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.
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A near-devastating portrayal of the life of a soldier, both in and out of combat. Haunting and patriotic, riding the line between glorifying and horrifying. It tries to dig a little deeper than most war films, rather than focus wholly on explosions and gunfire - but in the end its efforts and taut performances were overshadowed by internet losers crying "propaganda" (likely because a blogger told them to).
American Sniper was brilliant, and cannot simply be reduced to pro-war propaganda and/or an anti-Iraqi sentiment. To me, this is Clint Eastwood's finest work so far and Bradley Cooper has never been better. I almost gave it 5 stars if it wasn't for the fake plastic baby (oh boy) ...
***1/2. I had the feeling to see Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker once again. With different weapons but the same men lost in a war too complicated for them. Once you begin to think, the war is over for you. Interesting but not essential.
Eastwood's filmmaking has become as dull, reactionary & conservative as his personal politics. His monotonous colour scheme of desert storm beige, archaic approach to coverage & generally unadventurous editing seem only to reinforce the idea that this is a "serious" film. The jingoism, bible thumping & tasteless celebration of a killer for Oscar-bait credibility stinks of the worst kind of propaganda. A hateful film.
This movie was as fake as the baby in Cooper's arms. Although Cooper isn't himself bad in the film, and there are a few great scenes, all in all, this is an awful script, full of shallow character development, wholly predictable and unoriginal. Even though it claims to show the horrors of war, this film still deifies Kyle as a hero, depicts all Iraqis as bad guys, and overall leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Yet again, I disagree with criticism about the portrayal of a certain group of people in a war film - it's a story told from the perspective of a combatant, and even then, a combatant that, while believing in the cause, struggles with his actions on a daily basis. Eastwood's direction is damn good, as is Cooper's performance. I didn't feel great coming out of the theater, but knew I just watched a very good film.
Long regarded as "the last of the classic filmmakers", Eastwood has basically appended a crystallized language code to a concentrationary practice of genres. Rarely his cinema is more than an applied academicism and this film, one of his worst, is a clear example of that. Instead of a Human complexity - see Ford, for example - all we have is a simplistic ideology, and a repellent one, with a simplistic narration.
A clean, straight forward story of a soldier's journey through a war. Not as suspenseful as a war film like this could've been, and not as emotionally devestating as a tragedy like this could've been, but still a good film – with an impressive clarity in its focus and themes.