The War

Watch The War

"This is no "Brat-3", this is War"
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 2 hr 6 min
  • 6.7  (13,431)

The War is a 1994 American drama film directed by Jon Avnet and starring Elijah Wood, Kevin Costner, and Mare Winningham. The story is set in rural Mississippi during the summer of 1970 and follows the life of a family struggling to make ends meet. The film opens with a hand-held camera shot showing the family's old run-down house with trash scattered throughout the front yard. The principal character of the film is 10-year-old Stu Simmons (Elijah Wood) who lives with his parents Stephen and Lois (Kevin Costner and Mare Winningham) and his two younger sisters. The family is very poor, and Stephen is having difficulty keeping his job, which puts a strain on the family's relationships. His wife Lois later tells him that she is pregnant, which makes matters worse.

Stephen is a former Marine who is struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He is also a heavy drinker, which puts a further strain on his marriage with Lois. Stephen has a lot of trouble dealing with his emotions and takes out his anger on his family, which causes a lot of conflict between him and his wife.

Stu is the most optimistic member of the family, and he and his best friend Lidia (Lexi Randall) spend their summer fishing, swimming, and playing together. Their friendship is one of acceptance and mutual support. They provide comfort and support to each other.

Throughout the movie, Stu's life takes a wild turn when he and Lidia build a treehouse on an island in a lake. The island is claimed by the neighboring bullies, the Lipnickis. The Lipnickis are a wealthy family with a garage full of expensive cars, and their sons are bullies who terrorize Stu and Lidia. Stu and Lidia spend a lot of time in the treehouse, which becomes a symbol of hope and a place of refuge for the two friends. Stu regards the treehouse and the island as theirs and protects it at all costs.

As the film progresses, Stephen learns that the Lipnickis have a swimming poll and barbecue pit. As a result, he becomes consumed with his envy of the Lipnicki family's lifestyle. He decides that he wants Stu to win the swimming competition that the Lipnickis are hosting as a way to obtain the prize- a new barbecue pit. Stu agrees to participate in the competition, and the family reaches an agreement that if Stu wins, they will have a big barbecue party in their yard.

As Stu trains for the swimming competition, the Lipnickis become more and more threatening. The tension between the two groups of children intensifies, leading to a tragic event that threatens to tear the community apart. The question of whether the treehouse would be destroyed by the Lipnickis becomes secondary, with the focus shifting to how Stu and his family will come out of this traumatic event.

The War is an emotional and inspiring coming-of-age story that delves into the complexity of family dynamics, poverty, and survival. The film portrays the struggles of a poor family trying to make ends meet, and the impact of traumatic experiences on their lives. It depicts the unconditional love a family has for each other, the sacrifices they make, and the tension between members when under stress. It is a story of hope, love, and resilience.

The War is a 1994 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 6 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

The War
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The War is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The War for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 6 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (13,431)