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American Sniper

War . Action . Biography . Drama

U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle takes his sole mission—protect his comrades—to heart and becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. His pinpoint accuracy not only saves countless lives but also makes him a prime target of insurgents. Despite grave danger and his struggle to be a good husband and father to his family back in the States, Kyle serves four tours of duty in Iraq. However, when he finally returns home, he finds that he cannot leave the war behind.

Actors: Marnette Patterson , Keir O'Donnell , Elise Robertson , Ben Reed , Cole Konis , Kyle Gallner , Bradley Cooper , Luke Sunshine , Troy Vincent , Brandon Salgado Telis
Directors: Clint Eastwood
Country: USA
Release: 2015-01-16
More Info:
  • Richard Corliss

    It shows Eastwood, at 84, in his finest directorial effort since the 2008 "Gran Torino," while painting on a much broader canvas. Utterly in command of his epic material, he films the Iraqi action in terse, tense panoramas with little cinematic editorializing, as if he were an old Greek or Hebrew God who is never surprised at man’s ability to kill his fellow men, or to find reasons to do so. Directing 34 films over 44 years, Eastwood has honed his craft to its essentials: make it seem as if the story is telling itself.

    Time Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The moral alertness of the film is of the level normally confined, in military pictures, to talky courtroom scenes, yet Eastwood skillfully works dilemmas into propulsive and suspenseful action.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Unlike many post 9/11 war movies, American Sniper goes easier on the gung ho, with a third act leavened by Chris' depressed denial, his "hurt locker" of stored regret. Eastwood is less concerned with action heroism than the consequences of deadly action, how it chips away at the living.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Finding words for the starring performance is easy. After breaking through as a brilliant comic actor in “The Hangover,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Mr. Cooper turns out to be just as brilliant at intensely dramatic inwardness. In his extraordinarily austere portrayal, Kyle’s silences are eloquent, his impassivity interesting, his inner conflicts implied without a trace of sentimentality.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    American Sniper is at its best when it deals with the assembly-line-of-death relentlessness of combat for Kyle, how it simultaneously consumes him and wears him down, and how, to his wife's distress, it turns the civilian life he returns to between tours of duty into the aberration, not the norm.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    American Sniper isn’t some flag-waving political movie. It’s a powerful, intense portrayal of a man who was hardly the blueprint candidate to become the most prolific sniper in American military history. And yet that’s what happened.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    American Sniper may be the hardest, truest movie ever made about the experience of men in war. Why? Because there’s no glory in it.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    One of the more tough-minded and effective war pictures of post-American-Century American cinema. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Eastwood, working from a script that Jason Hall adapted from Kyle's 2012 memoir, fuses the explosive and the sorrowful as only he can. That's why his film takes a piece out of you.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The movie not only represents the best effort from Eastwood since his Oscar-winning "Million Dollar Baby" but the finest acting we have seen thus far from two-time nominee Bradley Cooper.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Clint Eastwood startlingly grips the audience with his sense of hypnotic silence, which carries suggestions of what might be termed politically apolitical pragmatism.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    What we're left with is something sobering but searing, muscular but compassionate.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It's Cooper's movie, and, although he has been good in pretty much everything we've seen him in, there is a depth to this performance we haven't seen before. It's a tricky balance: As the legend grows, the man diminishes. Cooper and Eastwood do an exceptionally good job of maintaining that.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Neil Smith

    Cooper’s performance grounds a solid, authentic drama – Eastwood’s best since Letters From Iwo Jima – that is less about one single field of combat than the price of war itself.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    Oscar heralds will no doubt dub it "The Hurt Locker" for snipers, but the fitting combo of Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper have created a thrilling Iraq war story that manages to both honour the necessities of heroism and ruminate on what heroism might cost a man.

    Empire Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    American Sniper is a superbly subtle critique made by an especially young 84-year-old.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    The best movies are ever-shifting, intelligent and open-hearted enough to expand alongside an audience. American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s harrowing meditation on war, is built on this foundation of uncommon compassion.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Denby

    Eastwood has become tauntingly tough-minded: “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he seems to be saying. And, with the remorselessness of age, he follows Chris Kyle’s rehabilitation and redemption back home, all the way to their heartbreaking and inexplicable end.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    A taut, vivid and sad account of the brief life of the most accomplished marksman in American military annals, American Sniper feels very much like a companion piece—in subject, theme and quality—to The Hurt Locker.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Just as “The Hurt Locker” found revelatory depths in Jeremy Renner, so American Sniper hinges on Cooper’s restrained yet deeply expressive lead performance, allowing many of the drama’s unspoken implications to be read plainly in the actor’s increasingly war-ravaged face.

