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Saving Private Ryan Reviews

Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, and breaks new ground in content and style. It merges some of the most realistically disturbing battle footage ever included in a feature film with a touching human story.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

August 19, 2014
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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If Steven Spielberg's emotional intelligence matched his visual genius, his harrowing, passionately felt and honorably flawed new film might qualify for one of the greatest American movies ever made about World War II.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

August 19, 2014
Peter Rainer
New Times
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Spielberg puts us through the hair-trigger terrors of combat in a way no other filmmaker has ever dared, and yet there's a gentleness to his enterprise. He's interested in the humaneness that comes through the horror.

Full Review Source: New Times

August 19, 2014
Paul Tatara
CNN.com
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Spielberg accomplishes these goals with a technical virtuosity that no other director, arguably in the history of the cinema, can even approach.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

August 2, 2013
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
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Saving Private Ryan is the war movie to end all war movies. It's the ultimate combat film, far outdistancing what until now had been the genre's World War II classics.

August 2, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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The cast functions as an effective and believable unit. And Hanks gives a strong, increasingly solemn performance as its mysterious leader.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

August 2, 2013
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Dramatic lapses notwithstanding, Saving Private Ryan goes beyond technical dazzlement to put a new, indelibly terrible face on war.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 2, 2013
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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Calling it the greatest war movie ever made does a disservice to other, equally worthwhile, lower-profile films. But it's still an excellent movie, as effective in battle scenes as it is in that of soldiers ruminating on an Edith Piaf song.

Full Review Source: AV Club

August 2, 2013
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Anyone who would like to know what superb filmmaking is all about need look no further than this overpowering movie.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 4/4

August 2, 2013
David Edelstein
Slate
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What Steven Spielberg has accomplished in Saving Private Ryan is to make violence terrible again. Nothing in the movie's melodramatic narrative can diminish the shocking immediacy of its combat scenes.

Full Review Source: Slate

August 2, 2013
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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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.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

August 2, 2013
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Spielberg goes a long, long way toward overcoming his tendencies toward the shallow, but the visceral punch of his not-quite-masterful film is softened by an almost neurotic slickness that keeps getting in the way of the [issues it raises].

Full Review Source: Washington Post

August 2, 2013
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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Spielberg obviously decided that blood and guts meant just that, and so he arranged his violence into a semblance of pure disorder. The illusion holds, complete with severed limbs and wellsprings of blood, and it feels honorable.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

August 2, 2013
Dave Kehr
New York Daily News
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Saving Private Ryan is Steven Spielberg's best war film and one of the two or three best movies the director has made.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News

August 2, 2013
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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The great Hollywood battle films have told us repeatedly that war is hell. Saving Private Ryan, more than any other, is the one that shows it.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

August 2, 2013
Hillel Italie
Associated Press
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War may be a faceless affair, but war movies shouldn't be.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

August 2, 2013
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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No further commentary is needed when the raw brutality of combat is presented as indelibly as it is here.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 9, 2008
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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I found it tediously manipulative despite its Herculean energy.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 27, 2007
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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Why did Spielberg make it? He wants us to imagine we can feel the terror of being there, but does that make us any wiser about this or any other conflict? Probably not.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The greatest Steven Spielberg movie since the last great one? Sure.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

July 12, 2002
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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A powerful and impressive milestone in the realistic depiction of combat, Saving Private Ryan is as much an experience we live through as a film we watch on screen.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

February 14, 2001
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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A war film that, entirely aware of its genre's conventions, transcends them as it transcends the simplistic moralities that inform its predecessors, to take the high, morally haunting ground.

| Original Score: 5/5

January 1, 2000
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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It has a few pretty good action moments, a lot of spilled guts, a few moments of drama that don't seem phony or hollow, some fairly strained period ambience, and a bit of sentimental morphing that reminds me of Forrest Gump.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 1, 2000
Ted Fry
Film.com
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Gripping and satisfying in a way that no mere summer event movie could ever be.

January 1, 2000
Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
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Launches and climaxes with two of the greatest extended battle sequences ever put on film.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Gary Kamiya
Salon.com
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Using the overpowering techniques of modern film, Steven Spielberg has cut through the glory-tinged gauze that shrouds World War II to reveal its brutal reality, creating a phenomenology of violence unsurpassed in the history of cinema.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

January 1, 2000
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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As compelling, intimate and brutally realistic an account of men at war as you've ever seen.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Robert Horton
Film.com
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Has 'masterpiece' written all over it.

January 1, 2000
Peter Brunette
Film.com
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A flawed but masterful film.

January 1, 2000
Mike Clark
USA Today
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Spielberg opens in flashback with a half-hour set piece brilliant enough to climax any other masterpiece.

| Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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For those who are willing to brave the movie's shocking and unforgettable images, Saving Private Ryan offers a singular motion picture experience.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Despite nearly six decades of filmmakers trying to come to grips with [World War II, Saving Private Ryan] feels like the first truly honest attempt to deal with the horrors of combat -- and the terrible responsibility shared by all survivors.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Spielberg has captured the hair-trigger instability of modern combat.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

January 1, 2000
Janet Maslin
New York Times
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A soberly magnificent new war film.

Full Review Source: New York Times

January 1, 2000
David Denby
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Spielberg has taken us back to basics -- back to art, back to amazement at the film medium itself.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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A powerful experience.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
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