Friday, February 3, 2017

Movie Review: "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)

Image Source
Movie"Saving Private Ryan"
Year Nominated: 1999
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 49 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

After the death of all three of his brothers, a group of soldiers are ordered to locate Private James F. Ryan (Matt Damon) so he can be returned home.

"Saving Private Ryan" is directed by Steven Spielberg and is written by Robert Rodat. This is a war epic in every sense of the word featuring quite the cast, including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, and Jeremy Davies. They make up the main troupe of soldiers under the command of Captain Miller, played by Hanks, on the mission to find and save Private Ryan, played by Damon. Ryan has just lost all three of his brothers in the war, and rather than risking the life of Mrs. Ryan's last living and youngest son James, the army decides to send him home, even though the mission is realistically risking the lives of the other men to try and find this needle in a German haystack.

This is an extremely violent and bloody film, which is not uncommon in modern war pictures. The opening scene as the American soldiers storm the beaches at Normandy is downright brutal and one of the darkest, bloodiest opening moments of a film we've ever seen. We see on full display the carnage of war as the camera pans over soldiers without limbs, some who have had their faces blown off, others bursting into flames, and some trying to hold their intestines in their body. Though this scene is difficult to watch, as a whole, this is beautifully directed and very well paced for a film pushing three hours long. We would expect no less from legendary director Steven Spielberg.

The film wound up being nominated for 11 Oscars in total and actually winning five, including best director for Spielberg's glorious efforts. Another one of those five was a much deserved Oscar for cinematography. The visuals are absolutely stunning, even in their vicious depictions of combat. In the grandiose scale of this war and its epic battles, what "Saving Private Ryan" is really all about is the characters and how eight men risked their lives to save one who had lost almost all of his family to serve his country, a questionable proposition to say the least and one that is debated constantly throughout the film. We are treated to a great ensemble performance from the principle group led by the always fantastic Tom Hanks.

This is definitely one of the best war pictures out there and one that is most certainly worth seeing for its superior story, visuals, acting, and directing.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
Last Oscar season, we were watching: "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing"

Two Oscar seasons ago, we were watching: "Babe"

No comments:

Post a Comment