War Horse (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

War Horse2011

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.

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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

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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
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 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
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
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
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Critic Reviews for War Horse

All Critics (239) | Top Critics (66)

This is always emotionally obvious, as well as consistently predictable. Something important has been lost in translation that cannot be compensated for by realism or pictorial beauty.

August 31, 2018 | Full Review…

[Not] entirely satisfying … Somehow, though, the sum of the parts are more than the whole … It is a film of a kind we don't see any more, that it would be good to see more of.

February 22, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

If any movie released in 2011 screams, "Oscar Bait!," louder than Steve Spielberg's War Horse than I haven't seen it.

January 27, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

War Horse is a pre-packaged brand, rather than a movie.

January 12, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

We are marched through cloying kidult rhetoric for 150 minutes, ending with the inevitable pull on our hankie pocket, as wheedling as a beggar pulling on our change pocket. The only difference: the beggar is more deserving.

January 12, 2012 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

This is a soaring, sprawling epic that harks back to the dream-big visionaries of old Hollywood: John Ford, David Lean, David O. Selznick.

January 12, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for War Horse

Even if technically effective, this awfully heavy-handed melodrama follows a "miraculous horse" and his inexpressive owner in an excruciatingly long journey toward making the audience cry at all costs, being only an overly sentimental soap opera that lacks any real sensibility.

Carlos Magalhães
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
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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