Bottom Line: Leaving no (at times now, clichéd) Spielbergian cinema trick stone unturned, The Bearded One himself brings us a well-crafted, beautifully shot, and, unfortunately, often shoulder-shrug-worthy tale of a boy and his horse. It may have bolted from the starting gate full of Best Picture buzz but it, ultimately and sadly, trots to the finish line without a focused care in the world. Sometimes brilliant yet often misguided, this BLACK STALLION meets SAVING PRIVATE RYAN by way of E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL hybrid tries so hard to be Oscar-worthy – that it actually, somehow, forgets to deliver a deliberate emotional kick. My heartstrings were yours for the pulling, Steven…better luck next time.
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson and Tom Hiddleston
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Running time: 146 minutes
Story: 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. War Horse is one of the great stories of friendship and war—a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is arriving on Broadway next year. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history. (DreamWorks Pictures)