Home Viewing: War Horse

Bottom Line: Too long and too horsey, this movie will please only the most equine among us.

The Gist: A boy named Albert and a horse named Joey forge a bond in a turnip field that will last through the trenches of World War I. As Joey finds himself repeatedly crossing fronts and being drafted into opposing sides, he becomes a lens and a symbol of the horrific cost of war on people, on the land, and on animals.

The Verdict: Mixed. Nobody does battle scenes like director Steven Spielberg and this film is no exception. There are some fantastic sequences that are quite moving. I did not, however, find the same feeling in the movie as a whole. If you’re an animal lover, you might be very moved by this story. I found myself not able to believe in the great bond of horse and boy that is the core of the movie. Without that, the movie seems quite silly and certainly too long. Read our full review.

Be Aware: The movie is rated PG-13. Most violence is implied rather than shown, but the themes of war and loss are heavy. Acceptable for older children. No sexuality or language.