An Entertaining Movie With A Positive Message The War is an exceptionally acted beautiful movie with a message that is rarely sent through movies in this day and age. In a time when most movies make the statement that the only way to deal with problems is to fight them, The War tells us that there is another way which may be a little harder but gets more results in the end. And it does it in a beautiful and entertaining way. I enjoyed everything about this movie from the actors chosen to portray the characters to the masterful direction of the story. EVERYtime I watch this movie I get teary eyed but I always go away from it feeling good. I love this movie....more info
R..... not PG This movie is rated PG; yet I was not able to show this movie to my kids. I know that the world is full of aggression, however how can I sit with my family and watch a movie with so much violence between kids. Some will tell me that it is good to expose children to such violence and possibly reality of life and the human beings among each other. I totally disagree.
This movie should be rated R and not PG
2 stars, only because of the great acting; the story is basic, about a father feeling awful for leaving his best buddy behind during the Vietnam War while his kids are fighting other children over a tree hut. I know I am probably going to bombarded with bad feedbacks however this is my honest opinion about this movie.
(Have you ever noticed that when someone writes a review that doesn't give the artist 4 or 5 stars - the reviewer gets slammed in the votes?)
Great movie for mature audiences Kevin Costner plays a war veteran who has returned to civilian life. He is having a difficult time adjusting after the horrors of war. Such experiences are later recounted in the film. As the title suggests, the war is a key factor in the lives of the people in the film. But the title also serves as a metaphor for the war that becomes part of the lives of the people at home in their everyday struggles.
Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood's characters are part of a poor family whose interactions with a neighboring family are tenuous and disintegrating. The young daughter sees the institutionalized racism her friends have to deal with on a daily basis. The types of issues that they all deal with are the ones that would leave many of us with gut wrenching dilemmas. Lashing out and confronting some of the situations would mean overstepping bounds and in some cases engaging in violence. The failure to do so would result in defenselessness and in some cases danger.
The family learns examples from the war veteran who will spend his life wondering whether he made the right decisions in the war and from his refusal to place his personal safety above his sense of duty to those around him because of it.
This film is well acted and features beautiful cinematography. The HD release is stunning both with respect to clarity and artistry.
Others have commented that this may not be appropriate for children because of the violence and difficult themes. My children range in age from 11 to 16, and I did not find that to be an issue. However, they were bored to lukewarm at best when watching it. This may be one to watch without the kids before you decide whether it's right for them....more info
A good film The War is a good, but a bit dark and sad film. This is certainly not the mainstream, so do not look for a happy ending. But if you are looking for a film which makes you think a lot about it afterwards, in which the characters continue to live their lives in your mind, the film with a thoughtfulness and beauty in it, also conveying strong messages - then the War is for you.
The storyline is good and interesting, although a bit sad. But I wouldn't call it a hard film, watching is not disturbing at all. Amazing acting, of course, adds a lot to this film. Little Elijah Wood is simply amazing, Cavin Costner is adorable. I gave it 4 stars because I usually prefer more cheerful films, but apart from this sad aspect, this film is a beautiful and worhty experience. ...more info
The War - A Great Vehicle for the Young Elijah Wood The War is a species of film released in the early 90's with anti-war, anti-agression themes that require movie-goers to commit to the view that the Vietnam War is a symbol for war's futility. It does this using a metaphor used often before-the loss of innocence; in this case, a child's. What complicates this film's approach is the child is not innocent. Stu Simmons is a struggling kid in poverty's grip fending for himself and family, while his war hero, post-trauma stressed father is trying to find his sanity. Perhaps, the father, Stephen Simmons is the innocent lost and visits it upon his family and, particularly his son.
The film focuses on the need to put anger aside, forgive those who wrong you, compromise for the benefit of the community and move forward with the struggle for hope with joy in your heart. If it sounds like a sermon-it is. What makes this movie more preachy is Stu Simmons and his sister, Lidia's struggle to keep and defend a fort in a tree (a tree-house). On the surface, such stuff ranks with Lassie or My Friend Flicka, with a slightly more meaty homily and a different set of dirty-faced kids. Added to the message, in this message movie, is Lidia's attempt to bring harmony and understanding between the races. The only thing missing is world peace.
