Rent American Sniper (2014)

3.6 of 5 from 952 ratings
2h 7min
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Synopsis:
Chris Kyle's (Bradley Cooper) mission is to protect his brothers in arms while being a prime target of insurgents. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to "leave no one behind". But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
Actors:
, , , Cole Konis, , , Luke Sunshine, , Brandon Salgado Telis, , , , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Andrew Lazar, Robert Lorenz, Peter Morgan
Voiced By:
Brad Abrell, Angel Oquendo, Katia Peel, Haley Powell
Writers:
Jason Hall, Chris Kyle
Others:
Joel Cox, John Reitz, Gary D. Roach, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
Studio:
Warner
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Drama, Thrillers
Awards:

2015 Oscar Best Sound Editing

BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2015
Run Time:
127 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
English, French, Italian
Subtitles:
Dutch, English, English Hard of Hearing, French, Greek, Italian, Italian Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • "One Soldier's Story: The Journey of American Sniper": Join director Clint Eastwood, cast and crew as they overcome enormous creative and logistic obstacles to bring the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2015
Run Time:
132 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles:
Castillian, Danish, Dutch, English, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, German Hard of Hearing, Icelandic, Italian, Italian Hard of Hearing, Norwegian, Swedish
Bonus:
  • "One Soldier's Story: The Journey of American Sniper": Join director Clint Eastwood, cast and crew as they overcome enormous creative and logistic obstacles to bring the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen
  • "The Making of Academy Award' Winning" American Sniper
  • Trailer

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Reviews (6) of American Sniper

US loves their guns. - American Sniper review by NC

Spoiler Alert

Watch Enemy at the Gates for a decent sniper movie. Makes this look a bit boring, although this has ten times the noise input.

Odd irony that the sniper was then killed on a shooting range by an-odd-american-with-a-gun. Appear to have a few of those in the States.

Still question the theraputic advantages of treating soldiers from a war zone, with obvious issues, by getting them to shoot guns. Painting i could understand. Playing with weapons of destruction.......maybe doubtful.

2015 and Americans still think is their God given right to carry firearms. Maybe when a few more mums get shot by their toddlers in the supermarket, they may at least consider slimming down the colossal amount of guns in easy circulation?

6 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Too long, too dull, too American - American Sniper review by RP

Spoiler Alert

Clint Eastwood is one of my favourite actors and directors. I like the way that he has matured as an actor from macho roles where he does little other than squint and curl his lip into what might be described as 'experienced old man roles'. As a director he has an easy, direct touch that can be quite subtle.

Having just watched one of his earliest films as an actor (his first Western, the obscure 'Ambush at Cimarron Pass' made way back in 1957) I looked forward to seeing his latest directorial effort 'American Sniper' - and I was disappointed.

The film is based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a wannabe cowboy who joined the US Navy SEALs (sort of a cross between the UK's SBS and SAS) at the ripe old age of 30, apparently out of a sense of patriotic duty, and went on to become the USA's most successful sniper during his service in Iraq. Bradley Cooper gives a good performance as Chris Kyle.

The film is, of course, a drama rather than a history, but Clint's sure-footed direction provides a sense of the danger and claustrophobic operational conditions and life and death choices that eventually lead Kyle to the edge of marital breakdown and post traumatic stress.

So far, so good - but while the direction is fine, the film suffers from a number of major problems as far as I'm concerned. It's long, it's dull, it's too American. I admire the love of country that most Americans have, but when film actors deliver over-patriotic lines and homespun religious sermons it comes across as bogus. Add to that the anti-war sentiment here in the UK over involvement in the Iraq war and it would have to be a far better film than this to impress me.

