American Sniper | Indy Week

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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.

See our full review: Clint Eastwood's biopic of a deadly <i>American Sniper</i> downplays the unsavory details of Chris Kyle's life

Clint Eastwood's biopic of a deadly American Sniper downplays the unsavory details of Chris Kyle's life

American Sniper opens in Triangle theaters on Friday. »

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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