Critic Reviews

72

Metascore

Based on 48 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Clint Eastwood startlingly grips the audience with his sense of hypnotic silence, which carries suggestions of what might be termed politically apolitical pragmatism.
80
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.
80
Just as “The Hurt Locker” found revelatory depths in Jeremy Renner, so American Sniper hinges on Cooper's restrained yet deeply expressive lead performance, allowing many of the drama's unspoken implications to be read plainly in the actor's increasingly war-ravaged face.
80
Eastwood has become tauntingly tough-minded: “You're enjoying this, aren't you?” he seems to be saying. And, with the remorselessness of age, he follows Chris Kyle's rehabilitation and redemption back home, all the way to their heartbreaking and inexplicable end.
75
Propulsive battle sequences in which sandstorms make the fog of war quite literal are the ostensible focus of American Sniper, but the real tension comes from our anticipation of how they'll affect the life this sharpshooter is reluctant to return to until he feels he's done everything he possibly can.
75
Another war biopic opening on Christmas day, with tight, two-fisted direction by Clint Eastwood, and a compelling centerpiece performance by Bradley Cooper.
67
Eastwood wisely trains the camera on Cooper's face and keeps it there - he knows his actor can carry the story's emotion when other aspects fail it.
60
[Clint Eastwood's] gripping, incurious film gives the impression of having not so much been directed as dictated. It stares so fixedly down the rifle sight that it is finally guilty of tunnel vision.
50
Overall, American Sniper is a solidly-staged but unexceptional picture, filled with overly familiar dramatic situations and a surprisingly blindered view of the world around its central character.
40
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.

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