“American Sniper” may not be a movie for everyone. It takes the audience into a bloody war we don’t want to witness. It highlights of the life of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. We watch as he lines up each target in the crosshairs and decides whether or not to pull the trigger.
The movie takes essential highlights from each of Kyle’s four tours of duty in Iraq, his life leading up to his decision to enlist, his training as a Seal and his relationship with his wife Taya.
Mostly, though, this is a war movie. The scenes on patrol, sniping from rooftops and finding the bad guys are all very intense. In fact the film is rated “R” due to the violence portrayed (and the language used in intense situations).
Movie poster for ‘American Sniper.’ Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
Kyle is good at what he does, picking off the enemy. His motivation is to protect American troops. He witnesses a lot of evil out there. He kills a lot of enemy combatants. But little by little the reality of that evil takes over his life. It is hard for him to stand down and relax back into his life at home.
Time passes, his kids get bigger, and he gets some help. He starts helping wounded warriors get back their sense of self, using the gun range for therapy. As we learned a year ago in the news, this was the setting for his murder last February. His autobiography had already been published a year before his death. Bradley Cooper bought the rights to the book and Clint Eastwood directed this film based on it.
If you can handle war movies, you’ll probably be fine with this film. (Hurt Locker may have been even more intense than this.)
Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an acting Oscar for his very convincing portrayal of Kyle. American Sniper was nominated for Best Picture. Whether Cooper or the film will win an Oscar remains to be seen. But it has garnered other Oscar nominations, too … more chances to win the coveted statuette in technical categories or for Best Adapted Screenplay.