What it’s about
During the Normandy invasion of World War II, Captain John Miller is assigned the task of searching for Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have already been killed in the war.
What you will learn from watching it
This film captures brilliantly just how grim World War II was, meaning if you don’t already understand just how grim war can be then this film makes it abundantly clear.
It also via use of the sole survivor directive which the US military practice shows just how difficult it is to choose which lives to save and which to sacrifice during war.
So there is much we can learn from this film, but this film’s strength is not in its ability to teach us something but more in its ability to make us think, and any film that can make you think has the power to change the way you think. Making this a very compelling watch for any person looking for a film that will help make them think about things in a way they perhaps otherwise would not have done so.
Is the story any good
Visually speaking this film is a masterpiece in the way it presents such a realistic and vivid account of what it was like on the front line during World War II. The opening sequence is especially impressive for its realism, basically Steven Spielberg has knocked it out of the park on the cinematography side of things.
But what makes this film stand out is it has substance to go with those visuals, as it tells an extremely powerful story which asks the question is it right to risk the lives of other soldiers to save one soldier, simply because that one soldier has lost all his siblings.
And it tells that story in a very good way. Which means yes the story is really good, which means writer Robert Rodat who penned the script has also along with Spielberg in his cinematography knocked it out of the park.
If you like war films, without a doubt. Even if you dislike war films, as long as you can stomach the grimness it is still likely worth watching because like said from a story perspective it tells a brilliant tale.
That means this film gets a definite thumbs up from me.
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Writer: Robert Rodat
Genre: drama, action, war
Runtime: 170 minutes