Saving Private Ryan (1998) Poster

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The only movie my grandfather couldn't finish
keving424111 October 2018
My grandfather fought in WW2 somehow surviving D-Day. He was apart of Operation Neptune and stormed the beaches of Normandy. He told us a lot of war stories but rarely ever spoke about that day. Before he passed away he did an interview with a local newspaper and detailed what he saw despite it being very difficult for him to speak about. He loved watching war movies... not sure exactly why. Some about that soldier life never really leaves them I guess. He absolutely hated Pearl Harbor cause of the horrible way they portray the military to be a bunch of toothbrush wielding babies who don't know what to do in the event of being attacked. He had a friend stationed there who lost his life and thinks that movie is a disgusting display of ignorance. Soldiers don't take girlfriends on private plane rides. And they most definitely know how to swim. Maybe I'll give that movie a good ripping one day.

But Saving Private Ryan was a respectable "I can't watch this" reaction. He said no movie has come that close to capturing what that day was like. He said it was too realistic. Whether or not the story is based on real or fiction, that intro was 100% realistic. I'm not sure if he ever did finish watching it but he appreciated it for capturing that chaos like no other movie has before. I watched the movie a dozen times now and keep it in my collection as a reminder of my grandfather. A scene he was technically in. Which makes me appreciate how strong of a person he really is.

War is hell and this movie not only shows that while being an entertaining experience but also captured what soldiers are left behind with. My grandfather was not afraid of anything. I've seen this man walk into a cellar full of black widows to get firewood and not even shake them off. The only time he ever experienced fear was when he went to bed. His nightmares of his time during the war would haunt him in his sleep. This movie helped me understand why.
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Hard to Rate ... been there
j-a-julian31 December 2019
The first 23 minutes of this film is rated at a 12.

My good friend and I took our sons, 17 at the time, to see this in a theater. I am a senior military officer who experienced combat in 1967 - 68 - 69. We wanted the boys to see the horror of war, the slaughter.

I have had to pack up the personal effects of my comrade to send back to his mother after he was killed in the Viet Nam war. Those of you who have not done this cannot even comprehend.

After the opening combat scenes the film was an 8. Well done.

War is hell and to those of us who have been there ... well I don't know what to say.

Neither of our sons joined the military ... thank God.
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Actually it's pretty GOOD history
dedjim10 June 2001
I know it's fashionable to trash successful movies but at least be honest about the trashing... Pvt. Ryan was fiction but it was pretty good HISTORICAL fiction. The details were well thought out and based on reality.

There was nothing stupid about the portrayal of the German army... Rommel DID blunder in his placement of force, The high command DID think Calais was going to be the invasion spot, not Normandy. Hitler didn't wake up until noon on that day and his aides were afraid to wake him. The Rangers did come in right behind the first wave and did take a beach exit by sheer will to get the hell off the beach. The bluffs were the scene of heavy close fighting. The german defenders were mostly Eastern European conscripts from defeated areas. (note that the 2 men that tried to surrender were NOT speaking German). There WAS a young man rescued from interior Normandy after his brothers were all killed. He WAS an airborne trooper (the difference was that he was found by a chaplain and was removed from the front.)

The battles inside Normandy were small actions town to town, street to street, house to house. Small actions like taking the radar station happened. Small actions like a handful of men defending a river bridge against odds happened. Small squads of men, formed out of the misdrops banded together ad hoc to fight. There were all enlisted groups and all officer groups. A General did die in the glider assault. FUBAR aptly described much of what happened that day.

And there were only Americans in the movie because the Brits and Canadians were many klicks away in a different area... this was Omaha beach. The story was an American one. And Monty DID bog down the advance and everyone knew it. And as for "American Stereotypes"... well those pretty much define America: my college roomie was a wise-ass New York Jew. My best friend was a second generation east coast Sicilian. My college girlfriend was a third generation German. My first wife was French and English. I'm Irish, my boss is Norwegian and I work with a Navaho... you get the point?

