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War Horse - Movie Review

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The critically acclaimed West End and now Broadway play War Horse is brought to life on the big screen in this adaptation by Steven Spielberg.

Based on the novel and play of the same name, War Horse follows a young boy named Albert(Jeremy Irvine) and his unlikely friendship with a horse, Joey. After taking Joey home as a child, Albert ultimately forms an unbreakable bond with the creature, a bond that is ultimately broken when his family is forced to give up the horse to make ends meet. At the outbreak of World War I, Joey is then enlisted to be a war horse on the battlefield, while back at home Albert vows to find his horse.

Steven Spielberg has created an epic masterpiece here. The film itself is an emotional journey filled with a lot of heart. Though the plot itself is simple, it is the emotional depth and relationships between characters that bring out the best in this film. In his first big feature film, actor Jeremy Irvine is able to create the innocence in Albert while delivering a strong, sensitive and sometimes heartbreaking relationship with his character's horse Joey. Every moment that is shared between the boy and his horse ignites waterworks, and add what may be this year's best original score by John Williams to it and you have an outstanding cinematic work. Spielberg has managed to capture the magnificent beauty of the English countryside as well as the terrors of the First World War excellently, and in many ways this feels like a throwback to more traditional films in the past.

The horses who played Joey were phenomenal and almost worthy of an acting nomination, that is if it were an actual person. Besides the acting animals, the film's other strength was the superb musical score. John Williams, whose previous most recognizable film scores include Jaws, Star Wars, and E.T. has composed another hit here, and it will be shocking to not see the War Horse score win an award come Oscar season next year.

If there was any doubt before that using real horses rather than the acclaimed puppets in the play would make this movie less of a success, all of that can now be dispelled. A family feature that is powerful, moving, and magnificent, it is safe to say that War Horse is easily the best film of the year.


by Kyle

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Twitter: @kylefong

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