    Variety Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Beefed up and twanging like a true cowboy, Cooper nonetheless carries the full weight of his character's achievements - and the questions that come with them - as he tries to find his footing back on Texas soil. If American Sniper fails at being a truly great film, it is no fault of its star.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    While the movie is narrow, it has a deep, melancholic resonance.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Eastwood and screenwriter Jason Hall have made as good a film as could be made from the substance of Kyle’s life and career. But greatness was never a possibility, not with a protagonist not all that interesting and with the surrounding circumstances making it impossible to go deeper and risk the movie’s critique of Kyle’s becoming overt.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    The battle scenes are alternately tense and thrilling, especially during one climactic sequence.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Taking potshots at American Sniper is like shooting fish in a barrel. So why should war-weary Americans see it? Because Eastwood remains a masterful action director, and this may be his last hurrah. Because Cooper is one of our best young actors, and he poured a lifetime of craft into stilling his character’s heartbeat.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Expertly shot and choreographed in Eastwood’s clean, unfussy style, the Iraq sequences are taut, harrowing and at times excruciatingly suspenseful, particularly a setpiece in which Kyle faces off against his Iraqi counterpart, a superb sniper who has made it his mission to take down the American sharpshooter.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Clint Eastwood’s second film this year, American Sniper, about the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, is considerably better than his first, “The Jersey Boys.” As a piece of direction, it’s as taut as anything he’s ever done.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    American Sniper's wartime sequences are well-paced and harrowing, reminiscent of those in 2008's "The Hurt Locker." Like that film, Sniper can be interpreted either as a patriotic salute or as an incisive anti-war movie. In either case, it's a powerful, moving and tragic tale.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    American Sniper is imperfect and at times a little corny, but also ambivalent and complicated in ways that are uniquely Eastwoodian.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Cooper, to his credit, rarely flinches, never chest-thumps and never loses his cool, even when Kyle is starting to lose his. It’s a masterful interpretation of a man with a lot more on his mind and blood on his hands than he was ever inclined to let on. And it’s a performance worthy of Eastwood himself — 50 years ago.

    Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Another war biopic opening on Christmas day, with tight, two-fisted direction by Clint Eastwood, and a compelling centerpiece performance by Bradley Cooper.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Michael Nordine

    Propulsive battle sequences in which sandstorms make the fog of war quite literal are the ostensible focus of American Sniper, but the real tension comes from our anticipation of how they'll affect the life this sharpshooter is reluctant to return to until he feels he's done everything he possibly can.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    To its credit, the film shows no interest in creating blind heroics but instead uphold the nickname Kyle earned in Iraq: the Legend.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Charlie Schmidlin

    Eastwood wisely trains the camera on Cooper's face and keeps it there — he knows his actor can carry the story’s emotion when other aspects fail it.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    Eastwood doesn’t care about the legend. Instead, he shows us Kyle much as he saw his targets: with that strange combination of extreme intimacy and extreme remove that a long-range sight confers.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Less a war movie than a western — the story of a lone gunslinger facing down his nemesis in a dusty, lawless place — it is blunt and effective, though also troubling.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    It’s a cracker­jack piece of filmmaking, a declaration that he’s (Eastwood) not yet ready to be classified as an Old Master, that he can out-Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow. Morally, though, he has regressed from the heights of Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). In more ways than one, the Iraq occupation is seen through the sight of a high-powered rifle. The movie is scandalously blinkered.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    [Clint Eastwood's] gripping, incurious film gives the impression of having not so much been directed as dictated. It stares so fixedly down the rifle sight that it is finally guilty of tunnel vision.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    If the star does his utmost to make a one-dimensional character interesting, his director, Clint Eastwood, adapts Kyle's memoir — a life story rife with moral complexity — by hammering it flat.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is a film that evokes complicated emotions. A month after seeing it, you might still be wrestling with whether it's powerful, profound, or propaganda.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The film is rarely dull; it's one life-and-death sequence after another, and the filmmaking's efficient, crisply delivered. But Eastwood honors his subject without really getting under his skin.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    A lesser filmmaker, and a lesser actor, might have made American Sniper into an unthinking bit of jingoism. Eastwood and Cooper keep finding respectful complexities in Kyle’s story, until the film reveals itself as too simple to have much use for them.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Overall, American Sniper is a solidly-staged but unexceptional picture, filled with overly familiar dramatic situations and a surprisingly blindered view of the world around its central character.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Ben Nicholson

    Despite a delicate handling of Kyle's internal struggles on home soil, deeper complexity appears to lie just out of frame throughout.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    The humble Kyle onscreen is Kyle with his flaws written out. We're not watching a biopic. We're watching a drama about an idealized soldier, a patriot beyond reproach, which bolsters Kyle's legend while gutting the man.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    Director Clint Eastwood‘s focus on Kyle is so tight that no other character, including wife Taya (Sienna Miller), comes through as a person, and the scope so narrow that the film engages only superficially with the many moral issues surrounding the Iraq War.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Eastwood has directed five war movies and acted in others, and he knows there’s no single truth to convey about combat.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    American Sniper is by no stretch a critique of the U.S. involvement in Iraq; Eastwood leaves larger questions of politics and policy entirely outside the frame of his story, an approach not uncommon in modern war films of any political stripe.

    Slate Full Review
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