So much for it being bad history. It was in fact an excellent way to let a jaded and somewhat ignorant-of-their-past generation *feel* something of what their grandparents (LIVING grandparents) went through. It is perhaps less important that the details be exact as the feel be right. Even now the details are not fully known or knowable about that campaign... it was too big, too complex and too chaotic to be knowable. There is not even an accurate casualty count of D-Day itself.

Now as to the depth of characters. What I saw there was the extraordinary circumstances into which ordinary people were thrown and what happened to them. I saw the things that would mark a generation (I have heard in my elderly male patients sentiments similar to what Cpt. Miller was expressing when he announced his ordinariness) I saw the dehumanization that occurs with war and its mitigation moment to moment, man to man... Cpt. Miller didn't know anything about Ryan and he didn't care... until Ryan revealed his humanity to him with his story of his brothers. Pvt. Reiban was ready to walk out of the situation until he discoverd his captains ordinariness and his humanity. Then he began to look to him almost as a father. Pvt. Mellish rightfully delights in his revenge for all the times he's had to take it because he was Jewish by telling German captives he's "Juden!" Nerdish Cpl. Upham can stand alongside his bigger, stronger, braver Ranger compatriots and describe the poetry and melancholy of Edith Piaf's song... then face his cowardice, turn around and stand up in the face of danger and finally demonstrate the dehumanization of the enterprise he was enmeshed in by executing Steamboat Willie... even though Willie had no more choice about being there than Upham did and in other circumstances would have made a friend.

I could go on and on with this but enough already. OK, perhaps it is not The Best Movie Ever Made but it is still a good movie. And if one will take the blinders of fashionable negativism off they will see it. Finally, this is not a patriotic story... if anything it is an acknowledgement and thank you to all those old men still out there that did so much for us. To them I say a deep and sincere thank you.
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I Agree: This Is The Best War Movie Ever Made
ccthemovieman-127 February 2006
Without looking, I am sure other reviewers here have headlined their article "Best War Movie Ever Made"" and I agree. However, before briefly discussing the film, let me just say if you don't have a decent 5.1 surround sound system, you aren't going to fully appreciate this movie (DVD).

It's a great film to start with, and sitting in a room surrounded by five speakers with bullets flying from all directions around you - as in that spectacular 22- minute opening scene or in the final 45 minutes of action against the Germans in tanks - is an astounding movie experience. The sound in this film elevates it even higher.

The visuals are outstanding, too. I've never seen so many grays, beiges and olive-greens look this good: perfect colors for the bombed-out French city where the last hour takes place, perfect for the faces and uniforms of the gritty soldiers, for the machinery, the smoke-filled skies, etc.

My only complaint is the usage of Lord's name in vain 25-30 times, but, hey, when you consider it's tough men in tough times, that's what you are going to hear. In real life, the profanity probably was worse than the film.

It's hard to picture the brutality of war being any worse than you see here, but it probably was. This is about as graphic as it gets. The violence and gore was shocking when this film came out in 1997 and still is when watched almost a decade later. It's unbelievable what some of the WWII soldiers went through, but that can be said for any war. I believe the purpose of this film was to pay tribute to the sacrifices these men made, and it succeeds wonderfully. Hats off to Steven Spielberg and to Tom Hanks, the leading actor in here, both of whom have worked hard for WWII vets to get the recognition they deserve, not just on film but in a national memorial.

Anyway, language or blood and guts aside, this is still an incredible portrait of WWII. The almost-three hour film is riveting start-to-finish, especially with that memorable beginning action scene, probably the most dramatic in the history of film.

As "entertaining" as those action scenes were, I found the lulls, if you will, to be even better. Listening to Hanks and his men discuss various things as they look for Private Ryan, was fascinating to me. Hanks is just superb in here and once again shows why he is considered one of the best actors in his generation.

