Saving Private Ryan

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Saving Private Ryan ★★★★ 1998 (R)

Bigbudget WWII Spielberg epic finds eight soldiers, led by army captain Hanks, forced to go behind enemy lines in order to rescue downed paratrooper James Ryan (Damon). He's the sole surviving brother of four soldier siblings and the government wants some good PR—the men pulling the duty are less than enthusiastic, however. Pick your favorite reviewerspeak word—gripping, moving, intense, masterpiece—any or all of them will work. The opening 25minute graphic depiction of Omaha Beach on DDay is, on its own, Oscarworthy. Hanks and the rest of the cast (which included a few surprise cameos) are excellent. Spielberg deglamorizes war, without belittling the sacrifices made by those who fought. The actors (except Damon) went through boot camp in England in order to get the proper attitude. 175m/C VHS, DVD . Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Dale Dye, Dennis Farina, Harve Presnell, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, David Wohl, Leland Orser, Joerg Stadler, Maximillian Martini, Amanda Boxer, Harrison Young; D: Steven Spielberg; W: Robert Rodat, Frank Darabont; C: Janusz Kaminski; M: John Williams. Oscars '98: Cinematog., Director (Spielberg), Film Editing, Sound, Sound FX Editing; British Acad. '98: Sound; Directors Guild '98: Director (Spielberg); Golden Globes '99: Director (Spielberg), Film—Drama; L.A. Film Critics '98: Cinematog., Director (Spielberg), Film; N.Y. Film Critics '98: Film; Broadcast Film Critics '98: Director (Spielberg), Film, Score.