Saving Private Ryan

  • 15
  • Steven Spielberg (1998)
  • US
  • 162 min
Saving Private Ryan
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

With this Oscar-winning attempt to reshape the past through fiction, Steven Spielberg comes closer than ever before to depicting historical truth. The action opens brutally with a gut-wrenching re-creation of the Second World War D-Day landing on Omaha beach. Veterans of the campaign are divided on the authenticity of some of the more spectacularly gory injuries, but most agree that Spielberg and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski succeeded in capturing the terrifying and bewildering chaos of the encounter. Yet, away from the fighting, the film occasionally lapses into combat picture cliché, with too many members of Tom Hanks's unit recalling stereotypical soldiers from morale-boosting movies made during the war itself. But, then, this is less about the conflict and its concerns than it is about the war films that Spielberg grew up watching. Ultimately, it lacks the resonance of such classics as All Quiet on the Western Front, but (apart from its corny bookend sequences) this is still well-meaning, strongly acted and slickly mounted, and ranks among the director's very best films.

Plot Summary

Second World War drama directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore and Edward Burns, and featuring Matt Damon. As the horror of the Normandy landings takes its toll, three brothers lie dead. Captain Miller is sent on a special mission in occupied France to bring home the fourth brother, Private Ryan - no matter what the cost.

Cast and crew


Captain Miller
Tom Hanks
Sergeant Horvath
Tom Sizemore
Private Reiben
Edward Burns
Private Jackson
Barry Pepper
Private Mellish
Adam Goldberg
Private Caparzo
Vin Diesel
T/4 Medic Wade
Giovanni Ribisi
Corporal Upham
Jeremy Davies
Private Ryan
Matt Damon
Captain Hamill
Ted Danson
Old Mrs Ryan
Kathleen Byron


Steven Spielberg

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
U.I.P. (UK)
Violence, swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate 15