American Sniper (2014) Review

I almost did not end up seeing this movie, not because I thought it was going to be a terrible movie, but because I typically do not like watching movies that contain a lot of violence.  Violent and gory visuals do not settle well with me, so I normally steer clear of anything that I know will contain that sort of content.

American Sniper (2015) movie posterHowever, I was out to see a movie with two of my friends, and taking into account their tastes, I agreed when one of them suggested American Sniper.  I will admit to covering my eyes for a considerable part of the movie when the action really started heating up, but I cannot say I enjoyed the movie any less as a result.  In fact, seeing how lately I do not have as much time to watch movies like I used to due to my recently busy schedule, I am glad that I made the decision to see this one.  Clint Eastwood has not disappointed me yet, to my memory anyway, and I also have to say that I was incredibly impressed with Bradley Cooper’s performance.  In fact, I’ll start there.

I cannot think of a movie role off-hand where I was particularly fond of Bradley Cooper.  Sure he got a lot of praise for his role alongside Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), he’s a fan favorite for his part in the Hangover movies, and he’s also had other notable roles in American Hustle (2013), The Words (2012), and as Rocket the witty talking Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), but he hasn’t been for me one of those actors that really draws me to the theater when a new movie comes out.  That’s not to say that I think he’s a terrible actor or anything.  For some reason it just seems that a majority of the movies he’s in are in a genre that I don’t particularly fancy or the character he plays happens to not resonate with me.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised and found it quite refreshing to see (what I view to be) a totally different side of Bradley Cooper.  This movie is the first time where I felt completely invested in the man he portrays, Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who was tragically shot and killed by a veteran he was trying to help in 2013.  I found Cooper not only believable in his role, but he had me so invested that after a point I felt like I was watching less of someone acting a part and really bringing his character to life on screen.

If the enthusiastic clapping and the deafening silence of all those who were in the theater I was in that night can be taken as any indication, I think it might be safe to say that at least a good number of other people felt the same way I did.  It’s the type of movie that can make people feel proud to be an American and really respect those currently serving and those who have served our country in years past.  It’s also the type of movie that can stir up a lot of publicity, good or bad, and it most certainly has.

Even better, I had no idea how much hype this movie had been getting prior to my experience.  With how chaotic my schedule has been recently, I can’t say I’ve really been following what’s been going on in the entertainment world.  So I definitely went into this one not knowing what to expect and without any reservations.  For those who tend to be wary of anything getting a lot of critical acclaim, for what it’s worth, I found that it’s deserving of all the praise it’s been receiving.

It’s been a while since I’ve written up a blog post like this—more on why that was another day—but I have to say, it’s good to be back.  I always knew I would be back to blogging at some point; it was just a matter of figuring out when.  A special thanks to all my readers who have remained and patient throughout my somewhat unexpected hiatus!  For those familiar with my blog, you all have probably noticed that the layout, format, and maybe even the tone of entries now is completely different from when I first started out.  Again, I’ll be getting more into that later, but I can tell you that it is all  indeed intentional, and that a lot of thought has gone into the changes.  This also means that the way I will be rating movies has also changed, and hopefully this rating system will seem more straightforward, easier to understand, and generally more accessible overall.

Also, this should go without saying, but since it’s easy to forget on the Internet, any ratings and reviews posted on this blog are subjective and reflect my personal opinion and my personal opinion only.  Take it all for what it’s worth.

Final Thoughts: I personally think this is worth watching in theaters.  If you’re a huge fan of collecting war movies, then this might be one to consider owning as well.

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