Review by Lynn resident Steve Duffy –
“American Sniper” is based on Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle’s autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.
Kyle is a Texas cowboy who enlists after the 1998 bombings of American embassies. He finds his true calling in the Navy and is proud to be serving and feels it is his patriotic duty to kill the bad guys or “savages” as he calls them.
The film toggles between Kyle’s personal life that he has left behind and his life in battle. Before shipping out, he marries Taya (Sienna Miller). His four tours of duty in Iraq start to place a strain on his marriage and family. The post-battlefield of trying to readjust to home life could have been done a little better than it was.
Cooper is definitely dedicated to this role and the depth of his performance proves that. He does a great job of portraying the troubling realities of war and the toll that it takes on one’s personal life and psyche.
Miller’s performance as Kyle’s cynical and suffering wife is good. She believes in her husband and will do anything to get him the support he needs.
Confirmed with 160 kills, Kyle is believed to be the most lethal sniper in U.S. history.
I did like the fact that Eastwood kept the politics of the war out of the film. It was not about discussing the war; it was all about focusing on the inner conflict with his main character.
This is Clint Eastwood’s best directorial moment in a long time. He certainly allows the story to tell itself in a very respectful way.
R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references Run Time: 2 hr. 14 min.