Quick Review: American Sniper (2015)

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A heavily bearded and bulked-up Bradley Cooper stars in this gripping and Oscar nominated true-story account of the deadliest sniper in US military history.

As both actor and director, Clint Eastwood (Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima) has been no stranger to war films and those centred on macho men-of-action. In this tense biopic, which at times resembles a first-person shooter, Eastwood charts the life of Navy Seal Chris Kyle on his way to becoming an American legend by clocking up 160 kills over four tours and 1000 days of action in Iraq. With its focus on the male psyche, this ultra-patriotic salute to Kyle as a hero of the ‘best country in the world’ is pitched somewhere between Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and her most recent offering Zero Dark Thirty. However, despite the film’s success in engaging the viewer during the tightly directed action scenes, you can’t help but feel that a deeper exploration of the film’s shocking final revelation would have been far more worthwhile. Overall, American Sniper is both engaging and gripping, but lacks the critical edge required to cut through the ‘Hoo-rah‘s and ‘Get some‘s to explore the humans behind the assault rifles. As a result, it’s not quite Oscar-worthy.

★★★★☆      IMDb: 7.7      Rotten Tomatoes: 73% 

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