Top 10 War Movies

Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Edward Burns in Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (1998, Steven Spielberg) — World War II
From Richard Schickel's TIME review: "The D-Day landing on Omaha: seasick soldiers massacred the minute the ramps on their landing boats are lowered; other men clambering over the sides trying to avoid the fire, only to drown under the weight of their packs; the surf turning red with the blood of the slaughtered; some who make it to the narrow beach huddling immobilized yet pathetically vulnerable behind what little cover they can find ... It makes no difference. Whether you live or die here is entirely a matter of chance, not survival tactics. Spielberg's handheld cameras thrust us into this maelstrom, and his superb editing creates from these bits and pieces a mosaic of terror. We see as the soldiers see, from belly level, in flashes and fragments, none more vivid than the shot, rendered almost casually, of a soldier staggering along, carrying his severed arm — the struggle against mortality encapsulated in what amounts to a sidelong glance. It is quite possibly the greatest combat sequence ever made, in part because it is so fanatically detailed, in part because the action is so compressed — all that panic in such a tight spot — in part because the horror is so long sustained, for more than 20 relentless minutes."

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