War Horse (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

War Horse (2011)



Critic Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair.

Movie Info

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 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. --(C) Dreamworksmore
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of war violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Curtis, Lee Hall
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 3, 2012
Box Office: $79.9M
Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site


Peter Mullan
as Ted Narracott
Jeremy Irvine
as Albert Narracott
Emily Watson
as Rosie Narracott
Niels Arestrup
as Grandfather
Tom Hiddleston
as Captain Nicholls
Benedict Cumberbatch
as Major Jamie Stewart
Toby Kebbell
as Geordie Soldier
Patrick Kennedy
as Lt. Charlie Waverly
David Kross
as Gunther
Matt Milne
as Andrew Easton
Robert Emms
as David Lyons
Eddie Marsan
as Sgt. Fry
Nicolas Bro
as Friedrich
Hinnerk Schonemann
as German Soldier in No...
Gary Lydon
as Si Easton
Geoff Bell
as Sgt. Sam Perkins
Liam Cunningham
as Army Doctor
Justin Brett
as Motorbike Rider
Sebastian Hülk
as German Officer at Fa...
Gerard McSorley
as Market Auctioneer
Tony Pitts
as Sgt. Martin
Ifran Hussain
as Sgt. Maj. Singh
Seamus O'Neill
as Devon Farmer #1
Philippe Nahon
as French Auctioneer
Pat Laffan
as Devon Farmer #2
Michael Ryan
as British Trench Soldi...
Peter McNeil O'Conno...
as British Trench Soldi...
Gunnar Atli Cauthery
as German Trench Soldie...
Julian Wadham
as Trench Captain
Anian Zollner
as Senior German Office...
Michael Kranz
as Junior German Office...
Hannes Wegener
as German Officer
David Dencik
as Base Camp Officer
Edward Bennett
as Cavalry Recuiting Of...
Johnny Harris
as Infantry Recruiting ...
Philip Hill-Pearson
as Wounded Soldier
Tam Dean Burn
as Medic in Trench
Alan Williams
as Hospital Orderly
Thomas Arnold
as Shouting German Sold...
Maximiilian Brueckne...
as German Artillery Off...
Markus Tomczyk
as German Artillery Sol...
Peter Benedict
as German Officer on Br...
Roy Holder
as Fred Goddard
Paul Alexander
as Dave Hill
Maggie Ollerenshaw
as Narracott's Neighbou...
Beth Ogden
as David Lyons's Girlfr...
Martin D. Dew
as Lyons' Cronie
Michael Ryan
as British Trench Soldi...
Edward Bennett
as Cavalry Recuiting Of...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for War Horse

Critic Reviews for War Horse

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (44)

Etched in the simple, bold strokes of a passed-down fable. Resistance is futile.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" is an imperfect film, but certainly is a beautiful one.

Full Review… | September 25, 2013

They will keep trying and trying until only the blackest of hearts are left un-moved. I guess I should hand in my organ donation card because I clearly don't have a heart judging from the dismissive reaction I had to this patently artificial film.

Full Review… | September 8, 2013

For sublime equine you'd be hard pressed to find a better mount than 'War Horse.'

Full Review… | May 25, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

War Horse offers a number of memorable moments both tragic and profound.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

It's about as manipulative a film has Steven Spielberg has ever made - a movie that's been custom-designed from the ground up to play a sad harp solo on the heartstrings; a story cynically told to invoke as many tears as possible.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012

Audience Reviews for War Horse

Even if technically efficient, this heavy-handed melodrama directed by Spielberg follows a "miraculous horse" and his inexpressive owner in an overlong journey towards making the audience cry at all costs, and so it is an overly sentimental soap opera that lacks any real sensibility.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer



Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer


You can basically look at this as both Spielberg's epic salute to John Ford, as well as his Barry Lyndon.

Like the aforementioned Kubrick film, this is an absolutely gorgeous piece of work, with each shot looking like something straight out of a painting. This is easily some of the best cinematography from any of Spielberg's films. However, like BL, it's very long, slow, and sometimes rather tedious to get through...but unlike that on e, this is not a masterpiece.

Nope, this is basically just Spielberg doing more of what he does best: serving up some very far from subtle sentimental story that is designed to really tug at your heart and shake you up emotionally as much as possible. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but he does do it so often that yeah, it gets quite tiring. He needs to make another film like Munich, which is easily his most serious, least sappy film.

I do think it's interesting that we get a sprawling story that goes all over rural England and various parts of Europe at large during World War I, and that it's all told primarily from the perspective of a horse named Joey (and sometimes his young trainer Albert), but then again, there's no real surprises about this either with how it plays out because of who is directing.

It is a good story, and I'd being lying if I said that the manipulative tactics didn't work on me as planned, but I won't let my respect for what Spielberg has done for the film industry keep me from saying that the film really isn't all that remarkable.

It is kinda boring, even underwhelming at times. Had it not been so beautiful, and had John Williams providing the music (even if this is just so-so Williams), and had we not had some serviceable performances from the cast (including the animals) then I'd have no problem giving this a lower rating. Plus, it doesn't help that this is, admittedly a rather watered down and fairy tale take on events.

In the end, this does get enough right that I'll be kind and give it a passing grade, because let's be honest, who else does this sort of thing better than Spielberg?

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

War Horse Quotes

Rosie Narracott: I might hate you more, but I'll never love you less.
– Submitted by Andrea M (2 years ago)
Rosie Narracott: I might hate you more, but I'll never love you less.
– Submitted by Jillian L (2 years ago)
British Trench Soldier #1: Woah, look at those legs he's got, those muscles! And look at those long legs, made for running away from danger.
German Soldier in No Man's Land: Running away is all the have.
British Trench Soldier #1: And yet we've tell 'em different.
– Submitted by Summer K (3 years ago)
British Trench Soldier #2: How about boxing?
German Trench Soldier #1: Not thanks, pet. Don't want to start a war.
– Submitted by Summer K (3 years ago)

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