War Horse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

War Horse Reviews

Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 10, 2012
Spielberg still manages to surprise and impress.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
January 6, 2012
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
January 5, 2012
The material sometimes feels oversugared, though it's also guaranteed to raise a lump in your throat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
December 31, 2011
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.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
December 30, 2011
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.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 30, 2011
Amid the incomprehensible slaughter, it's a horse that reminds these warriors of their humanity.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 30, 2011
A film that may stay in the mind's eye longer than it lingers in the heart.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 28, 2011
There isn't a moment in the movie where you don't feel Spielberg's passion, and this time, the film is worthy of his enthusiasm. It's a knockout.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
December 26, 2011
Tonally jarring and structurally disjointed, it's a punishingly long and bumpy ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 26, 2011
It's almost a great war movie in one direction, and almost a piece of irredeemable cheese in the other, and there you have it.
Top Critic
December 23, 2011
It's not that a film can't be lighthearted family fare, a gritty war epic and a weepie all at once; the problem is that here, those elements feel strictly compartmentalized -- and calculated.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 23, 2011
The result isn't groundbreaking, but it's gratifying.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 23, 2011
Robustly entertaining.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 23, 2011
The incredible emotive power of this horse and the way in which the filmmakers were able to translate it on-screen are what stay with you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 23, 2011
Call it "lesser Spielberg" and put it alongside Always and Hook.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 23, 2011
Spielberg's phenomenal skill for making images remains undiminished. The rows in a piece of knitting dissolve into the furrows in a stony field; men's bodies fly through the air like broken dolls. Some images are too fussed over, but every one is striking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 23, 2011
Those who say they don't make 'em like they used to must now fall silent.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 22, 2011
With the exception of a few lovely scenes, it's a hollow and bombastic piece of work, clobbering you over the head with its epic-ness when it's not cinematically yanking at your nosehairs in the hopes that you'll cry.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 22, 2011
Yes, this is a Steven Spielberg picture. He directed it and, like Blondie in the old song, he's gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, one way or another.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 22, 2011
Sweeping in its style and old-fashioned in its narrative structure, War Horse will likely take its place alongside beloved family films.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 22, 2011
"War Horse" is meticulously and elegantly constructed, and has a gentle, old-fashioned quality that will appeal to many audience members, but it never jolts or thrills; its characters, moving in that Hollywood glow, never quite catch fire.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 22, 2011
A work of full-throated Hollywood classicism that looks back to the craftsmanship and sentimentality of John Ford and other legends of the studio era.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 22, 2011
War Horse is sugary, to be sure - but it is sugar cut with cannon fire and barbed wire and the horrors of war.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 22, 2011
The scope and craft are dazzling.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 22, 2011
The vision we connect with isn't that of a horse or his owner, but a storyteller so fascinated by the best and worst of humanity, he continues to search for a way to reconcile them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 22, 2011
Spielberg by now can do this sort of thing with such facility that he often lets his technical skills override his deepest engagement in the material.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 22, 2011
What a gorgeous, breathtaking, epic adventure this is.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 22, 2011
Spielberg all but begs you to cry, and unless you're a heartless cad, you probably will.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 22, 2011
You may find yourself resisting this sentimental pageant of early-20th-century rural English life, replete with verdant fields, muddy tweeds and damp turnips, but my strong advice is to surrender.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
December 22, 2011
When the army buys the horse and takes it to the French front, Spielberg goes into Lean mode, finding in war the greatest landscapes and crowd shots that money can buy.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2011
The film is made with superb artistry. Spielberg is the master of an awesome canvas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 22, 2011
Spielberg exercises stunning control behind the camera, never more than in a late-film sequence that all but erases the distance between the viewers' perspective and Joey's.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 22, 2011
If anyone thought Steven Spielberg couldn't top himself for manipulating audience emotions, they didn't reckon with War Horse.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
December 21, 2011
It's simply crafted, at times bordering on simplistic, and it doesn't just wear its heart on its sleeve - it wears its heart on its heart.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 21, 2011
It's overlong, painfully earnest and sometimes even hokey.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 21, 2011
War Horse is a don't-miss Spielberg classic that reaches true perfection.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 20, 2011
Dialogue is superfluous; in its way, War Horse is as much a "silent movie" as The Artist. Every triumph is pounded into your head and punctuated by a dolly-in close-up.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 20, 2011
The year's most potent work -- largely word-free but aching with feeling -- comes from Hollywood's longtime resident genius, Steven Spielberg.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 17, 2011
War Horse gets to you. It's one from the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 17, 2011
Boldly emotional, nakedly heartfelt, War Horse will leave only the stoniest hearts untouched.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 17, 2011
The project is tailor-made for Saving Private Ryan Spielberg, the war-story specialist, as well as for E.T. Spielberg, the chronicler of boyhood desires and yearnings for family.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
December 16, 2011
This beautifully composed picture brings a robust physicality to tried-and-true source material, but falls short of the sustained narrative involvement and emotional drive its resolutely old-fashioned storytelling demands.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine
December 16, 2011
But though War Horse is achingly sentimental, the people who will cry the most are the Washington lawmakers who just legalized selling horse meat in America ten days before War Horse's release. Bad timing, dudes.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
December 15, 2011
An atmospheric, tear-jerking, highly cinematic melodrama.