American Sniper


American Sniper Information

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is based on Chris Kyle's autobiography American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. With 255 kills, 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon, Kyle is the deadliest marksman in US military history. His widow Taya Renae Kyle was heavily involved with the making of the film.

The film stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller with Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman and Cory Hardrict in supporting roles.

It had its world premiere on November 11, 2014, at the American Film Institute Festival, followed by a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 25, 2014. It received a wide release January 16, 2015.

At the 87th Academy Awards, American Sniper received six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Cooper.

Plot

Chris Kyle grew up in Texas, where his father raised him under a strict moral code. His father insisted that he should "be a sheepdog who protects others, not a sheep or a wolf." Kyle works briefly as a rodeo cowboy until he sees television coverage of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. He immediately enlists to become a U.S. Navy SEAL.

Chris meets a girl named Taya Renae during an outing to a bar. They marry, and Chris is deployed to Iraq as a sniper after the September 11 attacks. His first kill is a mother and her child who are intending to attack a Marine patrol with a grenade; Kyle is visibly upset by the experience. He makes so many successful kills that his fellow servicemen nickname him "The Legend". Back home, Taya is pregnant, and anxious for Chris' safety.

Kyle completes his tour of duty and appears happy to be home, but his mind is distracted. Despite difficult memories of his war experiences, Kyle is a loving and proud father to his newborn son. Taya, however, is disturbed when she discovers Kyle watching bootleg footage of a U.S. Marine who is shot dead by an enemy sniper. Kyle calls his enemies "savages". Taya expresses her concern for them as a couple and wishes Kyle would concentrate on his home and family.

Kyle feels compelled by duty to enlist for a second tour. Kyle is promoted to Chief Petty Officer and tasked to a group hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. During house-to-house searches in evacuated areas, Kyle encounters a family who had refused to leave. After intensive interrogation, the father of the family offers to be an informant for $100,000 and lead the SEALs to "The Butcher", al-Zarqawi's second-in-command. The plan goes awry when The Butcher captures the father and son and they are both killed. Meanwhile, the insurgents put a bounty on Chris Kyle.

Kyle returns home from his second tour. Taya bemoans his tours of duty and increasing distance from his family, which now includes a newborn daughter. On his third tour, a member of Kyle's unit is seriously injured and his unit is evacuated back to base. The unit decides to return to the field and continue their mission. Another SEAL is killed by an insurgent sniper. Kyle attributes the SEAL's death to his having given up and feels compelled to undertake a fourth tour. Taya doesn't understand his decision, tells him she needs him, and for a moment intimates they stay apart.

Kyle is on a rooftop when he spots a man with a rocket launcher and shoots him. A small boy then picks up the weapon. Kyle, prepared to kill the boy, is relieved when the boy drops it and runs away. Kyle is then assigned to take down the expert insurgent sniper, "Mustafa", who has been picking off Army combat engineers building a barricade. A sniper team is placed inside enemy territory. Kyle spots the sniper, but it is a risky long distance shot, and he is urged to wait for the rapid response team. He makes the shot, thus exposing his sniper team's position to an offensive by a large number of armed insurgents. The sniper team runs short of ammunition and, overwhelmed by insurgent numbers, call for an air strike. In the midst of the firefight, Kyle calls Taya and tells her he is ready to come home. A sandstorm results in the air strike's failure, but provides cover for their escape. Kyle, last to leave, is wounded and almost left behind.

Kyle returns home, on edge and unable to fully adjust to civilian life. He tells a psychiatrist he is "haunted by all the guys he couldn't save". The psychiatrist encourages him to help wounded veterans in the hospital. Kyle takes a walk through the hospital and meets veterans who suffered severe injuries. He decides to spend time with injured veterans at a shooting range in the woods and gradually begins to adjust to home life.

Years later, Kyle, playful and happy, says goodbye to his wife and family as he leaves to spend time with veterans at the shooting range. On-screen subtitles reveal: 'Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help', for his memorial service.

Cast

  • Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle
  • Sienna Miller as Taya Renae Kyle
  • Max Charles as Colton Kyle
  • Luke Grimes as Marc Lee
  • Kyle Gallner as Goat-Winston
  • Sam Jaeger as Captain Martens
  • Jake McDorman as Biggles
  • Cory Hardrict as 'D' / Dandridge
  • Navid Negahban as Sheikh Al-Obodi
  • Eric Close as DIA Agent Snead
  • Eric Ladin as Squirrel
  • Joel Lambert as Delta Sniper
  • Rey Gallegos as Tony
  • Kevin Lacz as Dauber
  • Brian Hallisay as Captain Gillespie
  • Jonathan Groff as Young Vet
  • Ben Reed as Wayne Kyle
  • Elise Robertson as Debby Kyle
  • Keir O'Donnell as Jeff Kyle
  • Marnette Patterson as Sarah
  • Jason Hall as Cowboy
  • Leonard Roberts as Instructor Roll
  • Sugar Shane as the Master Sniper


