War

Movie review by
Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media
War Movie Poster Image
Slick Bollywood action thriller has bloody violence.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 154 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Loyalty, honor, trust, and courage are key themes. Patriotism and justice are also paramount. Some double-crossing and misdirection.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many of the characters are driven by patriotism. But a character also learns to love their family as much as their country.

Violence

Very violent scenes. Fist fights resulting in broken bones. Stabbings in various body parts, including the neck and hands. Characters are shot in the body and head, sometimes with CGI blood splatter. A character is about to be publicly stoned to death but is saved. Another is tortured and beaten. A schoolchild is beaten by fellow pupils. Someone is thrown from a height and is shown dead with blood pooling from their head. Lots of car crashes and explosions. Poisoned character has blood coming from mouth.

Sex

Brief fast-forwarded CCTV footage of a couple in bed together. Some bikini-clad characters during a party scene. There are some homoerotic undertones between the two main characters.

Language

One use of "s--t."

Consumerism

Musical sequence is shot at a lavish party. Brand logos visible throughout movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character smokes a cigar. Characters sip wine in one scene. Song lyric about getting "tipsy."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that War is a violent but thrilling Bollywood Hindi-language action movie -- subtitled in English -- that deals with issues of patriotism, loyalty, and family. The movie has two dance sequences that break up the stylized violence that occurs when two special forces agents -- played by Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff -- face off. Although unsaid, there appears to be a distinct sexual chemistry between the two male leads. Fight scenes are visceral, with bone-crunching impact shots. There are also lots of gun and knife fights, with bloody but not gory results. The characters hold patriotism above all else, with honor and loyalty a close second. A character also learns to value family love. Special forces generally kill enemies rather than arrest them. Set in the real world, the Indian special forces are tracking down an ISIS target. There is a brief shot of CCTV footage of two characters in bed together. Parties in the movies are lavish idealized visions of wealth and high-end brand logos are visible throughout the movie. A song features a lyric about getting "tipsy." A character smokes a cigar and two characters sip wine. There is one use of the word "s--t." A character is described as being like a god or an idol to another. The movie begins with a disclaimer that states it does not wish to offend any religion, caste, or race.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySobuj January 15, 2021
Teen, 13 years old Written byUnknown kid November 18, 2020

What's the story?

In WAR, after a failed mission, elite Indian special forces agent Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) goes rogue. In response, rookie agent Khalid (Tiger Shroff) is set on a violent globetrotting mission to track down his former mentor.

Is it any good?

Violently smashing together the most iconic elements of '80s and '90s Hollywood with Hong Kong action cinema and repackaging with modern effects and audience expectations, War is a tour de force. Presented -- where available -- in stunning 4K, the camera loves stars Roshan and Shroff, perhaps as much as they love each other, as suggested by the distinct, yet unsaid, homoerotic undertones. Their smouldering performances are exactly what this kind of big, brash, and bombastic movie needs. The violence is suitably bone-crunching and thrilling, mixing the frenetic action of John Woo's explosive Hong Kong crime movies with the best of James Bond, with white-knuckle action taking place in exotic locations across the world. The film's score is also a highlight, raising a smile whenever the gigantic main theme tune kicks in.

Like the gung-ho Hollywood movies that inspired War, the movie's politics can be seen as questionable depending on the viewer's take on patriotism and a take-no-prisoners approach to national security. However, it balances it out slightly with the inclusion of love interest Naina (Vaani Kapoor) who offers a glimpse at a love beyond one's country. Punctuated by a couple of glossy musical numbers, War is a great-looking movie that throws just enough inventiveness into its big theatrical action pieces to make it a successful mission.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in War. How did it make you feel? Did it feel necessary to the story? Do some types of media violence have different impact than others? 

  • How is patriotism displayed in the movie? Should people love their country above all else? What are the positives and negatives of patriotism? 

  • Talk about the relationship between Kabir and Khalid. How is Kabir a mentor to Khalid? Do you have a mentor? What is the benefit of having one? Do you think there is anything more to Kabir and Khalid's relationship?

  • Discuss how music and dancing is an integral part to Bollywood movies. Does it add or detract to the entertainment?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action-thrillers

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Themes & Topics

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