Is AMERICAN SNIPER an Oscar-worthy film? Yes! Definitely! But is it a Best Picture-caliber film? Not really. Sure, the Eastwood direction shows little to no dramatic flair, and Bradley Cooper gives one of the finest performances of the year, but the film is really off-par with many of its own judgments. Now, Clint Eastwood is a Ridley Scott-type director now. His career is a mixed bag, at least recently. What he has shown in Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino can't really show up in his more recent works, say, J. Edgar. I'm glad he can get back into the Best Picture race, but I'm not sure he deserved it with American Sniper. On one hand, the PTSD that Cooper holds within him is shown to a fine point, but there are still scenes overlapping simultaneously that will still make you believe is a war hero that has no problems in his life. The drama in his character can't keep up with the glorifying war action scenes. But somehow Cooper slips past this and really intensifies his role, even if his character may not be the most relatable or even likable characters in recent memory. Sienna Miller is alright, but frankly her and the entire cast are like a small bubble, and Bradley Cooper really is the only interesting, non-bland character in the movie. Everyone else reads their lines and slips out of frame, really meaningless to a scene. The cinematography in the film is average. They could've done so much more with the camera work--so much more that what they do accomplish is unimpressive. The music in this film is quite non-existent, and while the absence may add to the film in a way, it is something that, again, could've been done much better. Overall, American Sniper is a bit of a pleasant surprise and a let-down. If American Sniper were to get any Oscars, it would be for Best Actor, in which case it would be in a close call--for 3rd or 4th place.
Story and Script- 17/20
Overall: 80/100 (B-)
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comments on the screen by nolan lampson.