Movie Review: American Sniper (2014)

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Remember what I said about my opinion on bio-pics that I shared during my review of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”? If you don’t then let me remind you; I said that I will simply judge them as movies and not how accurate it is to the real life event. And now you will keep that in mind while I review this bio-pic.

In this movie we follow Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper). Like I just said, he is a sniper for the Navy SEALs, a pretty damn good sniper for them. And we get to follow him as he goes on tours to Iraq to take out terrorists, but we also get to see parts of his civilian life with his wife Taya (Sienna Miller). Now the plot for the movie was pretty good. I didn’t love it like a lot of other people and I will explain why. Of course it is interesting to see him go to Iraq and see him shoot the terorists over there, those parts are really interesting. And it is interesting(ish) to see how he handles family life. However I felt like the plot was kind of thin. One thing that would have made it more interesting and even the movie touched ever so slightly. And that is how Kyle gets PTSD. We get hints at it in the movie but it is nver fully explored which is a shame because it would have made the plot that much more interesting. While the plot wasn’t bad, it wasn’t that great either.

Bradley Cooper was fantastic in this movie. He gave a very nuanced and subdued performance. I have been impressed with some of his later films in recent years, he has really become a terrific actor. I honestly thought all performances in the movie were good. Sienna Miller was also really good. But… despite the performances in this movie being really good, none of the characters were interesting at all. Okay, Chris Kyle was of course really interesting and his wife was fairly interesting, but everyone else were basically like plastic lawn chairs… they filled the space but did nothing more.

One thing that was really interesting about the music in “American Sniper” is that there barely is any. To be honest, there were only really three tracks in the entire movie. And before you start thinking that said three tracks would be used to death, they weren’t. They were used at about one point each. One is Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” that is used during Chris and Taya’s wedding. The second one is callec “Taya’s theme” and was done by Clint Eastwood. And the third one is the Ennio Morricone classic “The Funeral”. And really, I had no problems with the short and rarely used soundtrack. It gave scenes so much more than if they had music simply because the studio said “You have to have music there!”.

I know I haven’t sounded like the most positive guy so far in the review, so let’s give some praise. This movie looks fucking fantastic! But this is something that was really obvious to me since even though Clint Eastwood has made some not very good movies lately, they have still been really well-directed. Clint Eastwood is a master-class director and he shows it here with how he handles the camera work. And the action scenes in this movie are really intense. Whenever a scene that involved shooting in this movie my heart was pounding and that is not something that is easy to achieve. The scenes had intensity and they hit hard and really elevated this movie to a whole different level. Also, did you guys also notice the fake baby? It was pretty fucking weird. Just sitting there like a brick in Bradley Cooper’s arms.

This movie was really well-received among people and critics alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound Editing. It was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. 

“American Sniper” is a mixed bag. On one hand it features a fantastic lead performance from Bradley Cooper, good use of music, excellent and suspenseful sniping/shooting scenes and some fantastic direction from Clint Eastwood. However it is brought down a bit by a fairly thin plot and not having that many interesting characters. Time for my final score. JEFF! ENVELOPE! Thank you! *Bullet hits Jeff*. Welp, he got sniped. My final score for “American Sniper” is an 8,62/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “American Sniper” is completed.

It looks like Clint fuckin’ Eastwood can still make good movies.