American Sniper Review (From a Former Marine)
This post was most recently updated on February 4th, 2017
American Sniper Review (from a Former Marine)
We asked a former marine to share his American Sniper review- a movie that made a profound impact on him. His name is Aaron…
There is a scene in American Sniper where, on his way home from his third deployment, Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle – played brilliantly by Bradley Cooper – calls his wife at home to talk from a bar, where it appears he has been drinking for some time. She’s excited to see him, knowing he is on his way home after spending months in combat; but puzzled, when he tells her he is not only already stateside, but killing time in a bar instead of heading home to his family. When she asks him why, he doesn’t quite know how to respond – it appears he doesn’t fully know either – and he becomes choked up, eventually replying “I guess I just needed a minute.”
A Thrilling and Very Emotional Story of a Modern American Military Hero
American Sniper is gritty, yet heroic; intense, yet inspiring; and overall, a thrilling and very emotionally charged story of a modern American hero, and the struggles he faced being torn between love of family and duty to country, that, after watching, may require that you “need a minute” too. Chris Kyle, who American Sniper is based on, was a Navy SEAL who earned the distinction of being the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. To watch American Sniper is to embark on an emotional 132-minute journey that was not only his, but that of many young Americans stirred to serve their country in the post-9/11 world, challenged by going to combat, but challenged even more returning home from it. That struggle is real, hard on all those who serve and even harder on those who love them, and if you fall into either of those groups – as I do – then American Sniper will hit home for you especially hard.
American Sniper full movie: Rent American Sniper for $3.99 here or on iTunes.
Exciting Combat Action With Battlefield Intensity
But you don’t have to know anyone in the military, or even anything about it, to appreciate American Sniper. As a piece of filmmaking, it is outstanding in it’s own right. Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper is action-packed, suspenseful, and takes you on a thrill ride through the most lawless corners of the world, where only the most brave, most committed troops– like the Navy SEAL unit Chris Kyle was a part of – can operate. The film has a healthy dose of exciting combat action and battlefield intensity, uniquely portrayed from the perspective of special operators like Kyle, who are constantly faced with challenging combat decisions, trying to balance following the “rules” in combat with being effective at it. American Sniper portrays the struggle of being able to walk off the battlefield, while still living with you saw or did on it for the rest of your life, in a way that no movie I’ve seen ever has. For the film to do this effectively required the use of violence, which earned the movie it’s R-rating, but the violence is not gratuitous; it’s only enough to help you feel what Kyle, and other combat troops like him, experienced on a regular basis.
American Sniper Review: A+ Rating on CinemaScore
American Sniper was an audience favorite, which earned it a rare “A+” CinemaScore rating during it’s release, and it actually ended up becoming the highest-grossing war film of all time, displacing “Saving Private Ryan” from the top spot. But to simply call American Sniper a “war movie” is also to shortchange it severely. It’s much more than that; instead, this movie takes you to the madness of the front lines, to the calm peace at home, and then back again, accurately depicting the struggle of adjusting every time; going from lethal soldier to gentle father, from fearless leader to tender lover. It is as much a love story as it is a war movie, though not exactly a “romantic” one; Kyle loves his country and way of life as much as he loves his wife (played by Sienna Miller) and family, and he goes to war for both. Eventually though, he is forced to accept that being a hero in battle and being a hero to your family may, at some point, no longer be able to coexist.
A Story of Brotherhood and Love of Country and Family
American Sniper is much more than a war movie; it is about brotherhood, about love of country, about love of family, and most of all, about the struggles of balancing those things for the nearly 3 million people who have served this country since 2001. American Sniper is about the life of a now-legendary war hero, but is also a lens through which one can view a society that has been at war so long that it has grown numb to it, and often forgets the strain that puts on those who serve and those who love them. American Sniper is entertaining, but emotionally hard-hitting, putting you in the place of those like Kyle and his family, and feeling the triumphs and tragedies that result. The result is a final scene and ending credits that will leave you breathless; “needing a minute,” like I did.
Staying In the Theater After The Credits Roll
You see, I myself am a combat veteran, having served in a Marine Corps infantry unit from 2003-2007, and I experienced much of these struggles personally. When I saw this movie for the first time in theaters, I observed that, after the credits stopped rolling, a number of other young men were also still in their seats for several minutes after the credits stopped rolling. Now I did shed a few tears in that theater as American Sniper concluded, though I was trying to hide them under a ballcap, because the emotional journey the film takes you on had such a personal impact on me. But as the lights in the theater came on, I looked around and saw why so many other guys and their families were also still in the theater – it had the same impact on them, and they were sobbing too. American Sniper has that effect on you, but it’s okay – making you “need a minute” after it ends is what truly great films do. If you haven’t seen it, download or stream American Sniper now; and if you have, watch it again. It’s just as good the second time.
American Sniper Trailer:
Just to get you into it before you watch, check out the American Sniper review and this official trailer: