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Universal acclaim- based on 565 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 565

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  1. Nov 7, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Saving Private Ryan is nothing short of the greatest war movie ever made (to this point). The only other media that comes close is Band of Brothers (also involving Hanks and Spielberg), but as a miniseries it's in another category.

    When this movie came out, we all knew that the opening battle sequence changed war films forever. There simply had never and hasn't since been such a visceral, overwhelming, intense depiction of warfare anywhere else. Movies and video games since have tried to imitate it and don't come close.

    If The Thin Red Line and Life Is Beautiful hadn't come out in the same year, I don't think there's any way this film would not have taken Best Picture. I never have seen Shakespeare in Love, so I won't criticize it as if I had, but it must have been remarkable to beat this genre-redefining movie. If it wasn't remarkable, then this might be the biggest snub in Oscar history.

    Tom Hanks is at his best in SPR. I don't think he was better in either Philadelphia or The Green Mile. It's not just Hanks, though. All of the supporting actors, even Vin Diesel and Tom Sizemore, are impeccable.

    The scene at the end of the movie when Hanks dies is one I still can't watch 16 years later without tearing up. When he looks at Ryan (and the camera is just over his should, so he is basically looking right at the camera) and says "Earn this," he is saying that to all of us. Earn the sacrifice that a whole generation paid in blood for all of us. That's what turns this movie into something far more profound and important than any myriad of other WWII and war films in general.
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    I am one of the greatest fans of Steven Spielberg and Saving Private Ryan does not have that perfect 3hrs runtime. But for sure, it is an authentic representation of war which makes me show a lot of respect for this motion picture.
  3. Aug 13, 2014
    Probably the best(with Full metal jacket) war movie ever made.Realistic action scenes,credible actors and awesome script.This movie has everything you ever wanted in a war movie.
  4. Jul 21, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Technically brilliant, a total misfire in characterization, hence, Matt Damon's brothers died, who cares! Tom Hanks dies, who cares!

    Don't try and push my buttons with cardboard cutouts for characters, Spielberg, I'm not that easy.

