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Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015

‘American Sniper’ review: Chris Kyle remember in powerful film

Just as Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker before it, American Sniper is a powerful commentary on the wars in the Middle East. Director Clint Eastwood captures the legacy of Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper) and his experiences in a moving and compelling film, worthy of Oscar recognition.

Based on the book by the same title, American Sniper is Kyle’s biography through four tours over seas as “The Most Lethal Sniper in American history.” The story gives a short flashback to credit Kyle’s father for instilling a sense of honor and responsibility with a clear and concise sheep, wolves and sheepdog analogy.

Bradley Cooper shines in "American Sniper"

Bradley Cooper shines in “American Sniper”

Kyle meeting his future wife, who struggles greatly with the absence of her husband, serves as another layer of the sacrifice from military families which is underappreciated.

Eastwood taps into the morality of the difficult decisions of a sniper: whether to shoot a child or woman carrying a grenade to attack the marines sweeping a town. There are gut wrenching horrors of Islamic militants which are more like a scene from Silence of the Lambs than a war film.

Cooper’s performance is great, but no necessarily Oscar worthy. The film, on the other hand, is truly fantastic, fast paced and never shies away from dropping a new dark and disturbing reality of war into the lap of the audience: the loss of comrades, the struggles of PTSD and the near impossiblity of the missions.

Kyle’s wife (Sienna Miller) is the only character the audience can connect to since the faceless soldiers move across the screen, in and out of Kyle’s life, faster than we can grow attached.

Overall American Sniper receives 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

The film has a rushed ending, leading into the tragic death of Kyle, offering little context of his recovery other than “helping others.” One of the scenes with the newborn daughter uses a “mechanical doll” which is distracting due to the poor effects.

Sure to start conversations and debate about war, Kyle’s heroism and Eastwood’s legacy, American Sniper will be a film talked about for a while.

American_Sniper_movie poster

 

About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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  1. Bill Maher on ‘American Sniper': Chris Kyle is ‘psychopath patriot’ as film smashes box office - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Check out the full review on The Dispatch HERE […]

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