American Sniper – Movie Review

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Genre & Length: War/Action/Based on a true story, 132 minutes.

The Blurb:

Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

My Thoughts

Plot & Pacing: I heard mixed reviews about this movie long before I went to see it, and I do want to say right now that I haven’t read the book. I honestly had to Google Chris Kyle to find out more about the actual person.

The reviews I heard varied, often based on someone’s political leanings, which wasn’t really surprising.

The extremes on both ends of the spectrum made me wonder if I watched the same movie as those other people did.

This is a war movie. Whether or not the war is being waged directly against the United States, you have to be literally living under a rock to not know that the Middle East is in turmoil – and it would be whether there were US Armed Forces present or not.

But more than just a war movie, it is a movie about a man and his family. War is always brutal – always. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. Even in the most righteous of circumstances, the fact that at least one involved party would rather kill than bend makes that a reality.

And that brutality has a cost – especially for this directly involved on the front lines. These days, we know it as PTSD.

In many ways, that’s what this movie is really about. It’s not about the rights or wrongs of war – it’s about what it does to the soldiers fighting in it. It’s about what it does to their families. But it’s also about how that cost doesn’t have to be everything. A family can still survive – and thrive – despite the tragedy.

Pacing-wise, this movie did not feel nearly as long as it was, so that’s a definite plus.

Casting: I wasn’t familiar with any of these actors before seeing this movie, but I felt all the characters were portrayed well.

Music/Sound Effects: It’s no Lord of the Rings soundtrack, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t bad. Just… not memorable, at least to me.

Special Effects: People die in gruesome ways. I have no idea if they were true-to-reality portraying these types of injuries, but it was close enough for my imagination.

Would I watch it again: Probably not, but only because these are the types of films that I can only handle watching once, emotionally.

Recent Comments

  • LadyJai
    November 27, 2015 - 9:18 am · Reply

    My husband wants to see this movie. But, with his PTSD I have to prescreen movies like this. The plot and pacing, to me, was extremely rushed. It was all over the place and didn’t find it held my attention. I heard a lot about this movie, as most everyone, because of all the hype. But also because it was a major thing in the veteran caregiving community. All the caregivers who prescreened it for their ww that I saw were enamored by it. While it held a lot of familiar situations, it only briefly touched on them. Someone who is not a part of the military community would still not understand all the emotions involved in deployments, from either side. This movie, I believe, I can let my husband watch. Now, if you want to see, and feel, a true to life movie about a deployment that can trigger PTSD, The Lone Survivor is that. That movie I cannot let my husband watch.
    Jamie (LadyJai) Dement

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.