pretty deep. War Horse has beautiful cinematography, great sets and costumes, and another wonderful score by John Williams. It even has decent acting. But the movie is drenched in sappy sentimentality and it tries way to hard to manipulate the emotions of the audience into feeling sad, happy, triumphant, or combinations of these. It doesn't earn these emotions, but it desperately tries to implant them in the viewers making it, at times, cringe worthy. Ultimately, this one was a failure. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
RevealaJan 3, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can appreciate the careful craftsmanship and I wanted to love this movie. I just didn't succumb and I was more bored than moved. Still, my viewing partner was a puddle by the end. Let's just say it was difficult for me to surrender to Spielberg. Go see it, though, if you feel you'll be swept away. Animals die, but the ending is uplifting. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
Trev29Apr 8, 2012
I like the horse. Everything was corny and trying so desperately to be made into an epic. The acting was pretty laughable and I could barely understand the actors at times. It was visually enjoyable. I appreciate the attempt to create oldI like the horse. Everything was corny and trying so desperately to be made into an epic. The acting was pretty laughable and I could barely understand the actors at times. It was visually enjoyable. I appreciate the attempt to create old fashion cinema, but it could have been soooooooooooooooo much better. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
watithink123May 5, 2012
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 in the film. War Horse 6.3/10
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6
SwatiFeb 4, 2013
Could have been cut by about half an hour without losing much of the story. I went into it expecting a lot more about World War I. There are always some changes that have to be made when adapting a novel. In this case there were too few.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
FilipeNetoJul 6, 2018
The film basically tells the story of a horse that participated in World War I, like thousands of others. Contrary to many people, I think this movie is not just the story of a horse nor is it focused for people who are fond of horses. ItThe film basically tells the story of a horse that participated in World War I, like thousands of others. Contrary to many people, I think this movie is not just the story of a horse nor is it focused for people who are fond of horses. It spite of that, it uses the story of a particular horse to focus on a subject we rarely think about: the horse's indispensable help to humans. The horse was essential to our society over the centuries, both at peace and at war. He has been man's best friend, much more useful and important than the dog itself, and the film shows this very well, just like the affective bond that can be built between man and animal. I also liked the way the trenches and the war scenario was rebuilt. Everything seemed quite realistic and according to the historical truth, so I was able to ignore any hypothetical inaccuracies in the details. Jeremy Irvine did very well on the main human character, perfectly up to the challenge, as well as most of the supporting cast. It has been nominated for six Oscars and, although it hasn't won any of them, this is already a prize in itself, it's not? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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