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REVIEW: American Sniper

American Sniper closeup

American Sniper
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Jason Hall (screenplay), Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and James Defelice (book)
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner and Jake McDorman

A recurring theme in Clint Eastwood’s films is the intersection of an individual with their public image and the scrutinies that follow it.  American Sniper is another rumination on this theme, a weary dissection of the American soldier dressed up as a chest-thumping defense of the War on Terror.  Adapted from a 2012 memoir of the same name, Eastwood’s latest tells the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history who participated in nearly every major phase of the post-9/11 war in Iraq.

We first see Kyle as we saw him in the movie’s nail-biting trailer, examining a Marine convoy from a rooftop and watching as a child and his mother exit a building with an explosive device.  She hands it to him, and Kyle has to make the call on whether or not to pull the trigger.  He does, not once but twice, shooting the child and then the woman right as she prepares to toss the device.  It explodes inches from the convoy he was protecting.

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