Comparisons with Spielberg's contemporaneous Saving Private Ryan have been made and made again. Leave them to one side. You must see both these films. Thin Red Line has the compelling quality of not being constrained by a narrative. It really seems to follow the fortunes of a group of men at war without concern for dramatic effect, plot, or any of the things which are so absent from our own real lives - whether we're at war or on our daily commute. Thus the great action scenes happen early on, then fade out. And time after time after time, the viewer is left thinking "does it end now?". Infantrymen in the Pacific must have thought the same. Does this make for a fun, unchallenging evening's cinema? No. If you want one, go elsewhere. But the battle scenes, though different to Ryan, have a similarly authentic feel; and many of the cameo performances are great. Put in the effort and watch this film.