Despite this overblown capsule of Hallelujahs, The War succeeds admirably for three reasons-the focus on the relationship between Stu and his father; the continual development of Stu as a mirror image of his father, only a more adult version; and a fairly sound script, which only falters when it gets on its soap box and preaches. Any writer can tell you, "show-don't tell." When the script tells us the themes, it sags. When we are shown, it shines. Fortunately, with the exception of the ending, these snippets of hallelujah are peppered throughout and absorbed by the incredible performance of Elijah Wood.
That Elijah Wood carries this movie is undeniable. The viewer is captured by his skillful development of Stu Simmons and the final blossoming of the young adult. It's much like David Copperfield's journey, only ignore the Dickensian sideshow. The father-son scenes generally work, Kevin Costner giving a competent performance with only one scene with the full depth of his ability. Lexis Randall's performance as Lidia carefully blends her into her family image. You could pick her out as Stu Simmons' sister in a crowd. Unfortunately, as she has the voice overs, she get's the pulpit and the more maudlin lines. LaToya Chisholm's performance as her sarcastic black girlfriend, shines. Her timing, development and intonation are right on the money in all her scenes; and she dominates all her scenes. Mare Winningham as the mother, Lois, inhabits her role as the long suffering but supporting wife, admirably. But it is Elijah Wood's force that allows us to like this movie, admiring his style, intelligence and facial expressions. There's a Shakespearean caliber culmination scene, which rivets the viewer to the screen, much like being drawn into the vortex of the Water Tower, which figures prominently in a long list of visual symbols.
Of course, when one is preaching, one knows the bottom line. After Elijah Wood delivers his forceful scene, the movie travels along predictable, if not entertaining, lines. The kiddie War is quite adult; and the denouement, the bitter-sweet happy ending, is easily forecast. After all, you can't preach to the congregation with fire and brimstone without letting them leave without a benediction. The need to tie up all the various homilies in Lidia's closing voice over and her little why life is a bowl of cherries essay, could have been left to Laura Engels.
On the whole, The War is worthwhile as a showcase for Elijah Wood and is worthy of shelf space for his fans. His performance is a must for anyone who had only seen his later work in the Independants or in the massive Lord of the Rings. With an often solid script that has sometimes too much to say, this reviewer would award The War a solid B.
One of the best, a must see movie! If you liked stand by me, this is even better. one of my all time favorites.dang dittly dang....more info
Best Movie! I have seen this movie 6 times. This movie touches on everything that is truely important in my life. Each time I watch it, I have to marvel at how beautifully it is able to illustrate the grounding truth that is what I value in my life!
Today is my Birthday and my daughter is getting me this movie because she knows it is one of the few movies that will always bring a tear to my eye....more info
intrigued I was truly captivated and intrigued by this movie from the first minute. I literally sat on the edge of my seat the entire movie. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster ride throughout the whole film.Elijah Woods was phenomenal.I just wished more movies could be this great but I guess that is why this is one of a kind. It is my favorite movie of all time. My second favorite would be The Prince Of Tides....more info
Heartwarming family drama? I went into this thinking it would be a fairly lighthearted view of one family's troubles living in 1970 Mississippi. After one viewing, I was shocked. Shocked enough to end up watching it three times in two days.
Are people really so mean to one another? Adults will stand by while a child gets beaten by a gang? People will purposefully ram other cars when they break down in the road? Children will fight and do life-threatening dares for property? You bet. This reality was what made this movie so compelling and unique in a world of bland, "let's not be controversial" movies.
It isn't perfect, by any means. It's too long, has too many sub-stories to successfully complete them all, and is downright cheesy at times. But in terms of acting, Costner combines the haunted vet and nuturing father together believeably, and all the children are well done (there are some great faces, really interesting to look at). The most interesting relationship was between the three girls: a relationship which succesfully merged race, strength, loyalty, and good old fashioned girliness. Elijah Wood also has some truly great moments.
The children's war was horrifying, and by far the best part of the movie. I couldn't look at the screen the first time I watched it because it was so disturbing (not because it's violent, but because it's kids who obviously don't realize the seriousness of the situation). It's a really good piece of work, transitioning from innocent to vicious so smoothly the viewers don't consciously realize there was even a shift. Very very well done.
