I have yet to see War Horse, and as I type, I'm watch The Thin Red Line on my laptop. First off, there's no battle scene in this film that can challenge the opening in Saving Private Ryan, a film that came out the same year, and they both competed for Oscar hot-seat. However, The Thin Red Line is much more human than Spileberg's epic, and Malick's film, when it meanders, does it well.
In Saving Private Ryan, some aspects are snooze-worthy. It's a great film, yes, but the sequences with the wrong Private Ryan, the dead body, the little kid; I was just boggled. The finale was terrific, and all, but Malick's film can compete because it never bores, and the Malick's character narration only makes the film better.
I have yet to see War Horse, but be posted with a review coming this month, and a review on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close coming soon after.
Saving Private Ryan: 3.5/4 Stars (For the battle scenes)
The Thin Red Line: 3.5/4 Stars (For the meanders)