‘American Sniper’: one of the best war movies of all time

Cayla Maurer, Verge Editor

American Sniper isn’t a movie that asks movie-goers across the world to change political sides or raise arms to fight.

This movie is a powerful, intense portrayal of a man who fought for his country, family and brothers-in-arms.

Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, was a Texan with a sense of patriotism and obligation to protect and fight for what was right.

Chris enlisted in the Navy with his brother, Jeff, after terrorist attacks on United States Embassies in 1998.

After the World Trade Center attack in 2001, Chris was called to serve in his first of four tours in Iraq.

It was in Iraq that Kyle racked up his 160 confirmed kills, the most for a sniper in U.S. military history.

Thankfully we were more of Kyle’s reactions, breathing and eyes than we do the results of the hefty statistic.

The opening scene of the movie is of Kyle’s first documented kill: a small boy carrying a grenade.

Immediately Kyle must turn off his mixed emotions and make a clear, calculated call that a trained soldier would make.

This kill and many others follow Kyle throughout his life on and off the battlefield.

Many of his fellow soldiers viewed Kyle as their guardian angel while out in the field while his enemies saw him as terrorist.

The movie is split between the search for a top al Qaeda operative known as the Butcher and maintaining a stable home life.

Many scenes include soldiers going house to house in a war zone looking for this man while Kyle perches on the tops of houses looking for any suspicious people.

Throughout the movie we are given glimpses of Kyle’s childhood, life before the Navy and how he deals with civilian life between tours.

While on leave in the U.S. with his family, we see Kyle battle with not being in Iraq. As much as he loves his wife Taya, played by Sienna Miller, it shows that he is much more comfortable with scenarios that include danger rather than going to the auto shop to get his car worked on.

Bradley Cooper worked out four hours a day, gained 30 pounds and worked with a voice coach to be as much like Chris Kyle as possible and it shows. Cooper presents Kyle as an honest and humble guy with a heart of gold with a deadly skill he perfected at a young age.

Throughout the movie, people will find themselves on the edge of their seats in suspense and in awe of what Chris Kyle and his team did.

Yes, it is bloody. Yes, it is violent.

This movie isn’t about sugar coating the horrors that soldiers all over the world see every day.

It is about telling the story of a man who did his job and did it to the best of his abilities.

American Sniper is and will be one of the best movies of all time.

WARNING: When the credits start rolling, don’t even think about immediately getting up to leave the theatre. Don’t make a noise.

Live footage from Kyle’s funeral procession in 2013 will make you realize that this wasn’t just a story.

This was someone’s life.

Cayla Maurer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]