Movie Reviews

Blind Spot Series: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

saving-private-ryan-1998-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Steven Spielberg

Genre: Drama, War

Runtime: 169 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Jeremy Davies, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti

Plot: Set during World War II,  Captain Miller and his assembled crew are sent to find Private James Ryan and send him home. His 3 brothers have been killed in action and all 3 telegraphs are set to be sent on the same day to his Mother to inform her of the terrible news. To alleviate her grief the Chief of Staff decides that Ryan should be pulled from the war.

My Thoughts: War movies have never interested me, but in my recent quest to watch all Oscar Best Picture nominees when awards season rolls around, I found myself at the cinema to watch Hacksaw Ridge (2016) which exceeded all my expectations. I don’t think anyone can talk about war movies without at least thinking about Saving Private Ryan (1998) so the Blind Spot Series was a great opportunity to watch the classic and expand my horizons a little.

Straight away you’re hit with a wall of emotion. We see a survivor of the war in his old age, although we don’t know who, as he visits the graves of his brothers, and then we’re transported straight into one of the battles. It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s tense and uncomfortable to watch, and yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. We’re literally in the thick of it with these soldiers, and we’re in it for the long haul.

At just under 3 hours this is one of the longest movies I’ve watched, and so I made the decision to watch it in two sittings but to be honest, I could have happily watched it in one go, you don’t notice the time at all. There’s always something going on, and even in the quieter moments you know it’s just a build up to the next big thing.


Best Bit: I’ve always associated Giovanni Ribisi with the TV Show Friends, so much so that I can never remember his actual name, I call him Frank Jr. I know him from small, comedic roles so it was a surprise to see him here. He was AMAZING. The guy has some really incredible talent, and I can’t believe it’s the only serious role I’ve ever seen him in. He deserved award nominations for it, without a doubt.

Worst Bit: There’s no denying that Saving Private Ryan is an incredible movie. I’m not a converted war movie fan, though. Watching this, watching Hacksaw Ridge, watching Dunkirk (2017), they were amazing experiences, but to me, they aren’t ‘enjoyable’ in the same sense as other genres, if that makes any sense?

Fun Trivia: Steven Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Private Ryan because he wanted an unknown actor with an All-American look. He did not know Damon would win an Oscar for Good Will Hunting (1997) and become an overnight star before the film was released.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 pairs of standard-issue socks that you can turn into sticky bombs if needed.


blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.

16 thoughts on “Blind Spot Series: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

  1. wow! so glad u finally saws this film. It’s one of my all time faves and as great as it in on the small screen, there’s nothing like seeing this film on the big screen. A friend convinced me to go see it a second time because he knew that we would probably never have that opportunity again.
    I understand that you aren’t a fan of war movies, but this is the best one ever made IMHO and I still cant believe that Shakespeare in Love managed to beat this for Best Picture that year. (still hurting over that decision 21 years later) 🙂

    So happy u enjoyed this more than you thought!

    Keep em coming Allie!


    1. I can only imagine how amazing it must have been to see it on the big screen! I thought the same thing when I finally got around to watching Dunkirk at home, I wanted to kick myself for not seeing it in IMAX.
      I haven’t seen Shakespeare in Love yet but I’m shocked anything won over Saving Private Ryan to be honest.


  2. That opening sequence is intense as it just has that sheer impact of what to expect in battle as it’s unforgiving. I think that was one of the few times Spielberg decided to get his hands dirty and really show war as it is. Personally for me, The Thin Red Line was the better war film that year though both films would make a great double feature.


    1. It definitely set me up for what was to follow, that’s for sure. If I decide to step back into war movies soon I’ll make sure I see The Thin Red Line, thanks for the recommendation!


  3. Great Review, I definitely have to check this out soon! I remember seeing the opening sequence, but then I had to go, so I couldn’t finish it, but I will come back to it soon! Sounds great and I do love war movies


  4. Ahhhh, this is a great pick for a Blind Spot. I LOVE Saving Private Ryan. It’s absolutely fantastic. Damn, now I want to go home and rewatch. I love war movies though. Another excellent watch in the genre is Fury, if ever you would like to try another one 🙂 Great review!


      1. Yes it is 🙂 Well worth a watch. Would love to hear what you think about it!

        So this morning I booked tickets to see Saving Private Ryan on the big screen in June – they are doing a special screening. And this right after reading your review which had me wanting to watch this again! So now I’ll save it for June 😂


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