This movie is sold as a war movie but it borders on being a chick-flick. Given that it's directed by Steven Spielberg, the man who brought us Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List - two of the best war movies of the past 30 years - I was anticipating something gritty that showed the horrible grinding insanity of trench warfare. Instead, I found myself looking at my watch after the first hour with the dawning disappointment that this movie is closer to National Velvet than Private Ryan. "Okay. Okay. I get it. The guy loves his horse and the horse is a really nice horse."
The up-sides: The production values are what you would expect from Spielberg. Not a penny was spared in sets and costumes.
The down-sides (and this is not a complete list): The acting was poor and I didn't care one whit about any of the characters. The dialog was strained, predictable and often ridiculous. Having the Kaiser's soldiers talking with forced Sargent Schultz accents just makes them look comic. The plot was lifted from some third-rate Lassie Come Home remake. Every scene was accompanied by a syrup-laced, melodramatic sound track, as if one could make up for all the other shortcomings of this movie laying on thick strings and horns. It's the cinematic equivalent of dousing your over-cooked duck l'orange with ketchup.
I hated this movie. It took $12 and three hours from me and gave me nothing back. I would give it zero stars if I could.