The thing I like about The War is that I still find myself thinking about it weeks later. Not so much about war itself, but about children and growing up, and losing the things you love. Only good movies make you do that....more info
the war I was very happy to know that amazon had the movie in stock. The price was very reasonable. It came in the mail quickly and the shipping and handling was great. I am very happy with amazon....more info
Great Acting - A joy to watch This is a great film but I feel the story line could of been a bit stronger. I love the cast which includes Mare Winningham, one of my favorites. The times were hard, it is a rough around the edges type of movie with a great ending. The acting is the best especially the parts played by the children.Diane...more info
Boring and predictable sentimentality Snoozer. The faked accents are over-the-top and make it difficult to understand some dialog. The blatant symbolism is predictable. An obvious ripoff of To Kill A Mockingbird with the girl's narration/flashback to formative childhood experiences. Yawn....more info
Excellent drama the whole family can enjoy I originally saw this movie beause I enjoy Costner's acting, and I got a bonus with a well developed storyline and great supporting cast. There is subthemes of poverty and racism, but the strong hand of this movie is relationships and how challenging, complicating, and rewarding they can be. The situations in life children face with friends, and parents face with economics are raised and I believe the movie can provoke educated discussion between parent and children viewers. The movie is appropriately rated as PG-13, there are issues of Death and violence, but the love and the joy that is also experienced makes me highly recommend this movie as an opportunity to share a viewing experience with the whole family....more info
Flawed, but still one of my favorites When I first saw this movie, I remember thinking Elijah Wood is one of the most amazing actors of the times. Even at his age, he was almost upstaging Kevin Costner. I was blown away at his natural talent, and I loved watching him. He has a great way of showing his emotion through his eyes.
Although the movie sometimes is overwritten and wordy, for me it never takes away how wonderful it is to watch. The cast does an amazing job with the sometimes too corny script and makes it all work. Definitely one of my all time favorite movies. If you're just in it to watch a good movie, and not get too critical, you're going to adore it. I gave it 5 stars, even though I said it was flawed, because the movie it self makes up for whatever silly flaws were in the script and directing. The actors are amazing, and do a wonderful job with what is given to them...more info
Overlooked by critics. The War starring Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood is a sweet, complicated, and gentle story of a father returning home from war and his sensitive son who is about to come of age. Costner and Wood bring depth and heart to their characters, I was never a big fan of Costner but he absolutely brilliant in this little and ignored film. I highly recommend this tender-hearted film, enjoy!...more info
The War I rented this first of all for Kevin Costner, but was surprised after watching why you never heard more about this movie, It was fantastic! Every actor and actress did great jobs, but both Elijah Wood and Kevin Costner stood out. It never really had a certain plot but yet it did in the fact that it focused on war from three sides....The real war Costner went through....The war the children fought to try and fit in.....and the war that everyone of us fight inside ourselves. If you don't walk away from this movie with a twing inside something is missing. I would highly recommend this for the whole family to watch and learn from. And yes I cried at the end....more info
Flawed, but a good addition to a family's collection Depending on your reason for watching or buying this movie, it's either a 3 star (average) or 5 star (good deal). This is a movie I wouldn't rent for pure entertainment, but one I wanted to own as part of the family library.
The object of watching this particular movie isn't entertainment, but education. If you put aside the second storyline in this movie (Kevin Costner's war vet psychological flashback bit), it becomes a great movie.
The second plot - perhaps added because the filmakers thought adults needed something grown-up to entertain them (the movie would have been fine without, as was Stand By Me) or maybe added to make Costner's role a bit meatier - actually takes away from the movie's tone and clear message. War is a dangerous solution to problems that could be dealt with in other ways.
Set in the South sometime in the 70's, Elijah Wood and his siblings are in the midst of an on-going battle with neighborhood bullies, whose father is a racist and bully.
While the father struggles with the aftermath of being a failure at war - the bullies and their dad label him as a coward, and in their view, he supports this by teaching his kids that fighting isn't the way to solve problems (although in one scene he loses it for a moment) - the kids begin a small war over some turf they've built with supplies pilfered from the bully dad's junkyard.