    And the Anne Frank lookalike implanted in the bombed out French house scene...? Really dude?
  5. chw
    Jul 19, 2014
    Saving Private Ryan was such an amazing movie. This definitely would have won the Academy's Best Picture Award if Shakespeare in Love wasn't an option.
  6. May 4, 2014
    The movie has some cool battle scenes but it starts off a ridiculous premise that people would stop in the middle of a World War and send men in danger to "save a private" that they don't even know if he's alive or dead, just because his brothers died in the war(which was a very common thing back then). It also has the stereotypical stupid American that becomes a brave (stupid) American at the end and takes out the "bad guy"(and lets the other go free). Despite the constant logic fails with the story, the battles are very realistic and the movie is worth watching. Expand
  7. Mar 8, 2014
    What a masterpiece. The depiction of fighting in World War II is incredible to watch and feels very realistic. The set decoration is amazing and with Tom Cruise as lead actor it is tough to go wrong here. However, the movie is almost three hours and does drag on a bit but it has many really terrific scenes. This is a must see and I give it an 89.9 out of 100.
  8. Feb 21, 2014
    Best movie ever, literally... Of all the movies I have ever seen, this one gets me the most. This action packed film is thrilling, well acted, and overall amazeballs.
  9. Feb 10, 2014
    after this film I felt, I saved the ryan. because after first scene of this film, I was a soldier of this crew. No need to say about film scenes, you live together with this film.
  10. Feb 7, 2014
    One of the greatest movies ever put to film. A must watch for anyone who can stomach the realistic and gruesome battle scenes. The acting, special effects, and cinematography are amazing.
  11. Jan 15, 2014
    Phenomenal film. While extremely graphic, it is nice to see a war film that does not sugarcoat anything and this certainly does not sugarcoat a thing. It's tragic, tormenting, and a mixture of being impersonal and personal, all of the things it should be. Ultimately, it is hard to think of how a war film could be done better.
  12. Dec 30, 2013
    Seus primeiros 40 minutos são de tirar o fôlego, a cena da batalha na praia de Omaha espetacular uma das cenas mais bem realizadas da história do cinema e sem contar que o filme inteiro fantástico.
  13. Dec 21, 2013
    This film blows me away completely. Awesome! It brings the brutality of war to the small screen so that everyone can feel exactly what those soldiers felt in the Great Second World War. Spielberg and Hanks are the best, for sure
  14. Dec 12, 2013
    Perfect War movie.The first 27 minutes are no less than real. It has everything from emotions to acting.
    Great direction by critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg and superb acting by Tom Hanks aka Capt. John H. Miller.
  15. Oct 24, 2013
    This movie was amazing. Hanks was spectacular and Speilberg did a absolutely amazing job directing. The movie was horrid and hard to watch which makes it an effective war movie. It also pulls at your heart strings in just the right way. Couldn't ask for more.
  16. Sep 16, 2013
    One of the most powerful war movies out there, Saving will hit you with such an emotion for the characters that it feels like you're in their shoes, in that battle zone, fighting for your life. Tom Hanks is at his best in this movie, and Matt Damon is perfect as Private Ryan. If you don't want to watch all of the movie, at least see the first beach scene. It will change your view of... well, everything. It will make you glad to be alive. Expand
  17. Sep 2, 2013
    Simplemente este Film se podría definir en miles de grandiosas palabras, pero se define según mi criterio en una sola, IMPRESIONANTE. Spielberg, por supuesto el mejor director del mundo y me atrevo a decir que en mucho tiempo no habrá nadie igual a el; nos muestra una pequeña muestra de lo bueno que puede ser un largometraje bien hecho sin fallos.
  18. Aug 13, 2013
    Totalmente y simplemente una buena pelicula, las cosas que buscan varios directores que espesializan en este tema son sorprendidos por el gran director Steven Spielberg quien saca esta produccion al estrellato del exito.
  19. Aug 9, 2013
    This is a typical Hollywood movie with lots of flash but no substance. The story is a joke and the characters are as one-dimensional as you can get. There's lots of big explosions, blood, and body parts, so if that's your thing, this is for you, but if you're looking for something more, you'd best look elsewhere. Try Platoon, Thin Red Line, the Dirty Dozen, or even Patton for a more worthwhile experience. Expand
  20. Aug 3, 2013
    This is a good movie, Set in WW2. Tom Hanks and Matt Damon gave good performances. There is a good cast as well. Its worth watching if youre a history and war buff.
  21. Jul 4, 2013
    Saving Private Ryan has to be an all time favourite for everyone who likes war films. I personally enjoyed the movie because of its gripping action scenes and the very moving storyline which shows the bond between soldiers who have been tasked with a near-suicidal mission. Just simply amazing.
  22. Jun 6, 2013
    This is just such a great movie. It deserves every single award. Tom Hanks gives his most brilliant performance ever. All of his supporting cast is outstanding. I was just blown away by this film. Arguably, the greatest war film of all time.
  23. May 19, 2013
    His synopsis may sound stupid and pointless, but its execution makes the movie almost the best of Spielberg, bringing the realistic side of war and hard, and with the performance of Tom Hanks and his platoon the movie becomes an epic of stories drama action and sacrifice.
  24. Apr 6, 2013
    Saving Private Ryan is arguably the greatest war flick of all time.

    The movie begins at D-Day. This opening scene was one of the craziest I have ever seen and features intense action sequences, along with a bit of blood and gore. This scene was just spectacular. Eventually, the main plot begins and Tom Hanks and a squad of soldiers begin a journey to find a missing private whose three
    brothers were killed in action.

    The interaction between the squad members is great and the journey they go on is exciting. The battle that culminates near the end of the movie is one of the greatest war scenes in history. The fighting is intense and it defines amazing effects and incredible acting.

