All parent member reviews for War Horse

Parents say

(out of 30 reviews)
age 13+
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Parent Written byhoneyfox December 27, 2011

Parents use own judgement for younger children

I am more controlling than most parents about what my kindergarten-aged boy sees but I did take him to see War Horse (he rides and shows horses). There were many elementary-aged children there since we live in a horsey area. I did some research and decided with preparation and subsequent conversation, he could see it. Honestly, I had no problem with the content in this movie. The worst parts were the trailers for other movies. The lessons learned in this story far outweighed the exposure to war scenes, and I don't allow gun play of any sort. Many young children are too sensitive to see these images but my son is very pragmatic and is sensitive enough to know war and violence are wrong but is not scared by the way Spielberg handles these scenes. For example, in the first charge, British cavalry use swords on German infantry. You see the rider slash with the sword and the person falls to the ground but you don't actually see the sword make contact. In the same battle, you see Germans get behind guns and shoot and then see riderless horses. Later you get a bird's eye view of the battlefield. He walks a fine line. In the end, I'd rather my son watch this than most of what is out there for children.
What other families should know
Great messages
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Parent Written byGifted Advocate December 26, 2011

Awesome

Great movie for the whole family including Tweens, parents and grandparents. The war scenes were intense but toned down somewhat for children. Actually, a good movie for kids to get an idea of war was and is really like and how everyone, including children are affected. Amazing photography and visually beautiful. Bring tissues for mom!
Parent Written byGrandma S January 5, 2012

Too Intense, Too Cruel, Too Violent, Too Long

This movie is way too intense for children. I covered my eyes during at least three scenes because of blatant cruelty to the horses. The war scenes are interminable - they simply go on forever. I was exhausted when I left the theatre. The movie was poignant but not enjoyable. If your teen is at all sensitive I would not let them see this movie. Another reviewer gave good advice when she suggested parents see it first and then decide how appropriate it is for your children.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byladybug798 January 1, 2012

Beautiful, but lacking.

It's beautiful and stunning visually. The music is great. I was disappointed with the script. I found it a bit choppy. It doesn't have a good flow. It's 2.5 hrs long. Some scenes were slow and a bit dumb. I expected more heart between the horse and young man. It could have been better. The dialog was hard to hear and understand because of the accents. Because of the length and war scenes, it's more of an adult movie.
What other families should know
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written byPbekk January 13, 2012

Loved it, took my kids, no permanent scars.

I read the reviews here to see if I should take my 9 year old. While some were concerned, justifiably, about the movie's violence, I was pleasantly surprised that the message far outweighed the violence. After all, it IS called WAR horse! Considering the possibilities, Spielberg did a remarkable job of keeping the grittiness of war while still making the movie viewable by upper elementary kids. Besides, preventing wars by sheltering our children entirely from them is akin to preventing disease by never letting the kids out of the house: at some point, you have to let them build up immunity or they will be sitting ducks when they enter the real world. This movie is great fodder for starting discussions with your child. After we watched it, I asked my son if he had questions, and they were: why do they shoot wounded horses? And why did the soldiers take the grandpa and the girl's food? In the end, I was glad I went into this movie with my eyes wide open. If I hadn't had the background before going, I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. And I was extremely glad to at least have a starting point to discuss war with my son. My only complaints have to do with some believability issues and the movie's length. But for a tweener with a decent amount of maturity, I wouldn't hesitate. The inaccuracies and suspension of belief are much more tolerable to the younger than they are to the older and wiser. I am a parent of a 14, 11, and 9 year old. I am a 20+ year teaching veteran with a Master's degree. I hope you have found my review helpful.
Parent Written byCrakr January 7, 2012

normal movie

ok
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Parent Written byPrairieDawn42 January 5, 2012

I could take it or leave it, actually.

I went to this with my husband and, even though it's an amazing story, filmed rather beautifully, I left the theater exhausted and relieved it was over as opposed to being happy from the outcome. So maybe it was successful, but it wasn't what I was necessarily in the mood for. I like cheering at the end. In this one, yes, the horse lives, but the ugliness of war was too much for me. Dead soldiers, dead horses, bodies being thrown into the air by exploding bombs. The trench scenes toward the end seemed to go on forever. I was also very aware of having my emotions manipulated. That's what movies are ultimately about, I know, but in this case it was blatant enough that it detracted from my overall enjoyment. I have children who are 6 and 3, and no WAY would they be allowed to see it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byThanksDad January 1, 2012

Wouldn't have taken my son, but not why you think

I took my 8 1/2 son to see War Horse and had done some research ahead of time (at this website(YA!)). The violence was not prolific throughout. There was only one extremely violent scene towards the end were you see what the WWI trench warfare was really like. I talked with my son about it afterward and that seemed to be ok. He has seen Iron Man, and other more cartoon violence, but this one was more realistic. What I would have done differently in not taking him, is viewers really need to have a basic knowledge of WWI history to understand what is going on better. And not to just "you will enjoy it more if you know it, but it really doesn't matter", you do really need to know WWI history to know what is going on. However it is very basic history is what you need. It was between the England and Germany (know what there helmets looked liked) and time is spent is france (that is what her accent is so that is where they are). An 8 year old hasn't been exposed to that in school so I had to explain to him what each scene was because (spoiler, kind of) you follow the horse through the war. It was a very good movie but I wouldn't have taken him, had I known this.
Parent of a 11 year old Written bydpm December 26, 2011