Production

On May 24, 2012, it was announced that Warner Bros. had acquired the rights to the book with Bradley Cooper set to produce and star in the screen adaptation. Cooper had thought of Chris Pratt to play Kyle but WB agreed to buy it only if he would star. September 2012, David O. Russell stated that he was interested in directing the film. On May 2, 2013, it was announced that Steven Spielberg would direct. Spielberg had read Kyle's book, though he desired to have a more psychological conflict present in the screenplay so an "enemy sniper" character can serve as the insurgent sharpshooter who was trying to track down and kill Kyle. More of Spielberg's ideas continued to a lengthy screenplay approaching 160 pages. Due to Warner Bros.' budget restraints, Spielberg felt he could not bring his vision of the story to the screen. On August 5, 2013, Spielberg dropped out of directing. On August 21, 2013, it was reported that Clint Eastwood would instead direct the film.

Casting

On March 14, 2014, Sienna Miller joined the cast. On March 16, 2014, Kyle Gallner was cast and March 18, 2014, Cory Hardrict was cast in the film. On March 20, 2014, Navid Negahban, Eric Close, Eric Ladin, Rey Gallegos, and Jake McDorman also joined the cast, as did Luke Grimes and Sam Jaeger on March 25, 2014. Kevin Lacz, a former Navy SEAL, was also cast and served as a technical advisor. Another former Navy SEAL, Joel Lambert, also joined the film, portraying a Delta sniper. On June 3, Max Charles was added to the cast to portray Kyle's son, Colton Kyle.

Filming

Principal photography began on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles; it was also partly shot in Morocco. On April 23, the Los Angeles Times reported that ten days of filming set in an Afghan village was set to begin at the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in the Santa Clarita area. On May 7, shooting of the film was spotted around El Centro. Later on May 14, Cooper was spotted filming some scenes in Culver City, California, and then he followed by shooting scenes again in Los Angeles on May 16. On May 30, Cooper and Miller were spotted during the filming of their characters' wedding scenes; they were filming aboard a yacht in Marina del Rey. On June 3, Cooper was spotted in the form of a Navy SEAL marksman aiming during the filming of some scenes at a Los Angeles shooting range.

Release

American Sniper premiered at the AFI Fest on November 11, 2014, just after a screening of Selma at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. The film received a limited release in New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas on December 25, 2014, and then a North American wide release on January 16, 2015.

Reception

Critical response

American Sniper received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a "Certified Fresh" rating of 74%, based on 170 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 6.9/10. Rotten Tomatoes' "top critics" ranked it with an 83% rating from 40 reviews, and the audience score from over 72,000 viewers was that 88% liked it. The site's consensus states, "Powered by Clint Eastwood's sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on reviews from 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave American Sniper an average grade of A+ on an A+ to F scale.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote "A taut, vivid and sad account of the brief life of the most accomplished marksman in American military annals, American Sniper feels very much like a companion piece"?in subject, theme and quality"?to The Hurt Locker." Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Hard-wiring the viewer into Kyle"?s battle-scarred psyche thanks to an excellent performance from a bulked-up Bradley Cooper, this harrowing and intimate character study offers fairly blunt insights into the physical and psychological toll exacted on the front lines, yet strikes even its familiar notes with a sobering clarity that finds the 84-year-old filmmaker in very fine form." David Denby of The New Yorker gave the film a positive review, saying "Both a devastating war movie and a devastating antiwar movie, a subdued celebration of a warrior's skill and a sorrowful lament over his alienation and misery." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+, saying "The film's just a repetition of context-free combat missions and one-dimensional targets." Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News gave the film four out of five stars, saying "The best movies are ever-shifting, intelligent and open-hearted enough to expand alongside an audience. American Sniper, Clint Eastwood's harrowing meditation on war, is built on this foundation of uncommon compassion." Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly gave the film a C-, saying "Cautiously, Eastwood has chosen to omit Kyle's self-mythologizing altogether, which is itself a distortion of his character. We're not watching a biopic." Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film four out of five stars, saying "After 40 years of Hollywood counterpropaganda telling us war is necessarily corrupting and malign, its ablest practitioners thugs, loons or victims, American Sniper nobly presents the case for the other side."

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Bradley Cooper, as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, and director Eastwood salute Kyle's patriotism best by not denying its toll. Their targets are clearly in sight, and their aim is true." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club gave the film a B, saying "American Sniper is imperfect and at times a little corny, but also ambivalent and complicated in ways that are uniquely Eastwoodian." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "American Sniper lifts director Clint Eastwood out of the doldrums that have plagued his last few films." Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Cooper nails the role of an American killing machine in Clint Eastwood's clear-eyed look at the Iraq War." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "Eastwood's impeccably crafted action sequences so catch us up in the chaos of combat we are almost not aware that we're watching a film at all." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film three out of four stars, saying "It's clearly Cooper's show. Substantially bulked up and affecting a believable Texas drawl, Cooper embodies Kyle's confidence, intensity and vulnerability." Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Just as only Nixon could go to China, only Clint Eastwood could make a movie about an Iraq War veteran and infuse it with doubts, mission anxiety and ruination." Inkoo Kang of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, saying "Director Clint Eastwood"?s focus on Kyle is so tight that no other character, including wife Taya (Sienna Miller), comes through as a person, and the scope so narrow that the film engages only superficially with the many moral issues surrounding the Iraq War."

