61 user 23 critic

The War (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 November 1994 (USA)
Vietnam War vet Stephen Simmons must deal with a war of a different sort between his son and their friends, and a rival group of children. He also must deal with his own personal and ... See full summary »




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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
LaToya Chisholm ...
Donald Sellers ...
Leon Sills ...
Will West ...
Lester Lucket
Brennan Gallagher ...
Adam Henderson ...
Charlette Julius ...
Jennifer Tyler ...
Justin Lucas ...


Vietnam War vet Stephen Simmons must deal with a war of a different sort between his son and their friends, and a rival group of children. He also must deal with his own personal and employment problems that have resulted from his Vietnam experiences. Written by David Stumme <dstumme@rochester.rr.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What's worth fighting for?



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for the intense depiction of human struggle and conflict | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 November 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$16,551,365 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film debut of Brennan Gallagher who played Marsh in the film. See more »


Amber's hands after she jumps from the tree with the rope. See more »


Lidia: Anyone of you bring any money?
Elvadine: All I got's 10 cent.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the credits are over and the music ends, we hear a helicopter. See more »


Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland)
Performed by The Supremes
Courtesy of Motown Record Company, L.P.
By Arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

More complex that it seems: Tough subjects treated with sensitivity and good acting. Haunting.
11 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though on the surface it might be seen as yet another movie about poverty in Mississippi (which is, by the way, the poorest State in the US) or about the impact of the Vietnam War on the family of veterans, "The War" exceeds expectations on several fronts: presentation, complexity, candidness, and good acting. The story is narrated from the point of view of 12-year old Lidia, played excellently by Lexi Randall, with the acceptance kids usually have at that age ("…we are dirt poor, like everyone else in Juliette, Mississippi" - she tells us right of the start). Though she is white, she befriends two black girls the same age, sharing social condition and taste for music, with some hiccup due to her use of language blacks don't like others to use on them. She is "tough" as kids in that environment usually are, yet "girlish" in step with her age. She is the one sensitive enough to realize how others feel and has the guts to naturally stand for them, though she struggles to understand her father. Her brother Stu, about the same age, played impeccably by Elijah Wood, is eager, as most boys at that age are, to get close to his father, and in the period they manage to do it he puts is heart in the basket, at great risk. The father, also played impeccably by Kevin Costner, is troubled by war nightmares and the lack of a stable job, but has the courage to eliminate violence from daily living, aiming to show it to his kids by example, against the pressure for violence from the environment they live in, and to be as good a father as he can in the given circumstances. The kids are at the front of events throughout the film, and the story brilliantly shows us how a rivalry with a group of poorer and tougher kids, centered on the use of a tree house made by the former with materials stolen from the latter, gradually escalates into a dangerous "juvenile war", much the way political conflicts often escalate into wars among nations. "No matter how much people think they understand war, war doesn't understand people", the girl concludes; thus we all lose. The War goes on at several levels: Kids fighting in the forefront, Vietnam in the background, and the inner struggles of the main characters, being this latter what truly gives depth to the story. Drama is sparkled with hope, humor and coziness, the way it is in life, with very few cheesy scenes. This movie is more that entertainment: it triggers our critical thinking, our capacity for understanding, and leaves a haunting feeling long after is done. Recommendable as a family film for discussion, meaning kids 12 or older with some level of maturity. Not for younger kids.

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