    I highly recommend that you see this above-stellar movie, as it has incredible acting and effects.
  25. Mar 26, 2013
    I've been a fan of Steven Spielberg for a long time, but out of all of his movies, this one was the most exciting and intense. This is a true classic war film, truly the best war film ever made. Spielberg reels in some tremendous actors such as Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, even Paul Giamatti and Nathan Fillion. The war scenes are beyond belief. I've never seen anything so real before. I mean, the scenes are just so graphic and brutally intense. Spielberg really takes you into World War II. Even though it's almost 15 years old, it still amazes me in every way. This is my #1 of all time! Expand
  26. Mar 12, 2013
    Steven Spielberg's masterpiece is not only the greatest war film ever created but possibly the greatest film ever made. The stellar directing brings you into the film and does not let you go until the very last scene. This is truly a great film that will be remembered.
  27. Feb 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Probably one of my favourite movies of all time. As you can see by my username, I'm a huge Tom Hanks fan, and this is probably one of his best performances, besides Forrest Gump. He plays an amazing role as a Captain John H. Miller, who gathers seven men to look for Private James Francis Ryan and to bring him home. Great story, nice effects, way ahead of its time, great acting too. On top of that, Tom Hanks is the greatest actor known to man. All of his movies are good, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Cast Away, The Terminal, The Polar Express, Toy Story, Apollo 13, the list just goes on Expand
  28. Jan 24, 2013
    A great movie both in entertainment and in argument.
  29. Jan 23, 2013
    The best war movie ever made. Spielberg captures the brutality of war but also the bond of friendship between characters fighting together for their lives. Tom Hanks turns in a brilliant performance as usual, and the film benefits from strong supporting work from Matt Damon and Barry Pepper.
  30. Jan 17, 2013
    All ho love war movies gonna love this movie. One of the best movies ever made. Amazing movie
  31. Nov 30, 2012
    "Saving Private Ryan" is a stunning and emotional powerhouse of a war film. Featuring a cast of great actors and performances, and helmed by the masterful Spielberg, this movie is a gritty, harsh and shocking look at WWII through the eyes of a group of soldiers sent behind enemy lines to save a stranded private. The opening D-Day sequence is visceral and brutally intense, full of gruesome and disturbing imagery, and communicates the true horror and scale of the invasion. The time shared between these soldiers, through both stories they tell and arguments they have, is genuinely authentic and you become attached to every character. And of course, the final conflict is where it all comes to a head, in probably the most intense, dramatic and realistic battle scene ever made. It may be pretty dark and depressing, but ultimately you are left with an incredible cinematic achievement - a solid 5-star war film that communicates with frightening efficiency the true brutality that must have been one of the world's darkest chapters in history. Expand
  32. Nov 9, 2012
    I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see a war movie that isn't packed with a butt-load of nationalism and military propaganda. I mean Saving Private Ryan does have some of that, but not a butt-load. In other words, the script, the acting and the directing contain so much drawing power that I can overlook any of the very minor flaws which might be hidden throughout this marvelous story. Not many movies have left me more engaged than this one. It's intense, it's compelling, it's slow and it punches a hole in your chest and grips your heart for three hours while a group of soldiers walk on eggshells. And the first scene may be the most horrifically enchanting moment in cinema history. Expand
  33. Jun 14, 2012
    I believe that Saving Private Ryan is one of the more accurate portrayal of WWII in film history. It has a stellar cast, incredibly deep character depth (you know, characters that you'll actually care about), and a surprisingly poignant story.
  34. Jun 6, 2012
    One of the most realistic war movies I've ever seen. There is not a single bad performance from the cast, all of them give solid, sterling performances in their roles, most notably Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon and Jeremy Davies. The battle scenes are frighteningly real, the opening half hour scene of the vicious Omaha Beach landings are well deserved to be called one of the best movie battle scenes of all time. Expand
  35. Apr 1, 2012
    This is a 10 out of 10 movie. It's so great. War scenes are stunning. Acting is real performed. Especially by Tom hanks. Score is also pretty good, and the story is pretty remarkable. Probably the best war movie ever. You really should watch this movie. This should've got best picture.
