where the writers are
Spielberg’s War Horse a Throwback, but a Keeper
Spielberg and Irving

We were among the Christmas-day throng that went to see the opening day of War Horse, and we weren’t disappointed.  It’s a little like watching a State-of-the-Union address by a master politician; all the right notes are hit in the right order; no heart-string isn’t strummed.  The anti-war theme never slows the active plot.  The old Hollywood story of the wizened actor who tells a neophyte, “The secret to this town is sincerity.  Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made,” comes to mind when talking about this movie—indeed it’s mentioned in the attached New York Times review.  The title is perfect because it’s about a horse—everyone compares it to Black Beauty—but it’s also unambiguously about war.  The film is as straightforward and persistent as the tank that stalks the War Horse into a corner, as nettlesome as the barbed wire it ends up with around its neck.

http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/movies/war-horse-directed-by-steven-spielberg-review.html