Clint Eastwood’s second film of the year following this summer’s Jersey Boys could be one of his best films to date. Based on the true story of Chris Kyle, American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper as a Navy SEAL sniper struggling to balance his military life with his family life. It sounds like typical fodder of modern war films (especially those that are centered around the Iraq War, re: The Hurt Locker), but with Eastwood’s eye for balancing human drama with tense moments of conflict. The film received lukewarm reviews following its premiere at the AFI Fest in November. However, it’s also received a few accolades, including being named to the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films of the Year and the National Board of Review’s Top Ten Films and Best Director for Eastwood.
American Sniper opens in limited theaters on December 25th to meet the Academy Awards consideration deadline, with a wide release set for January 16th. You can read the film’s official synopsis below.
U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.
Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.