The most memorable and powerful moment among the "lulls," is the shot early on of the Ryan mother sinking to her knees on her front porch as she realizes she is about to get disastrous news from the war. Moments later, Harve Presenell, playing Gen. MacArthur, eloquently reads a letter by Abraham Lincoln that is so beautifully written, so profound that it is quoted near the end of the film, too, and I never get tired of hearing it.

This is a man's movie, and shows the horrors of war as few others ever have. To say it is "memorable," just doesn't do it justice. It is the greatest war movie ever made....period.
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A Movie Is Only as Good as the Reactions It Provokes!
KissEnglishPasto31 July 2016
From PASTO, COLOMBIA-Via: L. A. CA; CALI, COLOMBIA+ORLANDO, FL The ONLY Tony Kiss Castillo on FaceBook!------------------------------

Numbing SHOCK!....On a cellular level!!!...Motivated me to return to the theater a week later, to experience it again. I was not in the least disappointed. Indulged myself by acquiring the DVD soon after its release and reliving the experience on numerous occasions! In RYAN, Spielberg succeeds in getting inside the viewer's head by immersing us in his ingeniously structured cascading time-lapse glacier of chaos, resulting in a 2½ hour free-fall rush into overwhelming impotence! RYAN seers the hell of war into every pore of your psyche, like no other war movie before or since. Watching it is a delightful exercise in masochistic pleasure.

Certainly, anything but war friendly, Spielberg's 1998 classic, the highest rated war themed film in the history of cinema (#33-IMDb Top 250 as I POST this!), only makes oblique reference to the diabolical nature of the Nazi juggernaut. RYAN tenaciously and consistently drives home the only "shades of gray" nature of the nuts and bolts, day-to-day, moment to moment decision options available in the heat of battle! I offer, as an example of this, various moments of on screen interaction with German prisoner of war, nicknamed "Steamboat Willie"Just watch, eventually you will understand!

Also, I think a special note of recognition is due to Denise ChamianIf the name doesn't ring a bell, don't feel badshe did not register with me either! Her name appears for The CASTING Credit of RYAN. Superb job, Ms. Chamian!(Minority Report/Big Fish) She has been nominated on multiple occasions by the Casting Society of America...but RYAN seems to be her only win! (An extremely well deserved one, in my opinion)

The Ensemble cast also received a Screen Actors Guild Nomination in that category. After having seen RYAN at least 10 times, I stand firmly by this accolade: One of the BEST Ensemble performances ever! To anyone out there who hasn't seen RYAN, maybe because of its War or Action genre label...WOW! This is one hell of a humanistic Greek tragedy that you simply must see! To those of you who have seen it once or twice, but who haven't in years. Please give it another look...You won't be disappointed in the least! RYAN only gets better with each viewing!

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Horrors of War
Hitchcoc24 January 2000
There's violence and there's violence. With the huge numbers of personal reviews of this movie, I'm hard pressed to add much. The first half hour affected me like no other in recent years. I wondered as the boys threw up on the amphibious carriers whether they were seasick or scared beyond belief. When one uses the expression "cannon fodder" so casually, do we realize that this means the second wave makes it's way to the beach over the dead and dying bodies of the first wave, like ants sacrificing themselves to ford a puddle. The ones that get through, get through because there are only so many bullets and so many people. They are exposed, disoriented, helpless--they have no place to go but ahead. I will be haunted forever by the soldier searching, then finding his dismembered arm in the carnage. I will remember those trying to get above water, only to be cut down below the surface. If anyone has a heart, his or her attitude toward war should never be the same. How can we who have never been there have a hint of what it must have been like. Like Schindler's List on the Holocaust, this should be a training film on war.
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A strongly acted, powerful film that is unashamedly brutal!
TheLittleSongbird15 March 2009
This is definitely one of the more powerful war films out there, if not the most powerful. I will admit, when I first saw it at school, I found the first half-hour extremely upsetting to watch.