Some critics have characterized the film, and Eastwood's stance on war, to be politically conservative. The film was called a "A Patriotic, Pro-War on Terror Masterpiece" by conservative website Breitbart.com. Eastwood said of the film "These fellows who are professional soldiers, Navy personnel or what have you, go in for a certain reason. Their commander-in-chief (U.S. President Barack Obama) is a Democrat and the administration is, and there"?s no political aspect there other than the fact that a lot of things happen in war zones."

Box office

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As of January 17, American Sniper grossed $33,925,000 in North Amercia and $16,300,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $50,225,000.

North America

Limited release

In North America, the film opened to a limited release on December 25, 2014, playing at four theaters "? two in New York, one in Los Angeles and one in Dallas "? and earned $610,000 in its opening weekend ($850,000 including Christmas Day) at an average of $152,500 per venue debuting at #22. The following week the film earned $676,909 playing at the same number of locations at an average of $169,277 per theater, which is the second-biggest weekend average ever for a live-action movie (previously held by Moulin Rouge!). American Sniper holds the record for the most entries in the top 20 Top Weekend Theater Averages with 3 entries. The film earned a total of $3.3 million from limited release in three weekends.

Wide release

Prior to its North American wide debut, various critics and box office insiders predicted that the film would be a significant hit at the box office in its opening weekend, citing evidence of drawing faith-based and military audiences, earning a solid score of A+ in CinemaScore, The New York Times Best Seller status of the memoir, acclaimed leading star Bradley Cooper, and considering how much Middle-Eastern war-time topics were prevailing and making headlines at that time, such as the numerous ISIS threats and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks. Fandango reported that the film accounted for more than 70% of their pre-ticket sales. The film was also outselling 2013's Lone Survivor, a similar war drama based film. Preliminary reports indicated that the film could open to $45 "? $50 million over the four-day Martin Luther King weekend. Following the announcement that the film was nominated for six Oscars at the 87th Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best actor for Cooper), critics raised their projection to over $50 million opening, which was revised to a $55"?$61 million three day opening and a $70+ million four day opening the next day.

The film began its wide debut across North American theaters on January 16, 2015 (Thursday night showings began at 7:00 pm). It set an all-time highest Thursday night opening record for a R-rated drama with $5.3 million (previously held by Lone Survivor with $1.9 million). The film topped the box office on its opening day grossing $30.5 million (including Thursday previews) from 3,555 theaters setting January records for both biggest debut opening (previously held by Cloverfield) and single-day gross (previously held by Avatar). In its traditional three-day opening the film earned $90.2 million which was double than expected and broke the record for the largest January opening (previously held by Ride Along with $41.5 million), which is also Eastwood's top opening as a director surpassing Gran Torinos $29.5 million opening. The three-day opening is also the second biggest debut for an R-rated film (behind The Matrix: Reloaded with $91.8 million), and second biggest for a non-comic book, non-fantasy/sci-fi film (behind Fast and Furious 6 with $97.3 million).

Outside North America

In Italy, the film was released on December 31, 2014 and earned $7.1 million in its opening weekend.

Accolades

List of Accolades
Award / Film Festival Category Recipients Result
Academy Awards Best Picture Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, Peter Morgan
Best Actor Bradley Cooper
Best Adapted Screenplay Jason Hall
Best Film Editing Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Best Sound Editing Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Best Sound Mixing John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design for a Contemporary Film James J. Murakami, Charisse Cardenas
ACE Eddie Awards Best Edited Feature Film - Dramatic Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
American Film Institute Awards 2014 Top Ten Films of the Year
British Academy Film Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Jason Hall
Best Sound Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture - Live Action Walt Martin, Gregg Rudloff, John Reitz, Robert Fernandez, Thomas J. O"?Connell, James Ashwell
Critics' Choice Award Best Actor in an Action Movie Bradley Cooper
Denver Film Critics Society Best Picture American Sniper
Best Director Clint Eastwood
Best Actor Bradley Cooper (tied with Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Supporting Actress Sienna Miller
Best Adapted Screenplay Jason Hall
Best Cinematography Tom Stern
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing - Feature Film Clint Eastwood
Iowa Film Critics Best Movie Yet to Open in Iowa American Sniper (tied with A Most Violent Year)
MPSE Golden Reel Awards Feature English Language - Effects/Foley Bub Asman, Alan Robert Murray
National Board of Review Top Ten Film
Best Director Clint Eastwood
Producers Guild of America Awards Best Theatrical Motion Picture Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Andrew Lazar, Robert Lorenz, Peter Morgan
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Jason Hall

See also

  • List of films featuring the United States Navy SEALs



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "American_Sniper_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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