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American Sniper

Director:  Clint Eastwood
Year Released:  2014
Rating:  2.0

Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) joins the elite Navy SEALs as a sniper in order to assist his fellow soldiers in the "Iraq War" (and he's a remarkable shot), but his obsession with protecting/saving them has him going back for four tours (!) thereby placing a major strain on his marriage to Taya (Sienna Miller) and, after he finally leaves active duty (with an incredible number of combatants killed), he struggles with various psychological after-effects. Fundamental concerns aside (like, why were we in Iraq in the first place, are the Iraqis given a fair treatment in this, etc.), three quarters of the movie is basically battle footage that should seem familiar to most people considering the large number of movies made about fighting in the Middle East (documentaries Restrepo and Korengal, fictional The Hurt Locker and Green Zone) - the scenes where he 'phones home' in the middle of a shootout are overbearing - with only the last quarter of the movie weakly addressing a real-life issue few people want to address: post-traumatic stress disorder. Kyle was not killed in Iraq, he was killed by a fellow soldier here in the United States - we send these men out to "defend"/"protect" and when they come back they need treatment that we seem currently ill-prepared to provide for them. As for those calling Kyle a 'coward': were you there?

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