The highlight of the film is the kids battle, shown in slow motion and with sound effects of a real war, which make it clear that we're comparing this dangerous fight the kids are having with the external war their father fought.
The attempt to give almost equal play to Costner's inner struggle takes away from the movie, if you're looking at it as a pure entertainment piece. I push it aside as a minor annoyance, and my son focuses on the kids.
It is in our family library because we like books about war that can be viewed by the family and encourage conversation. It doesn't have to be perfect (and the acting and filming in this movie are well above average), it just has to help with the family dialogue!...more info
One awesome movie! Wow,The War was a good movie.It was the only movie to make me cry besides Armaggeddon.Elijah Wood is so adorable,and Kevin Costner is cool.All of the actors did a wonderful job in this movie!...more info
Great Movie Good movie with some important lessons in a world that gravitates more and more toward violence. It really makes you think about whats really important in life.
The best acting I have ever seen from Elijah Wood. Surpases LOtR in my opinion....more info
A Fantastic Box Office Sleeper This is one of my all time favorite movies, "lipstick and rouge" is now a favorite way to describe all the superficial elements of life. This is a meaning of life movie, packed full of values for every age group. Enjoy and Savor!...more info
Good movie -- Unfocused viewpoint This movie was a bit of a charmer, but it was too long and the point of view is unfocused. The majority of the film was centered around Stu Simmons (Elijah Wood) and his father (Kevin Costner) except that the movie was told from the viewpoint of the sister. The movie begins with her narration and ends with her narration from her memoirs in the classroom. The sister' viewpoint is irrelevant, for the most part, but it does make for confusing hitches when the majority of the scenes depict Stu and the father then suddenly has the sister narrating scenes she was never in.
The climax of the film is Kevin Costner revealing the truth behind his shame in Vietnam to his son, but this happens half way through the movie which tells you there's another hour of film to go. Classic rule of screenwriting is that you wrap up the story within five minutes of the climax, and I can clearly see why the movie just petered out until the treehouse/fight scene. So the movie had to climaxes. These glitches can throw off the movie rhythm and make it difficult or audiences. Because the movie was based off a woman's memoirs about her brother and father, I can see where the confusion had originated.
Despite those flaws, Elijah Wood gave a brilliant performance and showed his star potential at an early age. This is a good story with its own charm and worth watching but with a little bit of patience....more info
A great one is upstaged! Kevin Kostner is one of the great actors of out time and he was at his best in The War. His part alone makes this a great movie to watch. But he was upstaged, believe it or not, by a boy! Elijah Wood simply stole the movie! His acting skills just keep getting better. His range of emotion and his believability are incredible! His big blue eyes pull you in and his acting keeps you there....more info
One of the best movies you've never seen Admittedly, I at first rented this movie for Elijah Wood, for whom I suffered a short obsession beginning in the summer of 2001. But, as I came to know his work, I became slightly less interested in him and more so in his films. First of all, the acting in this movie is very good, especially for being comprised of an almost all-child cast. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that these people really are poverty-stricken Mississippians in the 1970's. The message of the movie is powerful and effective, and my belief is that it is the closest Elijah Wood ever came to Academy Award-worthy acting in his career. In addition to incredible acting by both Wood and Kevin Costner, the film also boasts an excellent soundtrack with 60's music by artists such as the Supremes, and a score by Thomas Newman, who found more recent exposure with the films Pay it Forward and Erin Brockovich. Do yourself a favor and see this feel-good movie about family values, and wholly, about morals. It is a great movie to sit down and watch with the kids, and with moments funny, sad, and suspenseful, it won't be boring for anyone....more info
Profiles in courage The war is a Kevin Costner movie, which is to say its a tad too long, and is likely to give you food for thought.
The War is a movie my wife and I have watched several times, and always come away moved. "The War" is the Story of a veteran who comes home from Viet Nam damaged with PTSD, in a time when help was not available, and the stigma of mental health disorders was considerable. It is the story of a boy who is conflicted between loving and being ashamed of his father. It is a story of poverty as a great equalizer, and of friendship. Finally it is a story about courage and cowardice in many forms.
