The War (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  4 November 1994 (USA)
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Vietnam War vet Costner must deal with a war of a different sort between his son and their friends, and a rival group of children. He also must deal with his own personal and employment ... See full summary »



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Director: Tony Scott
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lois Simmons
LaToya Chisholm ...
Christopher Fennell ...
Billy Lipnicki
Donald Sellers ...
Arliss Lipnicki
Leon Sills ...
Leo Lipnicki
Will West ...
Lester Lucket
Brennan Gallagher ...
Adam Henderson ...
Charlette Julius ...
Jennifer Tyler ...
Ula Lipnicki
Justin Lucas ...


Vietnam War vet Costner must deal with a war of a different sort between his son and their friends, and a rival group of children. He also must deal with his own personal and employment problems that have resulted from his Vietnam experiences. Written by David Stumme <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What's worth fighting for?



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for the intense depiction of human struggle and conflict | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 November 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$16,551,365 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cigarettes Elvadine smokes in the movie are herbal, not tobacco. See more »


When Billy falls through the top of the water tower, there is a large hole in it. After the boys rescue him and take him out, the top of the tower is back to the way it was before. See more »


Elvadine: Dang, girl, I risk my neck all mornin' for you dumb behind. You think I at least entitled to a five-second break or a puff off of your scag.
Lidia: What do you mean, "riskin' your neck"?
Elvadine: Well, what you call trompin' 'round in them crazy, gap-toothed, banjo-pickin' no-eyelid hillbilly yard stealin' all their junk. Daaaang! They ever do find out we robbed' em, I reckon they gonna whup my behind 'til it's flat as yours.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the credits are over and the music ends, we hear a helicopter. See more »


Referenced in Game On: Martin's Baby (1998) See more »


Peace Train
Written and Performed by Cat Stevens
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

The war without & the war within...
26 January 1999 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

It has been said that Vietnam is America's most unpopular war, but in light of both popular opinion and critical oversight, the namesake film may just inch Vietnam out of that role.

The title not only refers to the Vietnam War, which has an appropriate albeit very limited place in the film, but it also refers to the literal war that the children continuously wage with one another and the figurative war that rages within each of them...for identity and purpose.

Personally, I don't feel that "The War" deserves the press it received (or the lack thereof). It is a beautifully crafted film from its intricate, multi-layered story to its moving, realistic performances to its homestyle, nostalgic cinematography.

"The War" combines some of the best elements of "Forrest Gump" and "Fried Green Tomatoes." It captures the nostalgia of its timeframe, the innocence and naivete of youth, the situational humor of the moment, the consequences one's decisions and actions bring, and the tragedy of life. It even contains a couple of "musical" period moments.

Its structure harkens very closely to that of "To Kill a Mockingbird" (my favorite film). Both de-emphasize the star talent (Gregory Peck/Kevin Costner), who still performs remarkably and effectively in a supporting role. Both also utilize a (female) narrator who "bookends" the story in a quasi-flashback style, as well as plays a pivotal (if not the starring) role in the story. Each narrator tells the story of her brother and her father: their growth and what has been learned from and about them.

"Sometimes all it takes is a split second to do something you regret the whole rest of your life." What a great and appropriate theme for a film that few went to see. No wonder so many problems still exist in the world.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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