American Sniper Review

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American-Sniper-Movie-PosterAt last, Clint Eastwood is back in fine form with American Sniper, a gripping, must-see movie based on the true experiences of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in the country’s military history. Even if you don’t like war movies (I find them particularly hard to watch), this riveting, harrowing and important film will make you think or rethink your sentiments about American military conflict and service, and shake you to the corps.

Bradley Cooper is almost unrecognizable as himself, but eerily similar to the real Chris Kyle, according to friends and family, after putting on about 40 pounds of muscle and a beard to play the lead. He is mesmerizing as a patriotic Texan who truly believes that it is his role in life is to protect and serve. Kyle’s uncanny accuracy makes him invaluable to American forces in Iraq, but also conflicted about his role as husband and father back in the states. This may sound like the familiar theme of Hurt Locker and Fort Bliss (the latter exquisitely told from a female perspective), but let me assure you, this is different. If you’ve already read the book of the same title that the film is based on, you won’t be disappointed, and if you haven’t read the book, you will, in the end, be stunned.

Sure, there’s harsh language and violence, but without it the film would be painfully short on realism and impact. At 84, Eastwood’s directing missteps on films like Jersey Boys, J. Edgar and Hereafter, all which could have been much better than they were, can be forgiven. American Sniper is a movie Eastwood was meant to make, and in his very capable hands, it’s a worthy tribute to a tormented American hero. Even if you avoid R-rated films, you won’t be sorry you saw this one.

Rated R

2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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