American Sniper 2014 (R)

The movie claims to be based upon a true story, but there are some anachronisms with props and sets, and errors in military etiquette and weapons usage.  There are several points in which the main character’s memoirs contradict the movie, most importantly being his motivation for joining the military, the fact that he did not shoot a child, or kill Mustafa, the Iraqi rifle man. In fact, the rival sniper did not earn a gold medal in the Olympics for shooting at all.  Nor did the American Sniper kill the Butcher of Ramadi.  It also seems unlikely that the Navy would take a very successful sniper out of the line of duty and let him do far more dangerous door-to-door raids.  Isn’t the whole point of snipers the fact that they kill so effectively from a distant point of concealment?  Most ridiculous to me was the continued use of cell phones for calls home during battle.  I’m no military expert, but I am pretty sure the military would not allow this.

The movie does have a pretty substantial level of violence die to its theme.  It has a fair amount of profanity, but it is not as bad as most modern war movies on that account. It would not be of much educational value because it does not do a good job of providing the historical context for the war.  Where it succeeds is in showing how most people at home are oblivious to the war and apathetic about it.  It also does a good job of showing how some soldiers wrestle with problems related to PTSD. It also has the advantage that this is also one of the few movies made about the War in Iraq.

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