Review: American Sniper – greatness or just another war movie?

by Stephanie Woodruff, reporter

The film American Sniper was based on the book written by Chris Kyle and directed by Clint Eastwood. Bradley Cooper portrayed Kyle in the movie and was also a co-producer of the film. The film takes place just after September 11th, 2001 when the United States began the war on terror.

Chris Kyle was living his American dream of being a cowboy when he then decided to become a Navy SEAL. Shortly after boot camp, the Twin Towers were attacked and he was sent to Iraq. He and his brother set out for war in separate branches of the military, both with the same goal in mind; to make America a better place.

On his first tour in Iraq, Kyle was placed in a difficult situation when scouting for his fellow SEALS and Marines. A young woman and her son walked out a building holding what appeared to be a bomb. Kyle had trained months for this moment and it was his time to decide what was right.

Kyle was set to leave for a second tour while his wife is torn about it. She didn’t want him to leave because she wanted to start a family, but he wanted to continue fighting for America and saving soldiers. Nonetheless, Kyle went overseas again two more times after his second tour. 

He lost a lot of friends in that time, which led to his main goal of saving as many soldiers as he can rather than just protecting America. Because Kyle finally got the sniper that had been killing his friends and was shot, he decided to go home after his fourth tour in Iraq.

When he got home, he had problems with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was weary of everyday noises and family gatherings. His wife decided that he should get some help so he can be part of their family again. After talking with his psychiatrist, he decided to help wounded veterans heal, which becomes his therapy.  Helping others in turn helped him.

On February 2nd, 2013 Kyle was shot by a fellow veteran, Eddie Ray Routh, whom he was trying to help with his post-traumatic stress disorder.  At the end of the movie, there are images of attendees of Kyle’s funeral lining up on the roadways where his procession took place to pay their respects to his family and his memory.

War films are not uncommon in the recent past and neither are the mixed reviews they may receive. Many veterans and Americans were mixed in opinion about American Sniper. Some people went as far as to fight and argue on twitter about whether it should have been made or not and if Chris Kyle was a “good” American. As someone who did see the movie, I enjoyed it immensely. I have family in the military and I still liked it, presenting one opinion among many. While every viewer will have their own opinions about the film, the impact Chris Kyle made on American history and the lives of his loved ones is a tangible affect to be respected and honored.