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Indyfreak's Movie Reviews (503)

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American Sniper 
American Sniper - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3.5/4 stars

I was surprised by how much controversy has arisen because of this film and its related content. So the main character is a sniper that's killed 160 people? Big deal, he's a soldier it's a part of their job to kill people in the end! So it's set during the Iraq War? Big deal, the American intervention in the Middle East is our generation's war and war films are always being made about the concurring conflict of the era.
By the way, neither plays a large role in the story as it is. It's Chris Kyle's story not that of the Iraq War or the army in general. It's not that big in scope and yet by focusing on this one exceptional individual it helps to make this intensely controversial and complicated operation abit more relatable, especially in regards to American veterans.
So is the movie any good in the end? Oh yeah. it's VERY good. As Chris Kyle, Bradley Cooper gives his best performance of his career and this is probably Clint Eastwood's best directorial work since Million Dollar Baby. Sienna Miller is the only major castmember alongside Cooper and she does a good job as well. You really feel the love and the frustration that she feels for her husband's experiences both abroad and at home.
It's actually a testament to Clint Eastwood's capabilities that the most unnerving moments actually take place state-side where in contrast to the security and safety he should feel at home, Chris Kyle instead struggles with coming to terms with the traumatic memories that his job entails. The action scenes taking place in Iraq are beautifully shot and often gripping set-pieces. People have complained (perhaps fairly) that Iraqi citizens get the short end of the stick in American Sniper. It is true that most are just enemy combatants trying to kill Americans or prove unhelpful. I'll be the first to mention that the movie by no means encourages this notion but just uses it to illustrate the unpredictable and often brutal nature of warfare-particularly as it's practiced today. The ending is probably the most appropriately courteous and gracious means to pay respect to Chris Kyle's service and his memory.


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