When it comes to war movies of recent years, Saving Private Ryan is widely regarded as one of the best and is another unforgettable movie in the career of filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
Hard to believe, but it was back in 1998 when Saving Private Ryan hit the big screen and, in two year's time, this iconic movie will be twenty years old.
Saving Private Ryan was the first film for Spielberg since Amistad and was the first time that he had tackled a war movie since Schindler's List five years earlier. It was to be another film that was to redefine the war genre.
While telling a fictional story, the movie is set during and after the invasion of Normandy in World War II on 6th June 1944.
Captain John H. Miller (Hanks) and his squad are sent on a mission behind enemy lines to find paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan, who is the last surviving brother of four servicemen.
The opening thirty minutes of Saving Private Ryan are some of the film's most powerful as Spielberg captures the horror of the Normandy landings.
Spielberg is not afraid to show the pain and terror of war and the scenes on Omaha Beach really are some of the most harrowing images of war ever brought to the big screen. It is the film's opening moments that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled and are as powerful today as they were back in 1998.
And while there are some great visual moments in the film, Saving Private Ryan is a very human story and is driven by the extraordinary action of these ordinary men.
It is another fantastic central performance from Hanks, who captures that everyman quality to Miller so beautifully. There is nothing flashy or heroic about Miller, he is just a man thousands of miles from home and his family fighting for his country and what he believes in.
Saving Private Ryan is not a film about 'how the Americans won the war' instead, it is a film that shows just how much so many sacrificed for freedom; a theme that resonates so powerfully throughout this film.
While this is a fictional tale, you can clearly see the respect and the gratitude that Spielberg feels towards all of those who fought and died during World War II.
From start to finish, Saving Private Ryan is a brutal and intense film that captures the brutality of war like we have never seen before. At the same time, the story is driven forward by the bond and the friendship of the central characters - a bond that can only be forged during war.
Saving Private Ryan was both a critical and commercial success upon release and went on to gross over $481 million at the global box office by the end of its theatrical run.
The film went on to be nominated for eleven Oscars, winning five; including Best Director for Spielberg. However, it remains a mystery to me as to how Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan to the Best Picture gong.
Nearly twenty years on, Saving Private Ryan remains one of Spielberg's best and most powerful movies and one of greatest war movies of all time.