American Sniper

Theatrical Release: January 16, 2015
American Sniper


Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Dove Review

“American Sniper” takes a look at the psyche of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (strongly portrayed by Bradley Cooper) in a film based on true events. Chris’ father told him and his younger brother while they were growing up that there are three kinds of people in the world: wolves (evil), sheep (innocent) and sheepdogs, and the sheepdogs are the protectors of the sheep. Responding to terrorism, Chris enlists in the military and becomes a Navy SEAL. It’s during this period that he meets Taya (Sienna Miller) at a bar and soon marries her. He is deployed on the day of their wedding.

Chris becomes a super-efficient sniper, killing soldiers and, in some cases, women and children before they kill American soldiers with explosives and other weapons. Chris becomes a legend to his fellow soldiers. However, following several extended tours the horrors of war begin to get into his head and he changes by becoming more and more withdrawn. His wife feels the bitter pain of seeing what the war is doing to him.

A former Syrian Olympic sharpshooter named Mustafa (Sammy Sheik) is taking out American soldiers in large numbers and Chris becomes determined to end Mustafa’s life and to protect his fellow soldiers from the wolf. However, there will be much carnage for him to go through as he attempts to put an end to Mustafa’s terrorism.

This movie contains stark and disturbing images of war with a lot of blood, including a man hung up with chains and bloodied, a decapitated head on a shelf, body parts in cold storage, women and children shot, and a huge number of soldiers killed. It is unsettling to watch. The language is also strong and constant. The writer apparently liked the “F” bomb a lot, in addition to “GD” and other strong profanities. Despite its patriotic theme and Cooper’s powerful performance, we are unable to award this film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: An unmarried couple has sex before getting married; passionate kissing; it's hinted that couple makes love and the married couple is seen in bed together; sexual references and slang is used for having sex.
Language: So much language throughout that I finally gave up counting; the F word is constantly used, as are many other profanities including "GD," "J," slang for male testicles, and other language throughout the movie.
Violence: Tremendous amount of violence including a lot of soldiers shot with blood seen; soldiers killed; women and children shot with blood seen on them; blood sprayed from bodies and against the wall; man is seen hanging with a chain and he has been tortured and is bloody; a few soldiers seen lying in pool of blood; decapitated head and body parts are seen in cold storage; soldiers with disfigured faces and metal legs; explosions and grenades going off; deer is seen shot; father places a gun on the table and tells his children he will whip them if they don't protect their family; archive footage of one of the World Trade Center towers collapsing; former soldier almost kills an aggressive dog.
Drugs: Bar scenes; drinking; lots of beer bottles are seen; drinking contest and a woman drinks shots; man mentions that he used to smoke.
Nudity: Cleavage in a few scenes; woman seen in lingerie; shirtless men; man and woman's bare shoulders seen in bed; woman's pregnant stomach is seen.
Other: Woman vomits; horrors of war and how it gets in soldiers' minds; soldier said he attended seminary and was going to become a preacher but couldn't get past gambling; character lies; tension between characters; tattoos sported by some characters.


Company: Warner Brothers
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Action
Runtime: 132 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter