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The War (1994)

Kevin Costner , Elijah Wood , Jon Avnet  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Elijah Wood, Lexi Randall, Mare Winningham, Christine Baranski
  • Directors: Jon Avnet
  • Writers: Kathy McWorter
  • Producers: Jon Avnet, Jordan Kerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios - TGG Direct
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 1999
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783233507
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The War" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com

    Kevin Costner is the big name here, but the film belongs squarely to Elijah Wood, who plays his son. The film deals with the children of a Vietnam veteran in 1970 Mississippi; as their dad (Costner) tries to cope with posttraumatic stress disorder after serving in the war, the kids build a mammoth tree house in the woods--then must defend it against the local white-trash bullies. The film includes a particularly harrowing contest involving a swim across the reservoir of a decrepit water tower; still, director Jon Avnet can't avoid a certain "can't we all just get along" didactic message. That doesn't put a damper on the youthfully natural quality of the child actors, and Costner is actually quite winning as a sensitive, troubled soul. --Marshall Fine

    Product Description

    It was a different time…and a different pace. Elijah Wood and Kevin Costner star in a rich feast for the senses from the director of Fried Green Tomatoes. This heartwarming film tells the tale of a close-knit family and their remarkable Mississippi summer of 1970. With the help of their friends, Stu (Wood) and Lidia Simmons (Lexi Randall) are determined to build the ultimate treehouse, a place of wonder and magic. Their father Stephen (Costner), a newly returned Vietnam vet, has equally high hopes to rebuild his life and fulfill his family's dreams. Co-starring Mare Winningham, The War will captivate all who fall under its spell. It's a film rich with humor, nostalgia and mesmerizing performances. It is, in the words of the National News Syndicate, "a must-see movie."

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming family drama? January 18, 2003
    Format:DVD
    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.
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    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The War January 2, 2001
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    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.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars What's worth fighting for... August 2, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    The war is a very good movie with a very good slogan (what's worth fighting for..) It's an amazing story and the actors are heartwarming. Everyone acts really well, but Elijah Wood deserves some extra credit here. He proves once again that he's one of the best actors of his age. The war is a movie with a great concept and great scenes, especially the one with the treehouse. In this movie they focus on the real war, but also on the war with yourself and the war between children (treehouse scene). It's a must see movie.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still one of my favorites December 24, 2002
    Format:DVD
    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
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    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!
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD LITTLE KNOWN FILM! January 5, 2008
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I had never heard of this film before the New Year. Considering it was released well over a decade ago, I was surprised how good it was. The story is about a struggling poor family told by their little girl's point of view. The cast shine in this engrossing well made tale, which can be summed up by one line Kevin Costner's character says to his young son. "It only takes a second to do something you'll regret for the rest of your life"!....How true! The film has several small stories going on throughout and while they are interesting and well acted, they never seemed to go any deeper than the skin. I did enjoy this film a lot and I'm sure I will watch it again but, it just didn't quite go for the jugular, like I had hoped. As far as content goes......I have read some reviews stating that this film is not suitable for kids. I think PG says it all and I think kids could learn a lot from this picture if, watched with a caring adult who would talk through some issues in this movie. This is a movie, well worth seeing!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
    Probably the best movie I've ever seen!
    Published 3 days ago by Jonda
    5.0 out of 5 stars "The War" is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has every element...
    "The War" is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has every element that makes up a good movie in my opinion: Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Human Psychology, Old-Fashioned... Read more
    Published 7 days ago by Vicky Davis
    1.0 out of 5 stars the war
    This is a great little movie, the kids were great my grandkids and the rest thought is a good family movie
    Published 8 days ago by luva pendarvis
    5.0 out of 5 stars My brother and I loved this movie when we were children
    My brother and I loved this movie when we were children, we laughed and cried all at the same time. We loved it then, but my daughter loves it now. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by Beatriz Jara
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A great story of love and healing....
    Published 16 days ago by Vicky Apala-Cuevas
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Loved this movie. Would watch it again and again.
    Published 25 days ago by EJA
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie. Besides the moving story line
    Excellent movie. Besides the moving story line, it also captures the feel of living in the South during the 60's.
    Published 27 days ago by Larry Gant
    4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked that.
    Prompt delivery of this item. I really liked that.
    Published 28 days ago by Tony Ramon
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent...Kevin Costner should have received an ACADAMY AWARD for this most heart warming, inspiring movie!!
    Published 1 month ago by billie duffek
    3.0 out of 5 stars We were excited to watch this movie as a family ...
    We were excited to watch this movie as a family. However, for us we felt the language was not appropriate for our kids and couldn't finish watching it. Our kids are 5,8 and 10.
    Published 1 month ago by Melissa Kreplin
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