The acting is outstanding. Especially from Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, and the music alongside Schindler's List is John William's most haunting score I've heard.

It does drag in the middle and the dialogue doesn't always flow as well as it should, but what we have is a historically accurate, extremely well made and directed and unashamedly brutal film. I mean, in the stabbing scene, towards the end, my English teacher had to leave the room. It was like watching Frankenstein's monster tearing out Elizabeth's heart.

8.5/10 for a truly emotional and appropriately sombre war-film, that is a little slow at times. But it deserves to be in the top 250, really it is that good! Bethany Cox
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This should cool off the Rambo wannabes
helpless_dancer15 April 2000
The opening beach assault sequences were the most violent, realistic, and upsetting filming I've ever seen; looked as though the thing was actual combat footage. The shushing noises of rounds cutting through the air was the most chilling part of all. Perfect portrayal of the insane stupidity of war and the anguish of all who enter this most foolish of enterprises. A must see.
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The most realistic harrowing battle scenes ever filmed...
Nazi_Fighter_David26 October 2008
Steven Spielberg makes a unique motion picture in regards to the D-Day invasion of World War II just in the gritty reality of the detail… For more than twenty minutes he revives for us the landing at Omaha beach… No one was prepared for how horrific it really was… No one understood what was going on: The terror, the chaos, the maelstrom of bullets, the near-deafening explosions…You really got a sense of what these guys had to go through…

Within that perplexity, the focus settles on six soldiers under the command of Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) after they've survived their terrible hours breaking through the first line of German defense, they're given a strange perilous mission, to find one man, Pvt. Ryan (Matt Damon), a paratrooper who's somewhere behind German lines… For them, it's an abstruse order, but they have to get it done…

Throughout the film, Spielberg's attention to detail is amazing… For me, the most chilling scene in the movie is the death of an American officer… It's one of the most intimate… It's also a slightly confusing moment because two German characters resemble each other so greatly…

Toward the middle, a German soldier called "Steamboat Willie" is introduced… By the end of the film, he has become the 'bad' German… Later in the movie, another German is involved in the final fight… He takes part in an exceedingly painful scene of hand-to-hand combat with the American soldier… The two German soldiers have similar short haircuts and black uniforms… Because they looked so much alike, many of us have believed that they're one character… They're not, and the distinction of the two is very significant
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This is one of the greatest movies ever made.
morales12317 May 2000
To think that this movie did not win Best Picture is a crime. Director Steven Spielberg uses all of his talent and resources to give to the world the greatest war film ever made.

Though it's true that this is not the type of movie you want to sit down with the family and eat popcorn, the emotional drive of the picture, the story's poignant messages, and the fantastic acting of the cast draws you into a world that is both dangerous and unpredictable.

Spielberg is able to take you into action and make you feel as if you are a participant in the movie and not just a viewer. This is Tom Hanks' best movie he ever did. Forget his performances in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump (though they were also good); he should have received another Oscar for the role of Capt. John Miller, a leader who must act strong in front of his men, but must also hide his emotions from them. It would have been well-deserved if he won again.

I give this movie my highest recommendation. Saving Private Ryan is a movie that makes you realize how life is precious and how honor and duty, though they are deep philosophical concepts that are praised in war, can put you in jeopardy of losing your life for something you may not believe in.
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Numbing experience of SPR redeems baby boomers...
janesbit125 January 2000
It's been over a year since first seeing Saving Private Ryan -- it's a worthy effort by Speilberg--his best since Shindler's List by far. You've probably heard about the amount of violence, blood, and gore and that's all true--it's got the Viet Nam movie style violence (and then some) but it's not gratuitous. Were it sanitized like early WWII movies, modern audiences probably wouldn't take it as seriously.

