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War Horse (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  25 December 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 109,788 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 478 user | 384 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.



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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 67 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Carow ...
Andrew Easton
David Lyons
Sgt. Fry


Dartmoor,1914: To his wife's dismay farmer Narracott buys a thoroughbred horse rather than a plough animal, but when his teenaged son Albert trains the horse and calls him Joey, the two becoming inseparable. When his harvest fails, the farmer has to sell Joey to the British cavalry and he is shipped to France where, after a disastrous offensive he is captured by the Germans and changes hands twice more before he is found, caught in the barbed wire in No Man's Land four years later and freed. He is returned behind British lines where Albert, now a private, has been temporarily blinded by gas, but still recognizes his beloved Joey. However, as the Armistice is declared Joey is set to be auctioned off. After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together? Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship.


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

25 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caballo de guerra  »

Box Office


$66,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,512,000 (USA) (23 December 2011)


$79,883,359 (USA) (27 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Prior to principal photography, a number of actors did about two months of intensive horse training. See more »


The motorcycle the German soldiers are shown riding is a Triumph SD, an English model introduced in 1920. See more »


Emilie: And you've never done a brave thing in your life?
Grandfather: Maybe there are different ways to be brave. Did you know the French have the best carrier pigeons? And this could be the difference in the war - our messages getting through.
Emilie: I don't want to hear about the birds.
Grandfather: They are released at the front and told to go home - this is all they know. But to get there they must fly over war. Can you imagine such a thing? Here you are flying over so much pain and terror - and you know you can never look down. ...
See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 26 October 2011 (2011) See more »


Blue Bonnets over the Border
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

With War Horse the usual bloodbath and gory murder scenes are ditched in favour of a genuine story that manages to provoke passion and deep emotion in the audience
21 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When it was announced that Steven Spielberg was directing a film adaptation of War Horse, fans across the UK were a little apprehensive.

After all, the stage play and book were massive hits, so the film would have a lot to live up to. Early reviews are now saying that this film will be in the running for major Academy Awards — a statement that seems accurate after watching the film.

Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, War Horsedepicts the story of Albert Narracott, played by Jeremy Irvine, and his treasured horse Joey in Britain where World War I is about to begin. Joey is sold to the cavalry by Albert's alcoholic father and finds himself trapped in the devastating fields of war while Albert is trying to find him.

Spielberg finds a balance between heartfelt emotion, especially from seeing the war through Joey's eyes and the people he meets along the way, and the tragic problems the main characters face, for example the separation between Joey and Albert after we have watched them bond and connect in the first part of the film. It is those emotional contrasts that Spielberg translates onto the screen well, perhaps the best one being the contrast between the overall setting of the devastation and trauma of World War I and the love between the main character and his horse portrayed throughout the film.

Although some of the cast are newcomers to cinema, they put on a stellar performance. Jeremy Irvine perfectly portrays on screen the character's determination and devotion to find his horse. Practically unknown before this film, his performance in War Horse has now made him one to watch. The rest of the cast include Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddleston, and Niels Arestrup.

War Horse is the perfect film to settle down with the family for Christmas. It is a touching, beautiful depiction of the relationship between a boy and his horse, and of life in the countryside during World War I. The usual bloodbath and gory murder scenes are ditched in favour of a genuine story that manages to provoke passion and deep emotion in the audience, and overall this fits into the beauty of the narrative.

Check more reviews from The Upcoming on http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/?cat=9

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