War Horse: Movie Review

"War Horse" astounds not only with its beautiful vistas and devastating war-torn sets. Beyond what is probably one of Steven Spielberg's best cinematography is its supporting actor - no its not a human but in fact a horse. It's so amazing to see how an animal can exude raw emotions like humans do and even though it never speaks, its eyes and its movements speak louder than any words and phrases can do. "War Horse" may have its faults but there is no denying that is is one moving film.

Albert, a young man, witnesses the birth of a horse and from that day onward, he has shown great admiration for the young horse whom he names Joey. One day, his father buys Joey at an auction to help them plow their farmland. But Joey is not a work horse and the family is at risk of losing their farm if they cannot train Joey to do hard labor. Albert perseveres and tames and trains Joey. When they are forcibly parted by the war, Albert vows that he and Joey will meet again.

Two big things for "War Horse" works and its the acting and visuals department. Both combine to make one moving and heartfelt film. It's really amazing when you consider that a majority of the film features a horse's point-of-view and how Spielberg humanized an animal without the use of any special effects just makes the film more special. The film's various vistas where shot perfectly (showing its beauty before and after the war and a realistic gritty tone in between the war). In fact, we really liked the approach "War Horse" takes during its World War I scenes - it showed that war, even the trench war, was as deadly and gruesome as the second one thirty years after. What didn't sell us though is the short running time of the film given the amount of people Joey meets. The film is more than two hours long but it still feels rushed at certain portions. It just wanted to present so many things that it slightly affected how the audience will interact with some of its characters. "War Horse" is one beautiful film both visually and emotionally. It may not be perfect but it is still a powerful film about friendship and war.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- this is simply one of Spielberg's most visually stunning films
- Spielberg is able to humanize a horse without special effects

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the running time is long but the movie still feels rushed a bit

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