War Horse

War Horse

Steven Spielberg (2011)

140min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Although lacking the puppet theatricality of the critically acclaimed stage production, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel emerges as an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser thanks to the director's sure sense of storytelling and trademark visual flourishes. It's a moving odyssey that outlines the suffering of the First World War and the loss of life while remaining family-friendly. Sold to the cavalry, thoroughbred Joey is captured by Germans and hidden by a French peasant, while tracked by the Devon farmer's son (Jeremy Irvine) who trained and nurtured him. Full of stirring spectacle (including an epic charge through no-man's-land) and poignant moments (Joey's bolt through barbed wire, which brings two warring sides briefly together), this grandiose equine saga is lavish and gripping, if a little Disneyfied in places. Much of the story is knowingly designed to induce tears, especially the final scenes shot against a burnished sunset, but there's still no doubting Spielberg's sincerity.

Summary

A farmer's son forms a close bond with a horse he trains, but is forced to give the animal up when it is sold to the British army during the First World War. The horse passes through various owners on both sides as he travels across the battlefields of France, while the boy refuses to give up on being reunited. Steven Spielberg's drama based on Michael Morpurgo's book, starring Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cast & Crew

Rosie Narracott Emily Watson
Lyons David Thewlis
Albert Narracott Jeremy Irvine
Ted Narracott Peter Mullan
Grandfather Niels Arestrup
Captain Jim Nicholls Tom Hiddleston
Major Stewart Benedict Cumberbatch
Colin Toby Kebbell
Gunther David Kross
Sergeant Fry Eddie Marsan
Sgt Sam Perkins Geoff Bell
Army doctor Liam Cunningham
French auctioneer Philippe Nahon
Infantry recruitment officer Johnny Harris
Base camp officer David Dencik
Director Steven Spielberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Walt DisneyGuidance: Edited for violence and swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Jan 2012
Drama