The movie has that trademark Speilberg style--the structure is all tied up and unified from beginning to end, the emotional symbols abound, the music swelling when he's working at your emotions, the hand held camera that worked so well in Shindler's List to give you a feeling of participation, camera angles and periods of silence to disorient you (like Shindler), suspense techniques learned from Hitch... It's a movie that stays with you for a period afterwards.

Hanks will be the early front runner for Oscar after this flick--Academy members like him AND it IS his best acting job ever. While Speilberg will likely be criticized for attempting to manipulate the audience's emotions while keeping a distance from the inner core of his characters, Tom Hanks reveals a really complex military leader in this story, and does so without overacting--somehow it comes from within. While you may not empathize deeply with many of the platoon, you will still feel something because of the relationship that is formed with Hanks.

After the initial set-up, you will have the opportunity to participate in the D-Day operation and experience the horror of it. Those who have been in a real war can comment about how realistic or not Speilberg captures its chaotic horror in this scene.

In my case I again feel very lucky that my draft number was high, so I never had to face Nam like many of my classmates. Speilberg reminds us brutally in "Saving Private Ryan" that we All have a debt to pay to the brave souls who have sacrificed so much for us. What Tom Hanks does with his performance is to remind us of this debt in a very personal way.
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weiz_one17 November 1999
I have never been affected by a movie the way Saving Private Ryan affected me. That movie really took me out of my seat in the movie theater and practically had me believing I was really in the battle with John Miller. When somebody was dying in that movie, it felt as if you could almost feel their pain. Speilberg did an unbelievable job of putting realism into this movie with the camera-work and everything else. Simply amazing. An all time great.
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The Greatest War Movie Ever Made
lc-229 July 1998
It gives a million reason why no one should go to war and one very powerful reason to go to war. It is a soul numbing realistic depiction of what our grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons have faced in humanities darkest moments. Not just in WWII but in any war. No one can see this movies without being altered in some way. No one should miss it with the EXCEPTION of those war veterans that have already been there. The surround sound puts the audience in the middle of the battle.

Steven Spielberg has out done himself and effectively held up a mirror to civilization for events to which we should all be ashamed of, rather than appalled at the movie for its real life depictions. I suggest that this movie be made standard view for congress as well as the President each and every time the question of war comes up. This movie would not stop future wars but I would hope the objectives would be much more clearly defined. I say this as a US Marine.
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Best movie of world war two
auuwws3 June 2020
A very cool movie that contains the best movie editorial, a shocking ending, characters that the viewer has to watch, and a great acting representation
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A Timeless Piece of Filmmaking
kgprophet3 June 2019
I just recently had a chance to re-watch this film in a cinemaplex. Not exactly Imax, but it was a larger screen than my home TV, and theatre audio was superb. I saw this film when it originally came out in theaters in 1998. The opening sequence gained notoriety for it's unflinching visceral photography and shockingly graphic violence. I have watched this film a few times since then, but seeing it on a larger screen, I had an appreciation for the realism that Spielberg insisted on. If it was virtually any other filmmaker, the expense of realistic production with extra attention to detail would not have happened. Instead we would have been presented something not as noteworthy.

These efforts were the reason it won several Academy Awards. There is so much depth to the story. The film zips along with small set pieces that provide some kind of insight to the enigma of war. Not only are there some classic performances, there are classic faces. Bryan Cranston, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon, Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson, Tom Sizemore, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Dennis Farina, Barry Pepper. Very recognizable faces.

Tom Hanks, now less of an A list star compared to the 90s, gives a very natural performance. He shouts commands as a confident captain taking part in the most incredible feat attempted by our country. We get to witness these events, partially through the gun-shy eyes of Corp. Upham, played by a meek looking Jeremy Davis. He reacts as most of the audience would to the cacophonous noise and chaos. He flinches as much as anyone would with bombs going off right next to you. He also represents the humane approach to the war, which of course goes against reason at times.

