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January 16, 2015

American Sniper is an Exceptional War Epic

— Posted by Ryan

Action | Biography | Drama

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner

Writers: Jason Hall, Chris Kyle (book)


Synopsis: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.



We’ve all seen many war films as they seem to be a staple for the film industry. While it sometimes seems difficult to sift through so many of these films, there are a few that stand out. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is one of those stand out films.


With most war films you expect the gritty and loud moments of chaos (don’t worry American Sniper has that) but what makes American Sniper so engaging is the suspenseful stillness of the film. Given the title, it would seem obvious that a sniper would encompass those attributes, but it was a pleasant surprise as to how those attributes were portrayed. In the stillness suspense and tension are present but also great emotional depth. As Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is staring through the scope you can feel the conflict and anticipation of the shot he is about to take. Few words are said and interactions are limited but a full spectrum of emotions are apparent through his body language and facial expressions. At these moments you get to see a more human side of the soldier rather than the mindless instruments of war than we see in many other films.


The stillness of some scenes are emotionally intense

The stillness of some scenes are emotionally intense


Speaking of Bradley Cooper, his performance is absolutely amazing. I would say that his portrayal of Chris Kyle may be his greatest role yet. While it is apparent at times that it is Bradley Cooper playing the part, it’s a role that he fits into very well and makes it his own. His ability to convey so many emotions in many emotionally absent moments was astounding. He further developed the character with his struggles at home and the hints of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Supporting Actress Sienna Miller helped to further develop his character with a more than adequate performances as his wife Taya. While she didn’t have many moments to shine, she more than served her purpose by providing the at home conflicts that made Cooper’s character that much more dynamic.


I thought that Clint Eastwood did an excellent job of balancing the film. While many tend to enjoy a focus on the war battleground, Eastwood gave our suspense some moments of relief. In between the high intensity moments of war, Chris Kyle’s breaks at home provided an emotional depth that we usually don’t see in war torn characters. Being pulled to and from home to head back to war takes a toll on Kyle and his family. He feels it is his duty to serve yet also his duty to be there for his wife and children. This struggle brought about an intriguing topic when it comes to war. Many times we see a character’s journey home as a moment of salvation but with Chris Kyle, it’s an added moment of internal struggle.


The struggle between family and war balanced the film well


Overall I thought that American Sniper was an amazing film. Through Eastwood’s vivid imagery of war and dark, ominous tones to set the mood, I would classify this film as one of the better war films that I have seen. Bradley Cooper’s performance is amazing and he truly embodies the character of Chris Kyle. American Sniper took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would recommend this film to most anyone and look forward to my second screening.

American Sniper - 8.5 out of 10

A full spectrum war epic that’s engaging from beginning to end.

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who has written 330 posts on The Movie Blog

First and foremost, Ryan Brown is a fan. He has been an avid fan of both the theater and cinema since an early age and his passion for both has been continually growing ever since. When dissecting a film, he focuses on all elements of film-making including some fan/cult factors. He believes that character development is the foundation of a good film and usually starts his analysis of a film from there moving forward. His writing style may be influenced by his background of narrative and argumentative studies in the subject, but he tends to enjoy a more conversational style to better interact with the readers, unlike some other pretentious and pompous writers.

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