American Sniper Review

Preface

  • After this movie was nominated for, what?, 7 or 8 Oscars I decided, hey let’s go see American Sniper!
  • So American Sniper is about this guy named Chris Kyle who is assumed to be the deadliest sniper in the history of America.
  • And it isn’t only a really solid war movie, but it’s a good movie!

Cast and Characters

  • Bradley Cooper–I’m sorry. 3 Time Academy Award Nominee Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle in this movie and he does a good job!
    • Now that I’ve seen the movie, I can’t say that he’s entirely deserving of his Oscar nomination for the role, but I’m happy he got one.
      • He’s good in the movie!
    • This is a departure from a lot of the movies Cooper had done before, too. (And not just the Hangover trilogy.)
      • He does have a lot of the emotion that he had in Silver Linings Playbook, but he also has a really strong conveyance of care towards his family and shows what you would imagine a four-tour military veteran to appear as.
        • Stoic, but not emotionless.
      • I just wish Cooper had given a little more emotion at points in the movie.
        • There are times where you recognize he and his wife are going through a hard time, and his wife is really upset, but he doesn’t show a ton of emotion.
        • Granted he does show some throughout, but I wish there were one or two actual emotional breakdowns in the movie to reinforce the character’s strong PTSD.
        • We know Cooper has that stronger emotion from Silver Linings Playbook, and while it’s good in American Sniper, I wish it felt larger and really sad.
          • That way we could see a breakdown scene and say, “yep, there’s his Oscar clip.”
        • But I thought that the character of Chris Kyle was really well portrayed on screen.
          • I understand that there were some differences from the book (which I haven’t read), but let’s talk about the film character.
        • I really liked the motivation, sense of determination, and patriotism that Chris Kyle has in the film.
          • It seems like so many people nowadays forget about the wars being fought, it was so great to see this character resound that America’s the greatest country in his eyes, and is worth fighting for.
          • I don’t know, I really liked that. We need more people like that.
        • But speaking of good performances, this actress Sienna Miller plays Cooper’s wife in the movie and why isn’t she nominated for anything?
          • She was more human and more emotional than Keira Knightley in my opinion, though both were really good.
          • If you ask me, Sienna Miller should have easily overthrown Meryl Streep from the nomination list.
          • She plays a great, sad, loving character in this movie that is conflicted and could have failed in the hands of a lot of other actresses.
          • You’ll hear her named rumored for a lot more in Hollywood now.
        • And I love how it was the Cooper/Miller chemistry that topped this movie off.
          • Yes the film is about Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, but it also has such a strong family element in it too that tied it together.
          • The romance in this movie reminded me of The Theory of Everything’s romance, only this one was ruined by ‘the other man’ halfway through.
          • I loved seeing these two characters meet, and fall in love, and work together through all the good times and bad. The two had great and beautiful chemistry together.

Direction

  • I know that Steven Spielberg and David O. Russell were both signed on to direct this movie at different points, but it actually turned out really well in the hands of Clint Eastwood.
  • Eastwood made the film feel realistic in the portrayal of war and the grinding pace.
  • What I loved most about this movie is that it doesn’t portray war as this glorious thing that you get honor and respect from.
    • The film shows how dirty, intense, and crippling a war is to your mental state.
    • So many kids and teenagers play Call of Duty, they think that picking the best gun is the most important thing there is.
      • But this movie just shows how war isn’t the greatest thing ever, and reaffirms that it really is one of the worst.
    • The intensity this movie holds is great, with multiple nail-biting scenes that you’ll want to hold you breath during.
  • I also was interested by the grinding pace this movie had.
    • Though I do think the movie felt a little bit too drawn out, I think that it took the right amount of time it needed to tell this story.
    • This isn’t a 1-hour History Channel documentary, this had to be told in the 2hr. 15min. runtime that it had.
    • I did think at a point though, that it could’ve condensed the final act down a bit, one section in particular.
      • And at that section I was just taken out of it a bit and had to think, “where is this movie going and how much longer do we have?”
    • But overall, I did think Clint Eastwood did a good job directing this movie.

In Conclusion

  • In conclusion, American Sniper was a very well done war film and good movie in general.
  • Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller both gave great performances that deserve recognition, though I wish the former’s was a little more emotional than it already was.
  • I liked the characters both actors portrayed and the directing was really good, especially the un-glorification of war.
  • The movie is, however, a little too long in the 3rd act and could’ve been condensed a little bit.
  • This is definitely a positive movie that I would recommend checking out, though.

3.5/5

  • Much like Cooper’s nomination, I don’t know that this is one of the eight best pictures of the year, but I’m happy it did get nominated!

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on American Sniper! What are your thoughts on this movie if you’ve seen it? Let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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