War Horse is a 2011 war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel of the same name set before and during World War I.
The film's cast includes David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, Toby Kebbell, David Kross and Peter Mullan. The film is produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, and executive produced by Frank Marshall and Revel Guest. Long-term Spielberg collaborators Janusz Kamiński, Michael Kahn, Rick Carter and John Williams all worked on the film.
In 1912, a teenage boy named Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) from Devon, England, witnesses the birth of a Bay Thoroughbred foal and subsequently watches with admiration the growth of the young horse, galloping through the fields at his mother's side. Much to the dismay of his mother Rose (Emily Watson), his father Ted (Peter Mullan) buys the colt at auction, despite a friend pointing out a more suitable plough horse for his farm.
Albert is thrilled and names the colt Joey, but his mother is dismayed-her husband's purchase leaves them without enough money to pay the rent. Albert trains Joey to be a plough horse so that he can earn his keep. But in 1914, when WWI begins, the army is looking for good horses and his father sells Joey without Albert's knowledge. Albert vows to find Joey one day and bring him home. Joey is bought by a kind officer, but as a war horse, he experiences the horror of battles in France. Though he endures many hardships, his courage touches the soldiers around him.
Based on 203 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, War Horse received a 77% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics with an average score of 7/10. The site's critical consensus is "Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair."
War Horse grossed $79,859,441 domestically and$97,200,000 overseas, for a worldwide total of $177 million (approx).
War Horse was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, two Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTAs.