Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 502 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: During the WWII D-Day invasion, a squad of soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Hanks) is sent into Normandy to find Private James Ryan (Damon), and return him to his mother in America. She has already lost three other sons in this war.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    For those who are willing to brave the movie's shocking and unforgettable images, Saving Private Ryan offers a singular motion picture experience.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    100
    No Hollywood film within recent memory has achieved such richness and originality of texture, such a compelling amalgam of passionate human drama and awesome technique.
  3. 100
    Searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies.
  4. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    100
    A film of such cyclonic visual and emotional power, of such dazzling virtuosity and shattering humanity, that it is difficult to endure, yet alone describe. Savagely beautiful and savagely true, Saving Private Ryan is an excruciating masterpiece.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    What Steven Spielberg has accomplished in Saving Private Ryan is to make violence terrible again.
  6. 80
    If Steven Spielberg's emotional intelligence matched his visual genius, his honorably flawed new film might qualify for one of the greatest-ever American WWII movies.
  7. Nothing that suggests an independent vision, unless you count seeing more limbs blown off than usual.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 139
  1. Feb 15, 2011
    10
    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. Expand
  2. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    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. Expand
  3. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    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
  4. Aug 7, 2011
    10
    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. Expand
  5. Jun 6, 2012
    9
    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
  6. Apr 28, 2011
    9
    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
  7. Nov 18, 2010
    3
    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

See all 139 User Reviews

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