American Sniper

American Sniper Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 911 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behindU.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the SEAL creed to “leave no man behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind. [Warner Bros.] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jan 3, 2015
    100
    It shows Eastwood, at 84, in his finest directorial effort since the 2008 "Gran Torino," while painting on a much broader canvas. Utterly in command of his epic material, he films the Iraqi action in terse, tense panoramas with little cinematic editorializing, as if he were an old Greek or Hebrew God who is never surprised at man’s ability to kill his fellow men, or to find reasons to do so. Directing 34 films over 44 years, Eastwood has honed his craft to its essentials: make it seem as if the story is telling itself.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 15, 2015
    88
    American Sniper may be the hardest, truest movie ever made about the experience of men in war. Why? Because there’s no glory in it.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 16, 2015
    80
    What we're left with is something sobering but searing, muscular but compassionate.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Dec 22, 2014
    75
    Cooper, to his credit, rarely flinches, never chest-thumps and never loses his cool, even when Kyle is starting to lose his. It’s a masterful interpretation of a man with a lot more on his mind and blood on his hands than he was ever inclined to let on. And it’s a performance worthy of Eastwood himself — 50 years ago.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jan 15, 2015
    75
    The battle scenes are alternately tense and thrilling, especially during one climactic sequence.
  6. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jan 14, 2015
    60
    Eastwood doesn’t care about the legend. Instead, he shows us Kyle much as he saw his targets: with that strange combination of extreme intimacy and extreme remove that a long-range sight confers.
  7. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Nov 12, 2014
    40
    Director Clint Eastwood‘s focus on Kyle is so tight that no other character, including wife Taya (Sienna Miller), comes through as a person, and the scope so narrow that the film engages only superficially with the many moral issues surrounding the Iraq War.

See all 48 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 227
  1. Dec 30, 2014
    10
    One of the major tenets of Clint Eastwood's ebullient career is his commitment to surprising us. He continually pursued unexpected projects -One of the major tenets of Clint Eastwood's ebullient career is his commitment to surprising us. He continually pursued unexpected projects - from female boxing to the Japanese wartime point of view. If you were to guess who was going to direct The Bridges of Madison County (1995) or Jersey Boys (2014), Eastwood would be near the bottom of the list.

    In 2014 he accomplished one of his best surprises. After years in which he seemed to have lost his touch and even his spirit, Eastwood came roaring back.

    American Sniper is essential Eastwood. The film - based on actual sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) who served four tours in Iraq - has intriguing levels and potency. Ennio Morricone's music at the end brings Eastwood's phenomenal career echoing back.

    Eastwood can make films that appeal both to conservatives and liberals. That's a rare ability. American Sniper is one of those films.
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  2. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    An incredible film that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire viewing, the fighting is extremely realistic and grim, the acting isAn incredible film that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire viewing, the fighting is extremely realistic and grim, the acting is great, and the directing by Clint Eastwood is breathtaking - therefore this gets a ten, and you must watch it.
    10/10 - Ben Hazelden
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  3. Dec 4, 2015
    9
    Fantastic movie that you should watch NOW!!!! from the acting to the explosions to the dialogue it's all great, I think it portrays well whatFantastic movie that you should watch NOW!!!! from the acting to the explosions to the dialogue it's all great, I think it portrays well what Navy seals have to go through, and the impact on their mind when they go home. Truly a beautiful movie. Expand
  4. Jul 12, 2015
    7
    A good, though over-hyped, film. The performances are excellent, both Cooper and Miller are dynamic and believable in their roles. TheA good, though over-hyped, film. The performances are excellent, both Cooper and Miller are dynamic and believable in their roles. The cinematography was generally solid for this kind of film, and the score was typical of an American war story. The pacing was very well considered and the final sequence was masterfully executed. The moral subtext is where criticism is warranted as this is a film which posits the hero as a representative of the entire conflict in Iraq and, as such, any commentary on the nature of war or that particular conflict is decidedly one-dimensional. This may be expected from an Eastwood film, however, it's clear that not only is the moral quandry not central to the plot, it is also treated with disdain in the dialogue, which may play well for an American audience, but smacks of the 'MURICA mentality rather than good storytelling. A solid bo-yah film with little depth. 6.86/10 Expand
  5. Jan 11, 2015
    6
    Perhaps its my fault for having high expectations for this film, but the most exciting parts of this whole movie happen during the trailer andPerhaps its my fault for having high expectations for this film, but the most exciting parts of this whole movie happen during the trailer and during the last 10 minutes of the film. This film was not bad, but this film was not great. Bradley Cooper does his part in the acting and the directing by Clint Eastwood is good as well however this movie really lacks depth. War or anti war that is irrelevant, the fact is that especially the beginning is choppy and awkward. The Scenes of Chris with his wife really lacked credibility for me. I don't necessarily think that it had to do with the acting or the directing but rather the setup and the script. Those scenes did not particularly do anything to make me care about the story line and didn't give any credit to the layers that these individuals have. Expand
  6. Jan 9, 2015
    5
    Mediocre... Mildly entertaining, nothing new or very fresh here. A good performance by Bradley Cooper but let's face it, the lead character isMediocre... Mildly entertaining, nothing new or very fresh here. A good performance by Bradley Cooper but let's face it, the lead character is fairly one dimensional so that wasn't exactly a stretch.

    And I don't feel the direction was especially crisp either. However it's clear we are supposed to view Kyle as an all American hero. While his counterpart, the other sniper who does exactly the same job as him is patently a savage.

    I read Kyle's book before I saw this movie and I know Eastwood has selectively ignored Kyle's complete psychopathy which was readily apparent from his own words in the book and instead attempted to portray him as an empathetic family man which I never felt from reading Kyle's words. This man loved to kill people, pure and simple. That was his motivation.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword... And i could hardly feel any emotion or sympathy for someone who clearly took pleasure from killing others.
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  7. Dec 20, 2015
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just your typical war movie. Guys goes to war, wife gets mad, he's shell shocked. I get it, these are the realities of war, it's just other movies have explored these themes better than this one.

    Let's just say that with this and Jersey Boys, the year 2014 wasn't a very good one for Clint Eastwood.
    Expand

See all 227 User Reviews

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