A trend setting technical marvel, Saving Private Ryan became highly influential for many a war movie/video game. Considering it's popularity, I can't help thinking that the 'patriotic war nostalgia' the film is steeped in helped influence public attitudes towards war, particularly in America. i.e. Reinventing/reversing a lot of the good work done by the likes of Oliver Stone in presenting war as total hell; presenting it instead as 'yeah, it's hell, but it's also a great visceral entertainment that happens to present war as a noble sacrifice.'
I can't help thinking the films popularity made the incoming wars in the Middle East a bit more acceptable to the American mindset.