This nearly 3 hour Steven Spielberg-directed movie takes us from humble farmyard and village to a Europe caught in World War I. The protagonist is non-speaking, but a horse; the eponymous War Horse. Personally, I’m not particularly a fan of either war or horses, so I have to admit I was unsure whether I would enjoy it. The heart of this movie is the special bond between man and his horse. At times, this is a very picturesque film with lush greens of England and France. Other times, especially during war scenes, the days are grey and the mistreatment of horses is depressing, even for someone who’s not a big animal lover.
A quirk I found with this movie is that all the “foreigners” in the different World War countries all spoke English?! Yes, they were slightly accented English, but I really doubt that the fighters would have had such a good command of English. It was obvious that the director was avoiding subtitles, but to me, this was a sad reflection of movie producers pandering to foreign language-adverse US audiences. </generalisation>
Despite being nearly 3 hours long (2 hour and 40 minutes to be exact), I did not find myself falling asleep, which is a good sign! However, the director has carefully crafted this towards a large audience, which sometimes makes it fall into overly cliché territory. My boyfriend said his eyes were tired from rolling them throughout. A friend’s boyfriend said it was like a war movie for girls. Overall, I think it’s an enjoyable horse movie with broad appeal: *** (3) stars.