Reviews - Saving Private Ryan (1998)
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Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Genres: Drama, War

Taglines: The mission is a man.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Robert Rodat

Stars: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, ...

Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother...

100 | Bob Graham

An overwhelming experience.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

100 | Richard Schickel

A war film that, entirely aware of its genre's conventions, transcends them as it transcends the simplistic moralities that inform its predecessors, to take the high, morally haunting ground.
Read More: Time


Spectacular, wrenching masterpiece that unflinchingly documents the random horror, the grisly spectacle and the ugliness of war.

100 | G. Allen Johnson

The effect is riveting and frightening. You feel you are under siege with the combatants.
Read More: San Francisco Examiner

100 | Todd McCarthy

A searingly visceral combat picture, Steven Spielberg’s third World War II drama is arguably second to none as a vivid, realistic and bloody portrait of armed conflict.
Read More: Variety

100 | Elizabeth Weitzman

Steven Spielberg's best war film -- and one of the two or three best movies the director has made.
Read More: New York Daily News

100 | Stephen Hunter

Searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies.
Read More: Washington Post

100 | Mike Clark

The rawest, most sustained screen portrayal of 20th century combat.
Read More: USA Today

100 | Michael Wilmington

A watershed picture, for both Spielberg and war movies.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

100 | Richard T. Jameson

No Hollywood film within recent memory has achieved such richness and originality of texture, such a compelling amalgam of passionate human drama and awesome technique.
Read More: Mr. Showbiz

100 | Shawn Levy

One of the best films ever made in this country, filled with our proudest national virtues, cognizant of our deeply rooted human weaknesses and frighteningly able to evoke emotions.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

100 | Elvis Mitchell

Steven Spielberg's soberly magnificent new war film, the second such pinnacle in a career of magical versatility, has been made in the same spirit of urgent communication. It is the ultimate devastating letter home.
Read More: The New York Times

100 | Peter Rainer

He (Spielberg) commemorates the soldiers in that vast Normandy cemetery in the most absolute and honorable way possible.
Read More: Dallas Observer

100 | Keith Phipps

An excellent movie, as effective in battle scenes as it is in that of soldiers ruminating on an Edith Piaf song.
Read More: The A.V. Club

100 | Owen Gleiberman

A movie of staggering virtuosity and raw lyric power, a masterpiece of terror, chaos, blood, and courage.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

100 | Rod Dreher

A film of such cyclonic visual and emotional power, of such dazzling virtuosity and shattering humanity, that it is difficult to endure, yet alone describe. Savagely beautiful and savagely true, Saving Private Ryan is an excruciating masterpiece.
Read More: New York Post

100 | James Berardinelli

For those who are willing to brave the movie's shocking and unforgettable images, Saving Private Ryan offers a singular motion picture experience.
Read More: ReelViews

100 | Roger Ebert

This film embodies ideas. After the immediate experience begins to fade, the implications remain and grow.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

90 | David Edelstein

What Steven Spielberg has accomplished in Saving Private Ryan is to make violence terrible again.
Read More: Slate

89 | Marc Savlov

A bitter, bloody masterpiece with adrenalized emotions and hyper-realized images, this is perhaps as close to battle as any sane human being should ever hope to tread.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

80 | Maitland McDonagh

The movie's greatest strength lies in phenomenal performances that reach from the leads right down to the smallest supporting roles.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

80 | Ella Taylor

If Steven Spielberg's emotional intelligence matched his visual genius, his honorably flawed new film might qualify for one of the greatest-ever American WWII movies.
Read More: L.A. Weekly

80 | Gary Kamiya

Using the overpowering techniques of modern film, Steven Spielberg has cut through the glory-tinged gauze that shrouds World War II to reveal its brutal reality, creating a phenomenology of violence unsurpassed in the history of cinema.
Read More:

80 | David Ansen

Raises Hollywood's depiction of war to a new level.
Read More: Newsweek

80 | Michael O'Sullivan

Its relatively minor imperfections seem more glaring when compared to the near flawlessness of the film's lyrical, scorching start.
Read More: Washington Post

80 | Kenneth Turan

A startling reminder of exactly how spectacular a director Spielberg can be when he allows himself to be challenged by a subject (in this case World War II) that pushes against his limits.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

75 | Liam Lacey

A horror movie based on history, offering some of the most spectacularly brutal, viscerally intense battle scenes ever brought to a Hollywood movie.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

75 | David Sterritt

The story raises hard moral questions relating to the relative value of human lives and the overwhelming debt that may be felt by those who benefit when others sacrifice. But the movie falls short of excellence because it doesn't so much explore these issues as finesse them in an action-filled climax.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

50 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

Nothing that suggests an independent vision, unless you count seeing more limbs blown off than usual.
Read More: Chicago Reader