Steven Spielberg draws on his three most important influences—John Ford, David Lean, and Walt Disney—for this epic pet movie set during World War I. The film begins in an idealized rural England (modeled after the timeless Ireland of Ford’s How Green Was My Valley) as a farmer’s son (Jeremy Irvine) bonds with the “magical” horse he’s training to plow the land. When the army buys the horse and takes it to the French front, Spielberg goes into Lean mode, finding in war the greatest landscapes and crowd shots that money can buy. This may seem slick and sentimental, but beneath the surface is a film every bit as morbid as A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which also used a nonhuman protagonist to contemplate human death on a mass scale. With Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.