American Sniper | Indy Week

American Sniper

Rated R 134 min. 2014

There's an impulse to write off this film as the politically conservative filmmaker Clint Eastwood's salute to the gung-ho patriotism of Chris Kyle (brilliantly portrayed by Bradley Cooper), the real-life Navy SEAL credited with more kills—officially 160, but probably more—than any sniper in U.S. military history. And that impulse is partly correct. But on a second viewing, the duality Eastwood injects into his film adaptation of Kyle's 2012 autobiography comes into focus. Kyle is a larger-than-life figure, nicknamed "Legend" by his comrades, but his four tours in Iraq take many ghastly turns. Eastwood steadfastly honors Kyle's service and heroism, refusing to tarnish it with any unsavory details of his real-life subject (such as alcoholism and post-war bar brawls). But the film also cast Kyle as an anachronism, a red-white-and-blue gunslinger in a world without white hats and black hats. In that respect, the film is an elegy for both a man and a mythology.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Jason Dean Hall and Chris Kyle

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Keir O'Donnell, Max Charles and Owain Yeoman

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