So here's the deal, this isn't a fun movie, it isn't entertaining, but it is a moving tale that will give you things to think about....more info
A Very Good film This movie is very under rated. One of Elijah wood`s best performances....more info
Wrongfully Accused I read a lot of the other reviews and while a lot said good things about this film, some were also bad. One review said it should get an R rating because of the violence bewteen the kids, but childhood brawls, fights, failures and conquests are all about growing up. If we censor things for the children we don't prepare them for what to come. I think this movie has alot of important messages in it and I would suggest it for any parent to watch it with their kid. This was one of my favorite films when I was a kid, and although I didnt understand the post-traumatic stress disorder Kevin Costner was going through, I understood his angst and I had a better understanding of fights between children after I saw this movie. I did my share of neighborhood brawls when I was a kid and looking back now I dont even know of a reason. Its just something that we all go through. Parents shouldnt shun this away from their kids, after all it isn't Lord of the Flies. SPOILER* at the end of the movie it has a really important message when Elijah Wood's character risked his life to save one of the bullies, the message is that when in the face of death the minor fights between the kids were all forgotton in that instant- it didnt mean anything. It is also an important movie to show to kids for the vietnam aspect. How there was a war for the veterens of vietnam when they came home and soldiers have to deal with the guilt and whether they did the right thing or not- somewhat a good starting point for other movies like Born on the Forth of July and Jacob's Ladder. Other messages in this movie are racial ones, standing up for whats right, standing up for your friends, backing away from fights, and to treat anyone with dignity and respect no matter who they are. Also if you do watch this with your kid, prepare yourself, this like Fried Green Tomatoes is a sad movie. It deals with loss and hardships.
I hadn't watched this movie since I was a kid and I watched it again for the first time in 12 years. I have the same fondness I did since I was a kid and more so now because I can appreciate the wonderful soundtrack and score, with great songs by Janis Joplin, CCR, and Cat Stevens and one of the best places in a movie for Gimme Shelter. The score was beautiful and very inspirational from the very talented Thomas Newman. This was a wonderful movie that I would suggest to anyone- one that will always be close to my heart. And anyone who loved Friend Green Tomatoes and Forrest Gump will love this....more info
Overly sentimental and predictable Wanted to like the movie more, but it is entirely too sentimental, predictable, and pat -- you can watch it and say "Oh, here's where the dad gets to redeem himself" or "Guardian angel talk -- guess one of them will end up dead" or "Aha, the conflict between the kids mirrors the dad's war", and on and on. Got tired of being beat over the head with entirely obvious parallels and symbolisms. Kevin Costner was way too clean-cut and well-dressed to come across as an impoverished Vietnam vet with PTSD. On a more positive note, Elijah Wood was quite good; his southern accent was a lot better than Costner's. And the movie effectively conveys the mood of a hot, rural summer with almost no parental supervision. Note to parents: There's a lot of violence between children in this movie, and one extremely tense scene involving a decrepit water tower. I won't be showing it to my kids (age 3 and 6)....more info
Better than anticipated Being an Elijah Wood fan, I ordered this movie, as one I had not yet even heard of. I like Kevin Costner, but have found his later movies to be rather self-absorbing and, well, Kevin Costner playing Kevin Costner - not a lot of versatility there. This movie, although not deep on plot, did impart a senstivity and a feeling of loyalty and compassion. The young actors imparted a vitality and, especially with Elijah Wood, the ability to play (as shown in all of his films) various diversity of methods and the ability to adapt to dialects of differing regions.
