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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Cooper, Eastwood bring humanity to Kyle’s tale

Goat-Winston (Kyle Galiner), left, and Chris Kyle, (Bradley Cooper) portray Navy SEALS through the Iraq war and its aftermath in American Sniper.  Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Goat-Winston (Kyle Galiner), left, and Chris Kyle, (Bradley Cooper) portray Navy SEALS through the Iraq war and its aftermath in American Sniper.
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

By Rodrigo Valverde/reporter

Setting box office records on its opening weekend, American Sniper is a film sure to garner mixed reactions from viewers but is worth a watch.

Director Clint Eastwood brings viewers the biographical war drama based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The film follows him throughout the four tours he served in the Iraq War and the psychological stress he went through during his time back home.

Eastwood has an abundance of quality in his filmography, but a number of his previous films did not bode well with audiences and critics. Some of his latest films like J. Edgar and Jersey Boys are examples of this. American Sniper is definitely a step up from those but is not without flaws.

Bradley Cooper plays the titular character and is by far the best part of the film. Cooper’s portrayal of Kyle is one of the best of his career, earning him his third consecutive Academy Award nomination. Some people will argue that Kyle’s portrayal in the film is not completely accurate based on his autobiography and his outspoken personality. But solely as a character in a movie, Cooper brings realism and humanism to the role and nails a Southern accent.

The film also brings suspense throughout, keeping people on edge and invested in what’s happening. At times, Kyle is faced with tough decisions to make, increasing the intensity of many scenes.

The war scenes were shot very well, and Eastwood does great work giving viewers an intimate look at how soldiers in enemy territory have to constantly watch their backs as a shootout could break out at any moment.

As standout a performance that Cooper gives, the fact that this is completely his movie leaves the audience overlooking any other character he comes across. There are good scenes with Kyle and his wife and children, but all other individuals just come off as side characters that can be easily forgotten. Luckily for the audience, Cooper is the only reason needed to watch this film.

Capitalizing on the six Oscar nominations it received, including Best Picture and Best Actor, the film broke records on its four-day opening weekend, widely taking the top spot for a January movie by almost doubling the previous record and making this Eastwood’s biggest opening thus far.

Though this is not Eastwood’s best work, it is still one that deserves all the praise that it’s getting.

American Sniper is in theaters everywhere and already making an impact this award season.

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