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What to know: Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry.
Recommended age 13-18
146 minutes
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WAR HORSE cover image Click to play video trailer
The acclaimed War Horse play and children's book is now on the big screen! War Horse is a heartwarming tale about a father who buys a horse for his son on a whim. His son, Albert played by Jeremy Irvine, develops an unbreakable bond his horse, Joey. However, World War I approaches, and Joey is drafted into the military. Will the two ever reunite? The movie has a charming story. When I interviewed the author of the children's book War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, he told me that his book shows how war does not only produce a severe effect on people, but with animals too, specifically horses. It is interesting watching director Steven Spielberg's translation of that theme onto film. One notable scene shows the horse, Joey, galloping fiercely through no man's land, but is forced to slow down after he is tangled in a bunch of wires. After intense war, both opposing sides come together to untangle the horse! I found it touching because it shows that it takes both sides to solve a problem, and when the movie shows both soldiers cutting the wires from the horse, I thought of it as a symbol like they were ending their conflicts between each other. The cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, filmed the scene beautifully, which helped produce such an emotional effect on the audience. The cinematography in general is wonderful, especially when Kaminski zooms in the feet of the horses and the faces of the horses as they gallop across the vast fields. Most of the beauty of the movie comes from the horses, and I think the horse trainers did an impeccable job, particularly ZelieBullen since she trained the main horse, Joey. I recommend this movie to teens ages 13 and up. It is a pleasant family film because it is not too brutal, yet it still packs in all of the action and intensity of war. The movie is a bit slow in the beginning, so younger teens may get bored, but it quickly picks up the pace as the war begins. This is a moving tale to watch and will bring the entire family together for the holidays. Reviewed by Gabriella Chu, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
This period film, directed by Hollywood favorite, Steven Speilberg delivers a sensitive message about compassion, family and the tragedy of war. Based on the best-selling novel and stage production, we follow the life of Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) and the horse he loves, Joey. This is a BIG film, rich with scenes of the English and French countryside and full blown front-line battle scenes such as in Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan." Joey's integrity is shown as he adjusts to different masters, both English and German. The scene when Joey is entangled in a mass of barbed wire is remarkable and when an English and German soldier come together to release the horse and share the German wire-cutters in doing so is nothing short of remarkable. How that was filmed, I have no idea. In the end, it is an anti-war film that shows the tragedies of war. I grimaced as the poorly armed men on horseback surged full steam ahead into what was destined to be a bloody massacre. Please don't take your younger children to this movie as the graphic war scenes are not something I would want to expose kids under the age of 13 to. There is plenty of time ahead of them for such stuff.
Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.
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