  36. Mar 30, 2012
    Saving Private Ryan is the best war movie ever made. The performances are oustanding right from the lead all the way down to the supporting cast. never has a war movie been made so realistly. It was breathtaking from the war scenes to the cinematography. Saving Private Ryan is a true accomplishment like no other.
  37. Mar 5, 2012
    The film opens with an old man collapsing to his knees under the weight of the guilt of having survived all those years ago. We see it in his tear-filled eyes and hear it in his trembling voice... This scene has the power to move me like virtually no scene in cinema history. The rest of the film is both terrifying and beautiful but it's those quiet moments of raw human emotion that Spielberg captures perfectly and makes Saving Private Ryan one of my top ten all-time favorites. A truly unforgettable experience. Expand
  38. Mar 5, 2012
    Surprisingly, I enjoyed this movie, because normally I see a war movie and I don't like it e.g. War horse, platoon etc. I thought the camera angles were good, the acting, the story and best of all the action. This movie is my top ten movies of all time.
  39. Feb 29, 2012
    First of all, its a perfect example of the Sole Survivor Policy in the US Military, there are strong performances and actors to behold, and its a spectacularly watchable depiction of World War II battlegrounds. Steven Spielberg's work on Saving Private Ryan is one of his most impressive works I've seen in a long time.
  40. Feb 15, 2012
    Greatest war movie I have ever seen. It is powerful, moving and keeps you wanting to watch more. Tom Hanks' and Matt Damon's acting is very good and every one of the characters are deep and you feel like you emphasize with them and understand them. Some scenes bend the laws of physics, but it doesn't make any difference. This movie is not for the faint-hearted as it contains some incredibly gory scenes reminiscent on Saw. Awesome film and should stay on every shelf in every house. Collapse
  41. Feb 5, 2012
    Saving Private Ryan was one of the most powerful, intense movie experiences I have had in the cinema. I originally watched this movie in the cinema while sitting next to a WW2 veteran - his reactions were very interesting. Its a great movie with great acting, setting and props and characters to care about. Perhaps its only downside is some of the over done action in the second half. Must See Movie. Expand
  42. Jan 26, 2012
    In middle school some friends and I would have movie night every week. As we watched this particular film I began to cry. I was overwhelmed by the sacrifice these characters were making in an attempt to rescue a solitary soldier. I felt strange crying in front of my friends, but I realized in that moment that great cinema evokes great emotion. Our favorite movies make us feel poignantly. This was the first film to make me feel something so powerful that it caused me to shed tears. Expand
  43. Dec 4, 2011
    Saving Private Ryan is an awesome action and realistic movie with heart-pacing plot. It had captured the realism of the WWII and turn it into a movie with exciting plot. It catches your attention and have a ending that will make you remember forever.
  44. Dec 4, 2011
    Saving Private Ryan is an amazing movie, it is also the best war movie I have ever seen. The plot is gripping and keeps you enthralled while the characters all work together to deliver a star-studded performance that amazes. Saving Private Ryan defty blens the action and emotion into a package that is thrilling, a place where other movies tend to fail. There are virtually zero faults in this movie maybe except for very obscure missteps but so obscure that you must pay attention to see them. Overall Saving Private Ryan is a great movie that I recommend everyone watch, even if you are not into war movies you will still love this movie for it's characterization for it will also change your expectations for war movies forever. Breakdown for Saving Private Ryan: Presentation: 9.5, Plot: 9.7, Acting: 10, Script: 10, Lasting Appeal: 9.6. Overall Score: 9.6 out of 10 "Amazing". Expand
  45. Nov 20, 2011
    I enjoyed it but I think its a bit too overrated. Yes it does well to capture the realism of WW2 and its interesting through out but I just didnt enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Solid cast, Good acting as well.
  46. Nov 17, 2011
    There are few films that are literally unforgettable and Saving Private Ryan with its shocking imagery, pitch perfect acting and moving score manages to permanently burn itself into your brain.
    Despite what everyone remembers of Saving Private Ryan (The Omaha Beach section being the obvious one) its lasting moments are the quiet ones, the ones that show that even through the horrors of
