War Horse ★★☆☆☆ Spielberg at his mediocre worst

This year’s Christmas day movie (a tradition my wife and I have) was the Spielberg/Disney thing, War Horse, chosen almost at random for lack of options we knew anything about, and avoiding the crowds for Sherlock Holmes. We still ended up with crowds, and War Horse was really weak.

Sappy Disney miracle-animal story, extremely emotionally manipulative — even by Spielberg’s standards! Lighting, music, plot — every possible device — all telling you exactly how to feel at every turn. (Blasts of God light at all the inspiring moments, that sort of thing.) There were bits of interesting history and of course fine, high production value, and a gorgeous horse, but as a whole this film was a big “meh.” Spielberg is too talented to make a truly bad film, but this is one of his worst.