War Horse (2011) Movie Review for Teachers | Student Handouts
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War Horse (2011)
World History > World War I in World History > World War I in World History Books and Films
War Horse (2011) - Movie review and guide for high school World History teachers. Release date: 2011

Length: 146 minutes (2 hours, 26 minutes)

Age Appropriateness Rating: PG-13

Creators and Stars: Steven Spielberg, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston, Peter Mullan, Benedict Cumberbatch

Historical Accuracy: There are no glaring historical inaccuracies in this film, which can be expected with a Steven Spielberg picture.

Review: War Horse is set during World War I, and follows a boy and his horse from rural England to the fighting fields of France. Get out the tissues, because it's a tear-jerker (but what horse movie isn't?). This film is great for student viewing, grades 7 and up.

We were incredibly impressed by how well Spielberg showed the horrors of the First World War--barbed wire, trenches, mustard gas, and more--without getting particularly gruesome (unlike, for example, in "Saving Private Ryan"). (We saw this film just once in the theater, so can't be 100% certain, but we cannot recall ever seeing blood on the screen.)

In addition to learning about the military tactics used in World War I, students will see and understand how and why the cavalry died out (literally and figuratively) as a fighting force. This movie is a great lesson: "Welcome to 20th-Century Warfare."

Miscellaneous: Nominated for several awards.
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