War Horse (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

War Horse (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

War Horse Videos

War Horse Photos

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) Dreamworks
Rating:
PG-13 (for intense sequences of war violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$79,883,359.00
Runtime:
Studio:

Watch it now

Cast

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
Rainer Bock
as Brandt
Hinnerk Schonemann
as German Soldier in No Man's Land
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 Farm
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 Soldier #1
Peter McNeil O'Connor
as British Trench Soldier #2
Gunnar Atli Cauthery
as German Trench Soldier #1
Julian Wadham
as Trench Captain
Anian Zollner
as Senior German Officer
Michael Kranz
as Junior German Officer
Hannes Wegener
as German Officer
David Dencik
as Base Camp Officer
Edward Bennett
as Cavalry Recuiting Officer
Johnny Harris
as Infantry Recruiting Officer
Philip Hill-Pearson
as Wounded Soldier
Tam Dean Burn
as Medic in Trench
Alan Williams
as Hospital Orderly
Thomas Arnold
as Shouting German Soldier
Maximiilian Brueckner
as German Artillery Officer
Markus Tomczyk
as German Artillery Soldier
Peter Benedict
as German Officer on Bridge
Callum Armstrong
as Bagpiper
Roy Holder
as Fred Goddard
Paul Alexander
as Dave Hill
Maggie Ollerenshaw
as Narracott's Neighbour
Beth Ogden
as David Lyons's Girlfriend
Martin D. Dew
as Lyons' Cronie
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for War Horse

Critic Reviews for War Horse

All Critics (217) | Top Critics (44)

Spielberg still manages to surprise and impress.

Full Review… | January 10, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

The trouble here is not so much that Spielberg's film staunchly insists on finding a happy ending even in the calamity of the First World War, but that he slathers it on so thick and leaves so soft an impression.

Full Review… | January 6, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The material sometimes feels oversugared, though it's also guaranteed to raise a lump in your throat.

Full Review… | January 5, 2012
Newsday
Top Critic

Tthe images have what I can only describe as a wonderful texture. They also have intense color: deep gemlike greens and reds, with black shadows out of an old master painting.

Full Review… | December 31, 2011
Slate
Top Critic

We never ask why the production is devoted to an animal while ten million men are dying, but when Spielberg does the story realistically, it seems trivial, even a little daft.

Full Review… | December 30, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

Amid the incomprehensible slaughter, it's a horse that reminds these warriors of their humanity.

Full Review… | December 30, 2011
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

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
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Yuck.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

½

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
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

War Horse Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss War Horse on our Movie forum!

News & Features