A winner from Steven Spielberg leads these new movies on Blu-ray and DVD.
"War Horse" (Touchstone/Dreamworks/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2011, PG-13, four discs, $45.99). Spielberg has made an artful and thoroughly involving film (based on the children's book and Tony-winning play) about an English teenager bonding with a horse he names Joey as World War I is on the horizon.
They are torn apart when Joey is sold to the British cavalry, then the horse changes hands several times between the enemy and the Allies as the war rages, until he and his master, now a soldier, are eventually reunited.
Episodic and unabashedly old-fashioned, this is the very definition of a movie parents and their kids can enjoy together. Some critics grumbled that it's not a realistic enough examination of war but Spielberg gave us that already with "Saving Private Ryan." This is a different kind of entertainment and it works very well on its own terms.
Extras: widescreen; Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions; featurettes (also on two-disc DVD, $39.99, and single-disc DVD, $29.99)
"Chasing Madoff" (Cohen/Blu-ray, 2011, $29.98). Documentary on Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme — the largest in history — doesn't have a lot of new information. The focus is on securities analyst Harry Markopolos, who discovered the fraud a decade before it fell apart and tried to blow the whistle, but no one would listen. Interesting, but could use some other voices.
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes/alternate ending, audio commentary, trailer (also on DVD, $24.98)
"Angels Crest (Magnolia, 2011; R for language, sex; $26.98). Downbeat tale is set in a gossipy, small, snow-covered town in the Rockies (filmed in Canada). A very young father loses track of his toddler son, with tragic results. A local prosecutor decides to pursue charges of neglect and everyone in town has an opinion, including the child's alcoholic mother. Familiar supporting cast includes Elizabeth McGovern, Jeremy Piven, Mira Sorvino and Kate Walsh.
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailerComment on this story
"Goodnight for Justice: The Measure of a Man" (eOne, 2012, $19.98). Luke Perry returns as a circuit court judge working the Western Territories when he finds himself going up against a ruthless gang terrorizing a small town. Entertaining western sequel made for the cable Hallmark Channel.
Extras: widescreen, featurette
"Hidden" (eOne, 2012, $19.98). Mysterious goings-on in an experimental addiction-treatment center and former monastery set the stage for a visit by a young heir and his dopey pals. Basic don't-go-in-the-woods horror.