    war there is still a sense of humanity. Such moments not only provide some much needed levity (Miller and Horvath's discussion in the church being one of the best) as well as allowing the viewer to understand why these characters are worth caring for (Miller and Ryan discuss their families just before the war began). There isn't a moment of Saving Private Ryan where you aren't completely immersed. Both the direction (by Steven Spielberg) and the writing (by Robert Rodat) are brilliant with the latter allowing for a shift between pure darkness and shock to levity and joy in mere moments. In conclusion its Spielberg at the top of his game as he engages with the real emotion behind warfare, both the loss of humanity and the strive to regain it. It engages the viewer by letting him/her decide how to feel about shocking events while sometimes surprising you at the way you might react. Its a masterpiece that will never fail to get to me or as I imagine, almost anyone who watches it. Expand
  47. Nov 16, 2011
    Saving Private Ryan is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have watching a film. It's utterly absorbing, often heartbreaking and always thoughtful. This isn't just another American war film filled with square-jawed jingoistic action men belting out cliched soundbites. Saving Private Ryan honours the fallen, and acknowledges the unimaginable sacrifice they made. The characters Spielberg and writer Robert Rodat have developed don't feel like works of fiction, they are believably ordinary Americans who have chosen to fight for their country. Whilst the uncompromisingly brutal, horrifically intense and realistic battle scenes are what tend to get the film the most attention (particularly the now infamous, nearly half-hour long Omaha Beach battle) it is the quieter, more reserved moments of the film that truly stand out. Of particular note are the scene taking place in an abandoned church, where, taking shelter for the night, each of the soldiers debate the inhumanity of war, and the light-hearted chat that Miller and Ryan have prior to the final battle. The former is an exceedingly dark and psychoanalytical study, the latter a welcome moment of light-heartedness in an exceedingly depressing film, both are exceptional moments for character. Technically, the film is nigh-on flawless. The entire cast's performances, again are hard to fault. With a quite-rightly Oscar-nominated script and a heart-wrenchingly emotional score by John Williams, Saving Private Ryan approaches cinematic perfection. But even considering all these factors, the film's real achievement is the way in which it handles war, not as a spectacle or an excuse for a string of set-pieces as would be the case in a lesser movie, but as the horrific and pointless act it really is. The characters may be fictional, but they represent real men who really lost their lives during World War II, and the film acknowledges that fact. Saving Private Ryan is not only Spielberg's masterpiece, but quite possibly the greatest war film of all time. Expand
  48. Oct 19, 2011
    This movie just managed a 10. This epic directed by Steven Spielberg is a classic. The effects, acting, set, music and everything else was amazing. The story was great and there was a strong connection with the characters. The CGI was brilliant for 90's, and this movie is one you have to have on your shelf. It tell's the tale of soldiers as they embark on a mission to find Private Ryan, who has to come back home. Amazing action scenes, great music and an absolute masterpiece. Expand
  49. Sep 7, 2011
    One of the most realistic WW2 movies, "Saving Private Ryan" has everything; a powerhouse cast, smart action, deep character depth, and a poignant sacrifice.
  50. Aug 25, 2011
    Would you risk 8 soldiers for 1? Or vice versa? It's a sad question, but one we can't avoid. This movie show that a death is a death. Unfortunately, it shows that we must pick one or the other, but someone still dies. This is my second time watching the movie and it was worth it.
  51. Aug 7, 2011
    Although I'm a history buff and love good war movies, there have been very few decent ones during the last 15 years. Saving Private Ryan is not only a masterpiece in every regard, it's arguably the best war film of all time.
  52. Aug 2, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Everything a war-flick fan needs. Guns, tanks, blood, lots of history, excellent battle scenes and some drama. There is hardly any movie that can resemble Saving Private Ryan in its character. The Omaha Beach scene at the beginning is going to be ever famous in movie history. The story here is said with no playing with reality. People die in the most gruesome ways, sometimes because of their stupidity or just plainly because they are unlucky. Both American and German soldiers aren`t portraid as black and white. None is all good or all bad. We know that they are men struggling to survive a time when there are no rules other than to kill or be killed. Some are blind with hatred, others psyche goes to ashes, just a few are able to sustain their sanity. The story is fine and very touching, mostly because Tom Hanks gave his character a complicated