Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

By Aliah Clark, Reporter

This movie is rated R for violence, gore, and language. Please watch under parental guidance if under the age of 17.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper

Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) whose three brothers have been killed in combat, to bring him home. This movie follows these men as they brave the brutal realities of war and their own personal journeys as they discover the strength to overcome an uncertain future and the courage to carry on.


This movie starts with a depiction of Omaha Beach during the Invasion of Normandy during WWII. This movie is known for the graphic and intense first 27 minutes of the movie, as this realistic portrayal of the beach during the assault of the Normandy landings. We then follow Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) as he sets out with his men to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers had been killed in combat. Their main objective is to get Private Ryan home to his mother: to do this, the company crosses over enemy lines and faces many obstacles, both physical and mental.

This movie was released on July 24, 1998, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. It is known for its realism, cinematography, score, screenplay, and Spielberg’s direction. It was a box office success and became the highest grossing film of 1998 in the United States with $216.8 million domestically, and the second highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide. Cashing in $481.8 million, this film won several accolades, including Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes.

I personally thought the movie was decent. While the cinematography was notable, I was unable to form a connection with Tom Hanks’ character, making the ending scene just that. An ending scene. This movie however, did a fantastic job with a realistic portrayal of war and how violent it is. Many movies focus on the masculine main character who seems to elude death in a heroic way, his party trekking through enemy territory, dropping the opposers like flies. However, “Saving Private Ryan” was able to accurately portray both the physical and the mental battles soldiers face each and every day on the front lines.