There are accolades to go around, including a detailed script. Capt. Miller's unknown career back in the states. Searching through a pile of dogtags. A glider landing that went FUBAR. A genuinely funny anecdote about the Ryan brothers before the war. Coherent explanation of strategies and improvised weapons. When confronted with a dilemma, the script smartly explores it to find a piece of wisdom that the audience can learn from. So we get a history lesson about the first few days of the D-Day invasion, while being entertained with believable and memorable characters.

The cinematography can be considered a landmark in visceral storytelling. The use of high shutter speeds removes the normal blur when there is an explosion. In this case, the explosion particles are vividly in focus, and feel all the more real and lethal. I lost track when watching the more technical aspects of the film of how many shots were done in a single take. In the final battle, there is a shot following Upham from cowering from an explosion, tracking him to another building on another block, with a tank and soldiers approaching, returning back to the previous street, and ending with a conversation with Sgt Horvath (Sizemore). There are many more long shots like this throughout the film that go unnoticed. The shots are staged so well they feel like a documentary, with no deliberate use of shaky cam needed.

Lastly, the density of the soundtrack must be noted. There is a never ending barrage of gunfire, explosions, objects flying in the air, footsteps, weapons being loaded, and on. The immersion of the sound (again with the advantage of hearing it on a well tuned sound system in a theatre) makes the experience even more intense. Such as the quiet rumble of German tanks approaching. The spare music score gives the perfect backing when the moment requires it.

The 2 hour and 49 minute running time goes quickly, with each set piece as part of the journey providing something new and intriguing as the squad of soldiers encounter the war. The longer script gives character depth, and glances at small details that might have been otherwise excised for time.

I give this film a 9 out of 10, and is not only one of Spielberg's all time best films, but a timeless work on it's own. How would I rate it as one of the best war films? I would put it up there with perhaps "Patton", but I believe, that every well made film about war can each provide a unique insight into war. Such as "Apocalypse Now" is one the best war films in the way it shows the perversity of war.
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albertval-6956025 December 2021
I watched this film the first time when it was released in 1998. I was 44 years old (2 years older than Tom Hanks) at that time. I watched it again recently. In both instances, the thrill that I experienced watching it didn't diminish a bit. It's truly a classic and perhaps the best war movie ever made.

Film technology has advanced so much since 1998. But as a movie buff with little technical knowhow on filmmaking, the movie's technical qualities didn't seem to age. It still looks good on the screen now despite the passage of time.

The 2 action sequences, on the beach in Normandy and in the town defending a bridge, are a couple of the best extended sequences I've ever watched. Yet, it's not just the raw action or the realism that has earned plaudits from film critics. It's the quiet drama that unfolds as the Ranger company goes on its way looking for Pvt. James Ryan. (Matt Damon was only 28 when this film was released back then.) Those whispered simple words of Capt. John Miller to shell-shocked Ryan are immortal: earn this...earn it.

War is really FUBAR. This should be enough deterrent to start another world war.
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One of the best war films ever made.
adammfeeley12 May 2015
This film is an absolute masterpiece. It shows that war isn't always glamorous. Steven Spielberg won a Best Directing Oscar for his work on this film and the film went on to win four others. It is gritty and bloody and it shows that wars aren't won by weapons but by soldiers. The cast shine as the group of soldiers tasked with finding Private Ryan. Along the way they encounter the harsh truth and real meaning of war. It boasts impressive battle sequences and the stylish cinematography makes the film truly beautiful. The opening beach sequence is possibly the greatest opening scenes in movies. Tom Hanks is spell binding as the commander who has no idea about the harsh truth of war. Overall a truly amazing film.
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More than a movie, it's an experience that will stick with you for a lifetime !
MrPupkin25 October 2019
By far the most captivating war time movie to date. With a great cast that really help put into perspective the effect war has on everyone and the amount of losses that could happen at any moment. It shows Spielberg at his prime and all the effort everyone put into the movie to make it as realistic and atmospheric as it is.
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One of the most outstanding movies ever
Xophianic2 February 2000
Saving Private Ryan is, without a doubt, the best war movie ever made and one of the best movies of all time. I wasn't sure what I would think of this movie before I saw it. I heard the gore and carnage was too much, and I heard the story and action was great.