Excellent family film for older children

This movie has an excellent story line with positive messages. The main character is persistant and never gives up. The father does drink too much, but he is also loving and caring toward his family. There are many people throughout the film who show love and compassion toward the horse. This movie is very violent, and shows the realities of war. The ending is very inspiring and positive.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byBandksmom December 26, 2011

Fantastic Movie for TEENS 12+

Great movie - BUT war scenes are INTENSE (not bloody but very realistic looking - and LONG), therefore, my recommendation is that this movie is for 12+ year olds only. The story is very heartfelt, but younger kids will be bored with the dialog and will not be able to sit still for the entire lenght of this movie. Don't be fooled that this is a "Disney-like" feel good movie - it is not. Beautiful photography and deep meaning. Teen boys and girls will like this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Parent Written byMovie_Mom January 5, 2012

Awesome Movie!

A very good movie - the story was wonderful with Albert being what a yong man should be - hardworking and faithful. The war scenes were a bit intense, this is the only reason my youngest(8) will not see this until it comes out on DVD and I can skip those scenes. I highly reccommend this movie for teens - it was a story that kept you in it. A wonderful movie!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byCapucine October 11, 2014

War and animal friendship well depicted

A good film. The children will appreciate the film after having read the novel.
Parent of a 8 year old Written byPEKO September 29, 2012

War Horse Not for Little ones!!

very violent scenes with the horse in the barb wire, very intense not for little one's eyes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byYankee_Doodle March 27, 2012

Way too violent

There is NO WAY this movie should have been rated anything other than 'R'. As a parent who has taken her 13 and 11 year olds to several controversial movies, such as Hunger Games, Golden Compass, and Narnia, I found those movies to be a joke compared to War Horse. From the first military scene where horses and men lay dead across an open field, to the bloody water of a beach scene, to horses being abused and dying while being forced to haul heavy loads, to the kids (yes kids) being executed by Germans, to the final battle scene where people are dying left & right and a horse is entangled in razor wire... it was very emotional. I wish I had screened it first before taking them, because they never would have gone.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 14 year old Written byedwardscampbell January 23, 2012

History and genuine emotion!

This is a good old-fashioned movie, which not only depicts the history of World War I in a realistic way, which Americans are sometimes protected from, but also does not shy away from human emotion and heart-rending joy. Spielberg masterfully depicts war without resorting to gore, and is not afraid to be unabashedly sentimental in the bond between the horse and everyone who loves him. Joey is truly courageous! My teenage son, my husband, and I absolutely loved it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymzing5 June 16, 2012

It's a very good movie for people and children of all ages.

I read many of the reviews on this site before watching War Horse with my children (ages 5, 7 and 9). I was worried about how graphic the scenes were going to be, but I was pleasantly suprised. There were battle scenes and human/animal executions, but there were all very tastefully done. There were no close ups of blood and gore. My children are frightened easily by those things and did not cringe at all at this movie. In some cases, the horror of the war scenes were so well hidden that they had to ask me what just happened. For example, a soldier was riding a horse in one scene, and the next scene the horse was running alone with sounds of gunfire in the background. Frankly, I've seen more physical violence and inappropriate behavior in Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry cartoons than this movie. The kids also picked up on the courage of the horse, the compassion that it had for others and the compassion others felt for it. I was glad the movie was able to reach them on those levels. Those are the things they took away from the movie; they didn't focus on the violence. Overall, I think 9 yrs and up can watch it easily. It's fine for kids younger as well, but you may have to explain some parts to them. I highly recommend it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Educator Written bySTEPHIEGIRL66 May 25, 2012

WAR HORSE

WOW I CANT WAIT FOR IT TO BE INSTANT
Parent Written byJames C January 21, 2012

Best war film I've ever seen!!!

This movie is one of the best war films I've ever seen. The only reason children under the age of fourteen should not watch it doesn't come from that its to violent, but from that they can't seem to pay attention and get interested in the more adult subjects. By the way it is pretty sad and I (a man) cried in seven different scenes (some happy some not)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written by425182 January 23, 2012

Don't see if you are an animal lover!!

What about the violence that happened to this horse? I am a grandmother and I walked out in the middle of the movie because I just couldn't stand all the things that happened to this horse. If you are an animal lover, please think twice!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byJEDI micah April 22, 2012

Heartwarming and intense!

This movie is great, but it's also very intense and sad. Humans and horses are shot and slaughtered, and even the main character, a horse named Joey, gets himself in danger. Parents, this will be a heartwarming movie to watch with your teenage kids!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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