Cinema: The Best of 1998 Cinema

1 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN The director of Schindler's List surely knows that World War II was morally necessary. So it is a measure of Steven Spielberg's maturity that by opening Saving Private Ryan with what may be the most unforgettably brutal sequence in the history of war movies--his astonishing re-creation of the Omaha Beach landing--he forces us to wonder if any cause can justify such carnage. It is a measure of his growth as a questioning humanist that the rest of his tense, brilliantly wrought epic puts men in mortal peril as they attempt to rescue a soldier whose life is...