Saving Private Ryan movie review - Aussieboyreviews


With exceptional effort from the cast, crew and director Steven Spielberg, this war epic is very violent, tragic but long. Saving Private Ryan offers what may be some of the most graphic and realistic depictions of war in history of films.


During the Normandy invasion of WWII, a group of U.S. soldiers are tasked to search for and retrieve Private James Ryan, whose brothers have already been killed in war.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Jeremy Davies, Giovanni Ribisi
Writer: Robert Rodat
Release Date (Australia): 19 November 1998
Runtime: 169 minutes/2h 49m
Genre: War, Drama, Action
Country: USA
Language: English, German, French, Czech

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film contains strong war themes and sustained battle sequences.

Violence (MA15+)

The film contains graphic war violence and sustained battle sequences that feature depictions of soldiers being shot and blown up. These scenes are frequently accompanied by large blood sprays, graphic depictions of wounds and gore detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The film features use of the word “f**k”, as well as the words “s**t”, “son of a bitch”, “goddamn” and “c**ksucker”.

Sex (PG)

The film includes multiple verbal sexual references and a reference to a man having a “hard-on”.

mpaa rating

R (for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence, and for language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Saving Private Ryan jumps from realistically brutal and horrifyingly prolonged battle sequences to extended areas of dialogue between soldiers. It may just be one of the most graphic, lifelike and compelling war drama movies of all time, being especially well done for its time. The film focuses on a group of U.S. soldiers who are tasked with finding and retrieving a soldier so he can go back home, because he’s the only son left of a grieving mother.

The performances around the cast playing the soldiers, notably Tom Hanks and Matt Damon make you feel like you’re watching real life. This is only impacted stronger by the war and ceremony-themed music that’s constantly playing in the background of very powerful scenes, as well as the beautiful cinematography with the highly talented Steven Spielberg behind the camera.

The battle sequences in this movie are absolutely brutal and very gritty to watch. Even when the camera isn’t focusing on soldiers being shot or blown up, the film implies battle somewhere in the area with the loud gunshots and sound of soldiers screaming. This is a movie that truly displays the violence, hells and horrors of war, with camerawork that’s either very jolty or steady, depending on the sequence.

For a war film, Saving Private Ryan is exceptionally-made, very effective and realistic, although there’s a lot of slow-paced dialogue that can be very difficult to stay engaged with. Fo others, it might even be completely boring. But it’s worth watching for the brutal depictions of war, including the opening scene, Spielberg’s and the cast’s work, and how most will find it very watchable, although it’s very long and not to the standards of entertaining.

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