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American Sniper

Coming Soon

Chris Kyle was an American patriot, a benumbed cowboy living by the basic rules of good versus evil. He’s played convincingly-well by a bulked-up Bradley Cooper. The Academy-nominated actor’s physical transformation and Texan portrayal are astonishing and accurate, but somewhat overhyped. Kyle received his reputation as the ‘Legend’ during his multiple tours in Iraq. He notched an incredible 160+ confirmed kills throughout his SEALs career. The keystone of Cooper’s performance is Kyle’s acquiescent demeanor in the thralls of human execution, but he falls flat outside of that scenario.

American Sniper’s war scenes are suspenseful and gritty; Eastwood carefully addresses the horror of urban battle without leaning on gratuitous violence, although the movie tends to devolve into your typical war movie tropes and cliches at times. This misstep is never more prevalent than during the film’s constant flash backs and in-between Kyle’s tours of duty. Sienna Miller is awkward as Taya Kyle, Chris’s wife and mother of his children. Cooper and Miller’s chemistry is non-existent, which contributes little in building the audiences sympathy for this family’s emotional journey. Also…the fake baby is inexcusable. Chris Kyle’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is glossed over in favor of the film’s Call of Duty action sequences. The movie does have a beginning, middle and end, but nevertheless feels incomplete by not fully exploring the negative effects of Kyle’s war heroics.

I’m not particularly impressed with Clint Eastwood’s war drama, I don’t believe it is worthy of the hype, which as of this morning also includes an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. It’s good, but it’s not great.

American Sniper is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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