When I finally did see it, I loved it. The gore wasn't as bad, in my opinion, as everyone said it was. I thought the battles scenes were fantastically done. They were entertaining to watch, but with a certain sadness to it. I also think the moments of reflection among the soldiers was very good too. You got to hear their thoughts about the enemy, the soldiers and the war itself.

The acting was great, especially by Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks certainly deserved the Academy Award for best actor, even though he did not get it. Matt Damon also did a great job as Private Ryan. Watch for a great cameo-like performance by Ted Danson.

The storyline was interesting. Most of all, it showed what the war was like and how horrible it was. Some of the American soldiers were killed before they even entered the battlefield, some before they could even fire back, and some went down in a blaze of glory. Either way, you felt pity for the Americans and hatred for the Nazis.

The mission the soldiers were on was to find a single man, Private Ryan, and bring him home, because all of his brothers were killed and he was the last male survivor of the family. You, along with the soldiers in the movie, will always be thinking about whether it is worth it to risk eight lives to save one man. Many things happen through the film that will keep changing your mind about it.

If blood, guts and gore bothers you, you really should not watch Saving Private Ryan. Otherwise, I recommend going out and buying it right away. You will not be disappointed.
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One of the best war movies ever made
Smells_Like_Cheese16 March 2004
I'm starting to think that everything that Speilberg touches turns to gold. This is probably considered one of the greatest movies of all time and it is directed by Speilberg. The movie is incredable. The beginning was horrifying. I couldn't believe how accurate it was and painful it was to watch. When I studied WW2 in high school, I thought no one could ever re-create the Beach of Normady. But Speilberg did. I felt like I was there with the soldiers. I felt their fear, pride, and love for their country. I couldn't believe how much dedication our armies put into fighting and winning the war. And whenever I go to visit Washington D.C., I have more American pride then ever. I am more than proud to give this movie a

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Fictional yes but combat authenticity was genuinely real.
bigmikeh-5946712 September 2019
21 years ago this movie was released and I finally watched it in 2019. I really struggled to watch and I cried and I wept through most of the movie. I did two tours in Nam. This movie was like being back in country. I will never watch it again. It's just eats my guts out.
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Another Spielberg's Masterpiece
HabibieHakim12318 July 2021
There is no war movie so powerful, so special, so amazing, so impactful, so long but incredible, than 2 hours and 50 minutes of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, it's not like watching a movie, it's like watching a real war with an amazing camera work that always follow the soldier wherever they go, we are like one of them but we can't do anything besides watching them in pain and die, Spielberg's did it again, making another Masterpiece.
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Glorifies American exceptionalism on the world stage
steiner-sam11 June 2021
It starts with D-Day landings on Omaha Beach in 1944. Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) leads a squad on to the beach, losing numerous men but achieving his objective. When he reports, he is directed to a different kind of assignment -- to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), a young recruit from rural Iowa whose three brothers have just been killed in combat within the past week. The objective is to get him out of combat and sent home.

The movie follows Captain Miller and a small portion of his squad as they try to find Ryan, who is part of the 101st Airborne, and whose location is not really known. The squad faces various challenges in their search, and two men are killed in the process.

Finally, they locate Ryan, part of a small group trying to defend a small village bridge against attack by a much larger German force. Ryan refuses to leave. Captain Miller and his men stay and help defend the bridge. A severe battle ensues in which Miller and most of his men are killed, but Ryan survives. The closing scene shows Ryan 50 years later in Normandy's war cemetery visiting Miller's grave and wondering if his life has warranted Miller's sacrifice.