and likeable personality. Other actors play their roles well, so the movie can`t be said as a one man show. The second best actor I`d say was the American medic. The ending of the movie might be seen as positive or negative - everyone can see it differently. I sticked to the characters so it was very sad for me. Other than that this movie is a wonderful showing of cinematography`s evolution and the hardware that was used in WWII. The armored vehicles are exceptionally well made. Fake, but still only an advanced history buff can see the difference (the wrong wheels on the Tiger I for example). I watched this film many times until I could memorise it 100%. Took me like 30 viewings but it`s worth it. Ofcourse I come back to it from time to time. Expand
  53. Jul 25, 2011
    What a great move the acting was amazing the action couldn't be better the drama and suspence was just the best ive seen in a while i loved this movie no problems at all just great.
  54. Jul 19, 2011
    I thought it was a really good movie. It was realistic and it was really cool. The action sequences were cool like in the first twenty minutes and it got better from there. It was really cool to see a group of American soldiers overcome a stronger German army in a cool way. Way to go Steven Spielberg, you've done it again.
  55. Jun 27, 2011
    I kinda have mixed feelings on this movie. On one hand, it had the most awesome looking war scenes ever on film, and Tom Hanks is just as good as he is in all of his movies. On the other hand, many of the characters were annoying, and the plot was kinda weak. I wouldn't highly recommend it, yet it shouldn't be completely overlooked.
  56. Jun 8, 2011
    Some interesting direction in the opening and climactic battle scenes, but the film is let down by the plot, which is too simple and implausible to engage the viewer. It's a long and cliched Hollywood blockbuster war film and not much more, I'd give it a miss unless you're a blindly patriotic American.
  57. May 20, 2011
    High quality in every aspect. I don not see where complaints could possibly arise from, unless the ones voicing them accidentally saw the wrong film.
  58. Apr 28, 2011
    Amazing movie, besides a few innaccuracies with explosions and what not, it all culminates into a completely engrossing experiance where each soldier has their own personnality and can be distinguished from the next not only because of the superb acting, but also because the characters fit their roles to a T. The action is intense and fast paced, the drama is tragic, and truly shows what war was like back in the 1940's. Expand
  59. Apr 28, 2011
    Watching this movie drew me in and shook me to the very core with a gritty, realistic and bloody vision of WWII that makes you think "was it justified?". I usually think that Spielberg's earlier Schindlers List was superior, but seeing this for the first time has changed my outlook completely. One minor complaint is that too many parts of it feel like a full on action movie that could be viewed as disrespectful to the veterans. All in all, a cinematic experience that isn't afraid to shock. Expand
  60. Feb 15, 2011
    A very high quality, which blends extreme action, with a underlying sadness for the disaster that was world war 2. All put together with superb casting.
  61. Jan 1, 2011
    This movie blew my mind, I watched it in 2003 when I was 13, because I was being rebellious and went against what my mom told me to do. I was so mesmerized by how well it was made, that I became what people eould call these days, an "overly obsessive teen". I focused my teenage life on this movie, and at my grad I quoted it when I was chosen for Valedictorian. This movie was amazing. That's all I have to say. Expand
  62. Nov 18, 2010
    I think the first 20 minutes were truly fascinating, you felt like you were in the middle ot it. After that, and that is a LONG after that, the movie really became rather boring and stereotyped, at times even unrealistic. The trick is to keep the moments of reflection to a bare minimum, to make them really count. There was WAY too much reflection here. It takes away all the dynamic. I can think of only one movie that masterfully accomplishes that balance: Die Hard, the first one. Expand
  63. Oct 27, 2010
    a great war movie set in WWII . although not based on a true story outside the fact of its WWII and the showing of D Day which was brilliantly shot. a very intresting plot of a group of soldiers trying to find private ryan to inform him all his brothers died in the war. the acting is great and the visauls are fantastic . my hats off to speilberg for making this great war film .

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Nothing that suggests an independent vision, unless you count seeing more limbs blown off than usual.
  2. 89
    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.
  3. 80
    The movie's greatest strength lies in phenomenal performances that reach from the leads right down to the smallest supporting roles.