Tuesday, January 31, 2012

War Horse - Enjoyable Tearjerker, But Not For the Young

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
146 min
Starring Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson

I chose to review War Horse because my eleven-year-old daughter had recently read the book and raved about it. She has been hounding me to read it so we could talk about the book. Needless to say, when I asked her if she’d like to go watch the movie, she agreed enthusiastically.

War Horse is based on the book with the same title by Michael Morpurgo. The story follows the life of “Joey”, a thoroughbred horse, who was purchased by a farmer instead of a plow horse. The farmer’s son, Albert, forms a strong bond with the horse until the crops fail and his father has to sell the horse to the British cavalry during World War I. The horse has many obstacles to face but the biggest challenge is for him to somehow return to Albert. “After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together?” (IMDb)

It was my intention to take only my eleven-year-old, but the four-year-old was quite put out that I might not include her in our excursion. Let me just say, the movie was not for her age group and I should have left her home with my husband and two-year-old despite the crying fit that was sure to happen.

This movie did not have any foul language that I noticed but the PG-13 rating for intense sequences of war violence was very appropriate. They were too intense for the younger of the two girls and may be so for older children as well. If my eleven-year-old had not already read the book I think some of the scenes might have been a bit much for her.

Regardless of the four-year-olds reaction, my older daughter and I enjoyed the movie. War Horse is a definite tearjerker and wouldn’t be one I’d recommend for a light afternoon, but it was a great story and very well done. All the differences between the book and the movie were explained to me in great detail on the drive home and I will say that I would probably prefer the book to the movie. Yet, I’m not sorry we took the time and spent the money to see this flick.

Reviewed by JC Phelps


  1. This looked like a really good one, from the reviews. Thanks, JC, for the review. Since I have so much trouble hearing, though, I may try to find the book, instead.

    Your little one reminded me of my Grandsons. The oldest (2 yrs older) LOVED Jurassic Park. And I mean LOVED, as in had it memorized! We went to the movie and the younger, maybe 8ish, was TERRIFIED! He HATE JP, but will play kill 'em all video games by the hours. Go figure!


  2. Thanks for the comment, Linda!

    I don't think you'll be disappointed in either the book or the movie. My daughter put War Horse on her all time favorites list.