"Miracle and Elegant"
What You Need To Know:
WAR HORSE could have been a great movie. It talks about God and King. It has a dying soldier recite Psalm 23. It honors God, country, parents, and stewardship. It’s also beautifully filmed, with superb acting and some incredible scenes, but the script has no central premise. Therefore, it meanders from one episodic sequence to another. MOVIEGUIDE® commends the filmmakers for respecting the faith and values of people who served in World War I. WAR HORSE has brief foul language and some intense scenes of war violence, so caution is advised for pre-teenagers.
(CC, BBB, L, VV, AA, M) Strong Christian worldview that features a horse who exhibits miraculous abilities, talks about prayer, 23rd Psalm is read, side shot of a communion during a battle with lots of moral content rebuking bad behavior, rebuking gambling, rebuking debt, rebuking greed, rebuking lack of charity, commending loyalty, honest, bravery; four obscenities; wartime action violence with lots of cavalry charges, battle scenes, explosions, mustard gas, horse caught in barbed wire, but not very bloody; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use and father is an alcoholic; no smoking; and, mean-spirited landlord, tough army personnel, gambling but rebuked, greed but rebuked.
WAR HORSE is a very beautiful movie with some overt Christian content, but it’s extremely slow and more of a work of art than a dramatic story, even though it’s set during the very dramatic period of World War I.
The first part of the movie has Albert and his father help a mare on his neighbor’s farm give birth to a beautiful colt. The father, who limps because of wounds from the Boer War, takes the horse one day to sell at the town horse auction. Albert wants the horse, so the father bids on the horse against his landlord, Mr. Lyons, who’s a very mean person. The father pays much more than he can afford, even though everyone tells him he’s going to lose his house. The only thing he can do to save the farm he leases is to get the horse, Joey, to plow the field. When he can’t, he tries to shoot the horse, but his son, Albert, stands in front of the shotgun.
Miraculously, Joey gets Albert to plow the field. A bad rainstorm, however, washes away the crops, so his father again breaks Albert’s heart by selling the horse to the cavalry to fight World War I.
On the first charge in battle in France, his rider, Perkins, is shot, and Joey the war horse is captured by the Germans. Miraculously, two deserters help him escape, and he’s hidden in a French farm. The Germans capture him again and make him a beast of burden pulling the artillery.
Joey escapes during a battle and ends up trapped on the barbed wire in No Man’s Land. A British soldier and a German soldier free him from the barbed wire. They flip a coin for Joey, and the British soldier brings him back.
Meanwhile, Albert has enlisted in the war, but he’s been blinded by mustard gas. He hears abut the horse, uses his special whistle to call him, and the miraculous horse ends up with Albert. More adventures follow.
WAR HORSE could have been a great movie. It talks about God and King. It has a dying soldier recite Psalm 23. It honors God, country, parents, and stewardship. It’s also beautifully filmed, with superb acting, but the script has no central premise. Therefore, it meanders from one episodic sequence to another. Four people screened the movie. Three could not sit through the whole thing, and they are film aficionados. This is too bad, because WAR HORSE is a beautiful work of art, but if you go to see it expect a work of art, not a dramatic adventure. MOVIEGUIDE® does commend the filmmakers for respecting the faith and values of people who served in World War I and for respecting the Germans, the French as well as the British.