American Sniper

Bradley relaxes with his guns.
Bradley relaxes with his guns.

Could you shoot a child in cold blood? Even if he’s carrying a grenade? This is the terrible choice faced by sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) at the start of this adaptation of Kyle’s own biography.

Kyle is on his first tour in Iraq as a Navy SEAL, having signed up in the wake of 9/11. (We don’t use the word ‘radicalised’, though, do we?) He will go on to break records for his number of kills and end up with a price on his head – and the status of ‘legend’ weighing on his shoulders.

Home between tours with his new wife and child, he finds domestic life challenging. Will his luck or his sanity finally run out?

As usual, this is best seen without knowing Kyle’s true story. The wartime themes are familiar and Kyle isn’t troubled by complexity, but there’s enough tension and action to hold your attention. 8/10

Released January 21, 2015

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