‘Saving Private Ryan’: The Best War Film of All Time?

I had heard about Saving Private Ryan but never felt compelled to watch it. All I knew was that it was a war movie starring Tom Hanks. On July 3 I watched it for the first time on TBS and was shaken to my very core by the power, grittiness, and at times disturbingly realistic portrayal of the ugliness of war.

Steven Spielberg, who would win Best Director for this film, provided what I feel is his greatest work in this movie. He made us feel like a soldier on the bloody battlefield. He made us feel the horror of seeing fellow countrymen killed mercilessly in battle. He made us begin to care for the characters and their internal struggles. He made us watch wide-eyed as the story continued, delivering gut punch after gut punch until the end.

Saving Private Ryan is a masterpiece. An utter masterpiece of filmmaking, specifically for the war movie category. I’ve seen Glory, I’ve seen Dunkirk and 1917 (by the way, 1917 is a total modern ripoff of Saving Private Ryan but isn’t nearly as good) but I have never quite seen anything like this movie I was fortunate enough to watch a couple of days ago.

Let me tell you, this movie is not for the weak. Its violence is on another tier of horror, showing war in a non-glorified light that reminds us why soldiers come home with so much trauma. But beyond the extreme violence lies a tale of bravery that is a testament to the character and virtue of the United States and what we are willing to do to protect our countrymen.

I’m giving this movie 100 out of 100 and 5 out of 5 stars.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.

2 thoughts on “‘Saving Private Ryan’: The Best War Film of All Time?”

  1. Saving Private Ryan is absolutely one of the greatest war movies of all time. A truly great war movie SHOULD make you feel a little traumatized by what you see. War is not glorious, it’s not wonderful, and nobody goes through it happy for the experience. It leaves damaged human beings behind, win or lose — even if they’re not physically hurt, they come away scarred on the inside. Even if it’s in the trivial ways where they wear ear plugs every Fourth of July because it trips up their PTSD.

    I’ve long felt that Das Boot was the best war movie ever. My recommendation would be to watch the original German with subtitles instead of the English dub, but it might not matter. I usually hate subtitled films (I am very much a heretic on dubbed over subbed anime) unless I can understand the original language reasonably well, so perhaps the fact that I’m at least a half decent hand at German is biasing me here. But the movie there covers the sheer hopelessness of being a U-Boat commander as well as anything ever done. The U-Boats were generally not crewed but hardcore Nazis, they were just people fighting for the side they were on, they just were on the wrong side. And, oh by the way…. three quarters of them didn’t survive the war. So “Das Boot” basically covers that, at feature length. It’s frankly really depressing by the time you’re done… as it should be.

    I could be talked into Saving Private Ryan being the best. But it’s down to those two, IMO. I could take either one as the best, but I’m leaning Das Boot.

    Courage Under Fire (Denzel and Meg Ryan) is an honorable mention.

    Liked by 1 person

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