'American Sniper' has been immensely successful at the box office. I didn't dislike it, but I really did find it dull and very average, so I can only give it a very average 3/5 stars. Sorry Clint, but it's not a patch on 'Letters from Iwo Jima'.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Not brave enough - American Sniper review by Pete W

Spoiler Alert

I agree with NC. Enemy at the Gates is a much better film about the duel between two ace snipers. While this film attempts to address the personal trauma caused to soldiers by war, it doesn't have the nerve to really tackle the issues around whether war achieves anything. I suspect that the producers would have felt that it was unpatriotic to suggest that the Iraq War was at best pointless. Chris Kyle's status as a legend and hero has off course been cemented by his murder. This might have been a better film if it had taken Kyle's story as the basis for a drama, without such a close link to the real Kyle.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

American Sniper review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is a solid military story based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, the famed soldier that had 160 confirmed kills from his tours in Iraq. Unlike most military dramas, however, this film does away with most of the fat and keeps an impressive focus on the true tension. The opening scene is evident enough with a pulse-pounding moment that displays the anxiety of making tough calls in a dangerous situation. It’s an all too familiar scene for war movies, but Eastwood brings that special touch of humanity and personal struggle to a film packed with nerve-wracking suspense and violence.

Bradley Cooper plays Chris as a simple man who lives between two worlds. When in Iraq, he is a focused combat machine with precise efficiency. When stateside, he struggles to be a husband and a father in realm he finds harder to occupy. Chris makes it his mission to keep his wife safe as he’s been instilled since childhood from his father to protect his own. He dumps his dopey rodeo gig with his brother and joins the service to become a sniper. When deployed in Iraq, he is forced with the difficult task of dispatching hostiles against troops. He sits atop roofs, his eye buried in the scope, as he is forced to make the decision of which approaching individuals to shoot. Many of the targets come in the unsuspecting form of children. He spots a weapon in their hands and has mere seconds to determine the best course of action. Kill an unarmed civilian, you’ll face the consequences. Kill the insurgent too late, your squad could be dead.

Chris blinks and sweats mere seconds before he makes his most calculated decision to pull the trigger or not. He does his job well, but sacrifices his morality. Despite having fulfilled his duty, he still finds himself heading back to Iraq for longer stretches of time. Even after the birth of his kids, Chris still doesn’t feel safe until he has defeated his prime target that killed many of his men and civilians of the country. He promised protection to a family for information on the enemy, but failed to help them in one of the grizzliest moments. He watches helplessly as his comrades are buried one by one. If he can’t kill this one enemy, his rival being an expert assassin, all of this loss of life will have been for nothing. More importantly, it may haunt him for the rest of his days.

Eastwood makes an intelligent decision to make his war picture about the soldier and not about the war itself. There is no political statement about the conflict or a detailed examination of the enemy. We simply see Chris as a soldier who does his best to be a defender and how much of himself he loses by trying to fulfill that role. There is no padded on subplot or extra reasoning given for his inability to cope with American life after combat. The movie has no need for that. Chris is a simple man and this is a simple film about humanity. It’s plain to see from the gut-wrenching scenes of brutal violence that is treated with cold reality and little theatrics. We know what is going through Chris’ mind more or less and the movie doesn’t spoon feed it to the audience.

When not treated to the gritty war settings, we see Chris struggling just as hard to adapt to his home life. When he returns stateside, he finds himself drawn to a bar. He does not confess his problems to the barkeep or display any signs of despising his wife. He’s just there. He calls his wife and has no words for why he is there either. Maybe he just needs a breather before switching gears or maybe the bar is his temple. When he’s actually dealing with people, he’s a mess. After the birth of his baby girl, he bangs on the window of the nursery to alert the nurses that his baby is crying with nobody to console her. When some boys are roughhousing with a dog and the pooch gets the upper-hand, Chris finds himself mere seconds from bashing the dog’s brains in with a beer bottle.

Bradley Cooper completely sells the role of a soldier from his beefed up figure to his grizzled beard. He melts into Chris’ life whether he’s covered in combat armor or the trademark civilian clothes of a hoodie and baseball cap. There isn’t a moment where Cooper gets to eat up the scenery and there doesn’t need to be. It’s a remarkable performance for how simple and subtle it portrays the quiet and flawed life of a sniper. Eastwood has crafted a very telling war film that manages to be a raw vision of the 21st century soldier. It has so much to say in that it doesn’t say too much. What’s there on screen is what’s there and it doesn’t sugar coat to fit any proper drama or narrative. This is made all the more evident by an ending that doesn’t add anything extra to Chris’ eventual demise. All we get is our protagonist, his drive, his family, his mission and his behavior. It’s up to us to decide how we view him.

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