A nice feel-good movie - evoked all of the emotions, but in the end, the message that good outweighs all....more info
and critics dont like it that much You know, i dont understand sometimes why the critics gnaw on such films as this and "pay it forward" i dont know what they expect from a film but this one delivers. Elijah Wood is perfectly cast alongside kevin costner(who is a co-star). "The War" in question is not what you would expect to find in this film, it refers to one of two possibilities. 1)the war that is going on in kevin costner's head, having just returned from one, and the problems the family has to face or 2) the war between the kids, which would be my guess. I dont realy know what else to say but i will tell you that Elijah is a pleasure to watch. personaly, he is a far better actor than McCauly culkin ever was. He has a natural gift for accents (eg. the adventures of huckleberry finn). so if you are looking for a film that gives you more out of it than you would expect then this is the one. there is a message or two in this one, so check it out. you wont be dissapointed, i gaurantee it....more info
Perfect movie The best movie I have ever seen! All the actors did a great job, Elijah Wood did a excelent job same with, Kevin Costner and Lexi Randall. I liked Lexi the best cuz she is cute and she is very gifted and my opinion she should be greatful to God for giving her such talent. Very heart warming movie at the end I was crying. "War is like a big machine that no one really knows how to run and when it gets out of control it ends up destroying the things you thought you were fighting for, and a lot of other things you kinda forgot you had." Beautiful movie its a must see I wish they could get those people together and make another movie like "The War"....It has a very good point to it and its a real one. Please e-mail me and we can talk about it...more info
Beautiful Tale of Tragedy and Family Ties I cannot get enough of this movie. So many raw emotional scenes, there is not one message in this movie because it reflects the confusion of war. War kills the very thing we fight for, and here in this movie is a man who has been through the war but is determined to keep the family ties alive. Beautiful, beautiful movie....more info
They Win this War... This is the most beautiful and heartbreaking movie I have ever seen. Elijah Wood and Lexi Randall and all the kids in the film are amazing, and Kevin Costner gives a perfect performance with his physical and emotional transformation as Stephen Simmons. He touchingly elicits all of the reality of the tragedy in the treatment of Vietnam Veterans, and his shellshocked, understated portrayal forces the viewer to step back and take notice. One of Kevin's best acting pieces, next to A Perfect World, The Untouchables, For the Love of the Game, and Field of Dreams. A great movie with great performances....more info
a must see for every family, the absolute best! Movie explores relationships between parents and children, and children with children. It breaks through racial barriers and teaches some very valuable lessions, a reality check for people who have lost compassion for the poor. The mom, Mare Winningham is supurb!!...more info
One of my favorites This movie is great. It's one of those fun movies you can watch with the whole family. I reccomend it....more info
Awesome movie A rare find. I did not pause it for one second. This is from the director of "Fried Green Tomatoes". So that should tell you alot. A very well made film, of a family struggling to make ends meet, and a father coming home with his nightmares....more info
WHY DID THIS MOVIE NOT GET AN OSCAR??? 99 Million STARS! THE WAR is the best movie I have seen in years! The performance by Elijah Jordan Wood should have gotten him an Oscar nomination! It left me in tears wanting more. The moral of the story is so deep and makes you think. This is what movies are all about...not special effects and big money! You must BUY this movie NOW! I would seriously give it an OSCAR for BEST PICTURE!...more info
Complete Tear Jerker!!! I love this movie! To me, this is probably Costner's best performance. I cried from beginning to end. I definitely recommend this movie to anybody. My boyfriend even cried when he watched it! ...more info
A film that can make a family come together! From the director of "Fried Green Tomatoes" brings you this realistic masterpiece of different emotions a typical southern family could have experinced in the early seventies relating to friendships and duals of both the adolescences and adults. With an outstanding soundtrack very fitting for the times I invite you along with others to sit down and enjoy this remarkable film with a talented cast which will in turn give you a new perception on life!...more info
Entertaining, but Uneven When I decided to watch "The War" when it was on ABC a few months ago, I have to say I had very high hopes for it. With such a talented cast, and a storyline full of dramatic promise, I was expecting something brilliant. I didn't get it. To be fair, "The War" does have several things going for it, including a talented cast turning in socko performances, and a handful of truly magical moments. However, on the whole, the film seems to lack a basic message. Is this movie about the evil of war, the need for people to get along, faith in the American dream, the bond between a family, or tolerence of people different from you? The film sort of jumps from one to the other, not really giving any of them enough time to make much of an impact on the audience. While not at all bad, "The War" will always be the kind of movie where one will think of what could have been....more info
Great movie I was pleasantly surprised at how good this movie was. I had never heard of it before, and was a little concerned at the subject. Some war movies have been too graphic. How nice to see that it was actually a coming-of-age story with great actors and a worth-while message....more info