Movie Review: American Sniper

American Sniper

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Staring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

‘American Sniper’ is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL team sniper who served four tours in Iraq. This was during the worst fighting in that war, and the things Kyle saw and did had a deeply disturbing effect on him and his family. This is shown in lucid detail in this movie.

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Based on Kyle’s own book of his experiences, it is very supportive of the U.S. troops and the war effort. But at the same time, it shows in graphic detail the blood and death and destruction of the fighting. It has a tone of being pro-military and supportive of the soldiers at the same time that it puts on display all the atrocities of war, showing the darkest side of all.

Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is a down-home Texas boy, drifting through his life. His younger brother Jeff looks up to his older sibling. But after 9/11, Kyle sees a new purpose in his life. He needs to protect his family and country. The only way to do that is to be in the military.

He becomes a Navy SEAL and is assigned to be a sniper, because of his ability to shoot straight and on long targets. He soon meets Taya (Sienna Miller) and they marry. Kyle is off to Iraq, where he and his rifle become legends. He serves his time protecting the Marines as they fight door-to-door. His accuracy saves countless lives, and Kyle feels good.

But the tours of duty go on and on. He and Taya have a child, and then another. He is never there at home when he serving overseas. Taya is frustrated that Chris will not talk about what is bothering him. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has become a part of Chris Kyle’s life.

On his final tour he has a chance to make a deadly acquaintance with a Syrian sniper (once in the Olympics) who has been taunting Kyle all these years. Kyle aims his deadly shot, and the Syrian sniper is no more. However, Chris Kyle has just given away his unit position to all of the armed rebels and terrorists in all of Baghdad. The resulting firefight is long and protracted, and his unit is under siege for a long time.

When Chris Kyle does make it home, he is despondent and unfulfilled. His life was serving and protecting his family from afar, over there. He finds it hard to make an adjustment. He finally sees that he can continue to serve and protect other soldiers, but not by being a sniper. He becomes a mentor and friend to all returning warriors who have been injured. He takes them to a shooting range to challenge them to overcome any obstacle.

With a tragic outcome, Chris Kyle was shot and killed by a troubled fellow veteran that he was attempting to help. Chris did not live to see his story played out in the screen.


Bradley Cooper has done an incredibly accurate job of portraying Chris Kyle. Cooper bulked up over 40 pounds of muscle, with strength and agility to show the dedication of Kyle. Cooper studied his speech pattern and the way he moved and behaved. His work in this movie is amazing.

Cooper turns Chris Kyle into a dedicated and devoted soldier. Playing a man who could kill from a great distance, yet knew the times to remain calm and not jump into revenge. Cooper does a convincing job to show the “1000-yard stare” that many people have when shell shocked. He is strong in his opinions, and he loves his family, yet he wants to be in the middle of the action, not at home.

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Clint Eastwood has done very sturdy job at creating the world of Chris Kyle. He makes it a believable world that goes between state-side and the dark alleys of Sadr City in Iraq. Eastwood takes a no-nonsense approach to give the story a wide range of emotions. First it rings a bell of patriotism, but later the bell fades slightly into an echo of weariness and retreat.

Was the man a true legend, or was he a tool of the imperialist American government? Perhaps you only need ask one of the soldiers who was saved because an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was NOTplanted in the roadway, thanks to Chris Kyle.

Length: 133 minutes
Rated: R

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