The film was mostly highly praised and received all kinds of Academy Award nominations. It was especially praised for the reality of its battle scenes, which are actually quite difficult to watch. I cringed many times during these lengthy scenes. Purists quibbled about both the Americans' and Germans' tactical mistakes in the climactic battle scenes near the end. Some also complained the movie made it seem that only Americans were part of the D-Day landings.

One academic critic said the film degenerated into a harmless, uncritical patriotic performance apparently designed to thrill 12-year-old boys during the summer bad-film season.

I mostly agree with that critic. Yes, we see some bad behavior by American soldiers, but by and large, they come through stoutly at the end, including the young translator who cowered during most of the last battle. "Saving Private Ryan" does not glorify war, but it does glorify American exceptionalism on the world stage.
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Amazing insight into World War 2 battles that take your breath away!!
stevenblackburn13 November 2001
An amazing and compelling insight to warfare. Umbelievable camera shots/angles bring World War 2 to life especially for the US troops on D-Day. The use of flash bullets, and color saturation just add to the effect of a killing ground that not many people survive to come back from.
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A solid film, very well made, but with some weaknesses.
filipemanuelneto1 December 2019
This film is located in Northern France during the Allied landing in Normandy and the weeks following it. According to the script, after the death of three brothers in combat (two in Normandy and one in the Pacific), the US Army decides to send a detachment with the mission of finding the last brother, who was launched with an infantry company. Skydiver somewhere in northern France. Only recently, after some research, did I discover that the film was based, very slightly, on a real event. The script is good, full of action scenes and will surely delight the lovers of war movies and WWII movies. Personally, I highlight the opening scenes, in which "D-Day" was recreated in all its raw glory, and the final part, where it all comes together in an almost perfect climax of action.

The director's chair was taken by iconic Steven Spielberg, who is spotless once again. He is one of those directors who no longer has to prove anything. More than established, he was already one of the best directors of our time when he directed this movie. Even so, he did not cease to strive and to provide us with careful, attentive and thoughtful direction. At his side, in the starring role, Tom Hanks in one of the films that marked his career. Hanks is a renowned actor. Attentive to detail and emotional when it has to be, she shone once more, earning another Oscar nomination for Best Actor (though attributed to the equally remarkable Roberto Benigni, in one of the most hilarious and emotional moments the Academy ceremony has ever seen. in many decades). The supporting cast is equally good, containing names like Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Damon, Paul Giamatti, etc. Actors who, as we can see, are established and generally have solid careers today.

The film shone equally on the technical details. It's a Spielberg movie, and we couldn't expect anything else. Let's look at the careful way in which the historical details were mostly recreated. The uniforms, military equipment, combat tactics were all carefully studied, and despite some flaws (such as the predominance of the Americans and the absence of other allies in the theater of war), all went well. I especially liked that they used the German language for the German soldiers. I also highlight the excellent photography, with breathtaking scenes and original camera angles (one moment we are looking through a sniper sight, and the next moment a bullet crosses that same sight towards us, to name but a few). an example), as well as the sound effects, with all those absolutely realistic bullet sounds and shots. The characterization, the special effects, the soundtrack ... all meticulously well done.

Personally, I liked this movie a lot. It's one of those movies that I like to see again after a few years, but which has disappeared without a trace of the television circuit, perhaps because of its length and the fact that it is no longer a new movie. It also has some minor flaws, such as some concessions to sentimental lamechas and scenes of strong emotional appeal, but I confess that I handled it very well. The scene that seemed to me the most out of context was, in fact, a passage involving a French family with their young children. Another problem with this movie is that, with the exception of the character of Hanks, most of the characters have been underdeveloped and the actors have little to work with, just playing wars.

This movie has garnered several awards. Of all, I highlight his good performance at this year's Oscars, with five statuettes collected in the technical categories (Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Edition, Best Sound and Best Sound Effects). He also won the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Film.
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