War Horse (2012)

“It’s like Saving Private Ryan crossed with E.T. but with a Horse instead of an alien”.

This film is about a horse. A horse’s journey through life beginning on a farm in Devon, then being sold to the cavalry and then it’s many adventures at war.

Having neither read the book or seen the play, I cannot state how faithful it is to source material. But as stand alone film this is superb. Not exactly the Saving Private Ryan of horse movies I was expecting, but better. This is the best film of 2012 so far.

Steven Spielberg did really well in the casting of this film, because none of the actors are American, and all of the actors are believable in whatever nationality they are supposed to be. Which is really good because too many war films just throw any old actor on to the war field armed with a foreign accent. So, British actors, filmed in Britain and yet no best film BAFTA?

This film is nominated for 6 Oscars (1 less than Babe)- Art Direction, Cinematography, Music, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Best film. It totally deserves all of these, but I have some doubts that it will, considering it didn’t even get a BAFTA best film nomination, but I think if it were released , say 10 years ago it would probably be a winner. I hope that it wins all of these awards, except maybe Sound Editing, but I’m just saying that because I want Drive to actually win something. Plus the acting by everyone in the film is superb Peter Mullan is bearded and great, Emily Watson’s equally great and Tom Hiddleston is a surprise considering all I’ve seen him in before is Thor and he’s a lot better in this and I got the idea of how good a James Bond he could be, Benedict Cumberbatch is good for the short lived time he’s on screen as well, Liam Cunningham, Eddie Marsen, David Dencick, David Kross  who come in and out for at times minutes and are never seen again, but haveing this ammount of well known actors running around you forget about Jeremy Irvine who owns the flippin horse. But despite this the completely unknowns do  a superb job, especially Celine Buckens. So everyone’s on fine form and the story is gripping. I mean, the trailer for the film brought a lump to my throat and you spend a good portion of this film with a constant lump in your throat, genuinely rooting for the horse.

Another thing I loved about this movie is the music, mainly because it’s as much classic John Williams as it isn’t the Bwarm Inception style Bwarm that every film Bwarm seems to have these days Bwarm.

The story is engaging and the cinematography is incredibly good in the last 5 minutes but all in all a great film. It’s weird how Spielberg can put his name on some travesty like Transformers 2 and 3 and then go and do something like this.

Oh and I almost went the entire review without mentioning the scene stealing goose, this film like most serious Spielberg films does that thing of adding that slight element of humor,  without entirely ruining the film, see M. Night  for example that tried to use this technique and failed miserably, “Cheese and crackers.”

I wouldn’t recommend it as a 12A though, just a solid 12 certificate.


The best film of 2012 so far, and deserves the best film Oscar. The dramatic parts are dramatic and the War scenes are hard hitting, hits the spot in everything it aims for.

Best Line in the Film: “You speak good English”  “Yes. I speak English well”


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