152 of 1001 Movies: War Horse (2011)

Steven Speilberg has many recognizable elements, and you’ll probably recognize them in War Horse. Yes, there cheesy scenes, the dialogue gets a bit sappy, and to probably afford the very fancy cinematography they sacrificed some in the acting department, even though there are some great performances, it’s mostly the people who stay on screen no longer than 20 minutes.

Summary: After Albert’s dad puts too much into a horse he struggles to make him of value to the family. His dad sells the horse though under the weight of financial burden. Albert enlists in World War 1 after his horse is sold into the Calvary to find him. The two both mature from juveniles to adults in the war as they fight on the front lines, and find themselves witnessing losing beings that been by their sides since the beginning of the war. Albert never loses sight though of the one thing he joined the war for though, and that is to find his horse. First he will have to survive the war to though.

Acting: Where the movie has good performances at is more so from Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch even though there in the movie very little. I think people were a little more harsh on Jeremy Irvine though as Albert. He isn’t particularly a stand out, but I think he had little work with, and was just given the profile of a young guy growing up during World War 1 and wanting his horse back. The horse is actually the shining bit of the movie. For something that can’t make facial expressions or talk he has the strongest impact in the whole movie. You also have Emily Watson noted being in the movie as Albert’s mother, but as Irvine she does portray in in this very easily profiled way.

Filming: If there is anything that did get the movie attention it was the style it was shot in. It is sort of like a family movie from the 90’s hyped on steroids. You have colors that you would note in movies like Babe, but they are taken to the next level. When the scenes are light and happy so is the sky and colors. When the scene gets a little dark so does the weather. Manipulating the scene to fit all around to the mood seems to be something that is a Spielberg trademark though, and of course it always adds this predictable element, but somehow it’s just enjoyable.

Plot: It is noticeably a little sappy, but I loved the over the top cheese of the movie. I think if there is one spot it could be strengthened in though is the dialogue. There is nothing particularly stand out said to advance the story, and if anything it’s a good thing the horse wasn’t talking. I did find some really touching moments weaved into the plot. On top o that, it is really rare to find many movies that cover World War 1. The only one I can remember watching on this list other than this one is All Quiet on the Western Front, which you can see a lot of little bits and pieces of spread in this movie. Every time the horse was getting the chance to tell his story on screen though it really was great moments. Particularly, as most people will notice though, and mention is when the two soldiers from different sides of the lines come together to rescue the horse. I guess the plot of a guy joining the war though to find his horse seems a tad extreme.

War Horse is a good family movie. It highlights some themes like loyalty and friendship that have been forgotten, and it doesn’t just involve the boy’s friendships with his horse, but even how the horse becomes connected to others once he leaves home. The colors of the movie are what will be in your head long after though.

Rating 8 of 10.

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