Saving Private Ryan
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Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller's men slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, and breaks new ground in content and style. It merges some of the most realistically disturbing battle footage ever included in a feature film with a touching human story."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Spielberg accomplishes these goals with a technical virtuosity that no other director, arguably in the history of the cinema, can even approach."
‑ Paul Tatara,
"This is Spielberg's way of showing that these warriors were ordinary men -- men who, if they survived, became the grandfathers and great-grandfathers who, these days, pass largely unnoticed through life."
‑ Matt Soergel, Florida Times-Union
"Spielberg's typically overindulgent sensibilities mute the impact of the film's more overtly captivating moments."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Technically, it may be the best-made war movie yet, but dramatically, it barely delivers."
‑ , Total Film
"If Steven Spielberg's emotional intelligence matched his visual genius, his harrowing, passionately felt and honorably flawed new film might qualify for one of the greatest American movies ever made about World War II."
‑ Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"Saving Private Ryan is the war movie to end all war movies. It's the ultimate combat film, far outdistancing what until now had been the genre's World War II classics."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"Spielberg is telling his fellow Americans to appreciate the sacrifices their forebears have made and to act accordingly."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Ultimately, it lacks the resonance of such classics as All Quiet on the Western Front, but this is still well-meaning, strongly acted and slickly mounted, and ranks among the director's very best films."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"Its dramatic shortcomings may demote Private Ryan from the ranks of battlefield classics, but the film explodes romantic notions of World War II like an artillery shell bursting through the center of your rib cage."
‑ Todd Anthony, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Spielberg puts us through the hair-trigger terrors of combat in a way no other filmmaker has ever dared, and yet there's a gentleness to his enterprise. He's interested in the humaneness that comes through the horror."
‑ Peter Rainer, New Times
"The cast functions as an effective and believable unit. And Hanks gives a strong, increasingly solemn performance as its mysterious leader."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Spielberg's latest masterwork, pairing America's director with '90s Everyman Tom Hanks, makes a natural companion piece to his similarly disturbing Schindler's List."
‑ Philip Booth, Orlando Weekly
"By now we expect this level of performance and narrative competence from a Spielberg film. But what makes Saving Private Ryan a watershed is its emotional maturity."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Baltimore Sun
"Steven Spielberg has made a film about bravery that doesn't shy away from the horrors encountered by soldiers even in a "good" war. But he wasn't quite brave enough to present the story without a comforting coat of saccharine."
‑ Serena Donadoni, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
More reviews for Saving Private Ryan on Rotten Tomatoes

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