American Sniper

american sniper
BIOGRAPHY, WAR, DRAMA
2014

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood CAST: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Sammy Sheik, Cory Hardrict, Jake McDorman, Jonathan Groff
AWARDS:

  • Academy Awards
    • NOMINEE
      • Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Bradley Cooper); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Achievement in Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

RATING – 5.4 out of 10

  • Acting – 6 out 10
    • The shining star in this film is Bradley Cooper. He gives an excellent performance, so much so that Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya, said she almost forgot she was watching an actor portray him. But while Bradley Cooper played the man so well, Sienna Miller was not a good choice to play his wife. She was wooden and monotone in several scenes and then overly-emotional in others.
  • Writing/Dialogue – 6 out of 10
    • The writing is fairly decent. I wouldn’t say astounding or magnificent. But good enough.
  • Diversity – 1 out of 10
    • The is chauvinistic, white male supremacy at it’s finest. The two women in the film are portrayed as helpless, self-centered sirens. The first: an ex-girlfriend who, after Cooper walks in on her with another man, proclaims that the only reason why she does this is to get attention. The second: his wife, who we’re clearly meant to hate for not understanding his “selfish” need to save everyone, but his own family. And then of course we have our misogynistic, possessive lines that the female characters are too naïve to see as anything but charming. This has been a terrible year for female characters, but this one takes the cake for the worst.
    • And then there’s our POC’s, almost all of whom are playing insurgents, or if they’re not an insurgent, they’re harbouring insurgents. But there are a couple of black actors playing Marines who get to say a few lines here and there. In my short tedium of military service, it was almost always 50% POC, sometimes more sometimes less. So why are there only two black people in this film?
  • Visual Effects – 7 out of 10
    • They were small but good.
  • Cinematography & Art Direction – 5 out of 10
    • It’s a war movie. Once you’ve seen one war movie, you’ve seen all war movies.
  • Musical Score & Sound Editing – 9 out of 10
    • Best aspect of the film. The sound was excellent.
  • Costumes, Makeup, & Hairstyling – 6 out of 10
    • Costumes were great. Makeup was grueling, but the blood seemed a little too red to me.
  • Plot/Story – 3 out of 10
    • They did a fantastic job painting him as this saint, this American hero, who suffered from PTSD. But they did not give us the entire story. They didn’t tell us about how Chris Kyle claims to have, of his own volition, shot at looters during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to “restore law and order”. They didn’t tell us how he relished the killing in the war, and that he didn’t care if it was man, woman, or child. It was a sport for him. (And these are all things he said in his autobiography.) In fact, they made us believe the complete opposite. Anytime a child was in his scope, he silently wheedled them to put down the weapon so he wouldn’t have to shoot them. It is clear that the filmmakers attempt here is to perpetrate some patriotic agenda, to remind us that we are the greatest and most powerful nation in the world, and that we are also the most merciful and trustworthy. That is what they would have us believe, but I’m not buying it.
    • Also, why is he always on the SAT phone, making calls to his wife, when he’s on a mission? I feel like he would have never been allowed to do that. And if he did do that then he was a selfish ass for jeopardizing those missions and putting everyone at risk. But I’m sure it was just part of the Hollywood drama of it.
  • Time – 10 out of 10
    • Felt just about right for a war movie. It flowed really well.
  • Grandiosity vs. Humility – 1 out of  10
    • It fails on account of its falsifying of facts to manipulate its audience. Also, it’s meant to be an über-Patriotic film.
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One thought on “American Sniper

  1. i couldn’t disagree with you more about the diversity section of your critique. You say that the film was degrading to women and didn’t have enough POC in it… This is his recollection of his life. So why would Clint Eastwood fabricate his story by adding more POC when that wasn’t his account. You cannot lower a rating because a director didn’t fabricate the color of some of Kyle’s friends. This was a more accurate depiction of his experience. Making half of his friends POC wouldn’t be accurate. Don’t take this personally…I just disagree with your critique.

    Like

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