Saving Private Ryan
Spielberg's masterpiece about World War II, which begins with a shocking 25–minute sequence portraying the chaos and carnage at Omaha Beach, manages to honor the heroism of American soldiers without glorifying war. After his troop is decimated at Normandy, Lt. Miller (Hanks) is assigned to a public relations mission to rescue Private Ryan (Damon), a paratrooper the army wants to send home because his three brothers have been killed in combat. The search for Ryan is a harrowing journey through German-occupied French countryside, during which Miller's group (Burns, Sizemore, Davies, Diesel, Goldberg, Pepper, Ribisi) suffers several losses and begins to question their sacrifices for the sake of saving one man. Damon, Burns and Sizemore each give impeccable performances and several unforgettable moments come from virtual unknowns, namely Davies as Corporal Upham, a frightened pacifist, and Ribisi as the heroic Medic Wade. With it's unflinching story, brilliant directing and moving performances, Saving Private Ryan will no doubt be a well-deserved winner at the Oscars.
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