Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Best Picture Review: American Sniper

Summary via Fandango:

As the story opens, we meet carefree brothers Chris (Bradley Cooper) and Jeff (Keir O'Donnell) Kyle as they work the Texas rodeo circuit. They're cowboys through and through, and despite being notably older than the usual enlistee, Chris pays a visit to his local recruitment office and decides to become a Navy SEAL. Later, at the firing range, he draws on his hunting lessons with his stern father to become an expert marksman. A booze-fueled barroom chat with pretty brunette Taya (Sienna Miller) soon leads to wedding bells, and following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Kyle is deployed to Iraq for his first tour of duty. There, his reputation as a sniper who never misses makes him a legend among his fellow troops and earns him the moniker "The Devil of Ramadi" from his enemies. With a substantial bounty on his head, Kyle makes it his personal mission to take out a sadistic Iraqi soldier known as "The Butcher" as well as an elusive enemy marksman with a skill to rival his own. The closer he gets to achieving his goals during repeat tours of duty, however, the more fellow soldiers he sees die and the further he drifts from Taya and their two children back home. It all leads up to a tense rooftop gunfight in a raging sandstorm -- one that convinces the sniper once and for all to make his family his top priority. Unfortunately, all is not well as Kyle struggles to make the transition back to civilian life, but he discovers that helping his fellow veterans is an effective way to do good and make peace with his wartime experiences.

My Thoughts:

Ever since I saw the previews for this movie, I was so excited to see it.  I love movies that are based on real people.  And this one looked particularly intense.  I was literally counting down the days until it was released.  It did not disappoint.  I thought Bradley Cooper was a great fit for the role though I'm not so sure he should have been nominated for Best Actor based on some of the other films I have seen this year.  Perhaps he got the nod based on name recognition.  He did a good job with the role, but I just wouldn't put him in the Top 5 for the year.  But back to the movie itself.  While I thought the sniper part of the movie was interesting, the thing that really drew me in was the time in between Chris Kyle's tours.  This was the first war movie I had seen that really got into the nitty gritty of that in-between time.  It was real...and raw.  And I imagine quite true for many of our veterans and active military.  I was sadden that Kyle's work with the PTSD community was cut so short.  What an incredible solider and legacy.  Definitely recommend this movie to anyone.  One of the better war movies I have seen for sure.  I actually have plans to read the book as I have heard that it goes into even more depth about his post active duty life.

Other Nominations:

Actor (Bradley Cooper)
Film Editing
Sound Editing
Sound Mixing
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Have you seen American Sniper?  Read Chris Kyle's book?  Thoughts?

Andrea :)

1 comment:

  1. I definitely need to read his book! I saw the movie and loved it. I think Bradley Cooper really surprised me because this is totally different from the other roles I've seen him play. It was a really powerful movie, I need to see it again when it comes out on OnDemand. :)