Movie Reviews

Movie review: ‘American Sniper’

Comments (13)
  1. Avatar Adam F says:

    Great review! Thank you.

  2. Avatar David Winningham says:

    I just saw the movie. Excellent, insightful review.

  3. Avatar Phillip Phifer says:

    I have not seen the movie and probably won’t because I am simply tired of politics. Many of the members of my parish have gone to see this movie and loved it and were deeply moved. I don’t do movie reviews in my sermons or in the church newsletter. Why are we as the Synod doing them. Some of the comments in the review are biting criticism. It is fine for your own blog but not as the public voice of the Synod.

    1. Avatar Cindy says:

      This is not a political film at all. It is aobut the Chris Kyle’s life as a soldier, an American hero and about how his life as a soldier related to his home life as a husband and father. He was a true patriot for our country. I understand being tired of politics, yet if you actually go see this movie you will see that it steers clear of that. How some people who have interpreted it’s message (many without seeing it) is what has made it “political”. As far as movie reviews, I prefer to have a Christian review of secular entertainment rather that a secular review of secular entertainment. Next on the list for us to see is Unbroken….not on the list: Fifty Shades of Gray! Please reconsider your opinion of this movie and re-evaluate it after you have seen it.

      1. Avatar Mark E Miller says:

        Here is a thoughtful article about the movie, I will quote a short excerpt, but it is worth reading in its entirety:

        http://www.salon.com/2015/02/04/this_american_sniper_didnt_keep_track_of_his_kills_and_hates_that_i_ask_him/

        The writer interviews another sniper, who has taken a different path than Chris Kyle. Garett Reppenhagen says:

        “’I was taken aside more than once at the VA [during group therapy] and told that the VA is not a platform to express my political views. My recovery hinged on the fact that I felt guilt and shame over committing atrocities against an occupied country. We went over there and brutalized and oppressed, and that is part of my psychological and moral injuries. If I can’t talk about it at the VA, then the VA can’t help me.’

        Garett’s views are “political,” but the worldview of Chris Kyle as brought to life in “American Sniper” is not. It may be true that it is good for box office for the creators of “American Sniper” to pretend that their movie is not a political one, but if Cooper and Eastwood actually believe that, any narrative not draped in yellow ribbons and billowing red, white and blue flags cannot penetrate the cloak of white imperial privilege they have pulled over their heads.”

  4. Avatar Mark E Miller says:

    “and I … I’m willing to meet my Creator and answer for every shot that I took. … ”

    And presumably he has done so; and according to our faith there is forgiveness even for a person who, by his own account, killed 160 fellow men who were guilty (at worst) of patriotically attempting to defend their country from foreign invaders and occupiers, or otherwise were simply trying to live in their own city and had the misfortune to come within Kyle’s crosshairs.

    But for a Christian reviewer, and a Pastor, to characterize this movie about a war criminal as being primarily about “conflicting vocations” is to accept the film’s flawed premise with a breathtaking lack of candor.

    The Iraq invasion was a war crime. There is no rational counter-argument to this claim that I have heard in 13 years of debating it. It was, and remains, utterly indefensible on classical just war theory, which has been the majority position on these issues within the Lutheran tradition.

    To ignore this in a review seems very wrong to me.

    1. Avatar Larry says:

      I disagree with you, Mr. Miller. Following the laws of our land is right unless asked to deny God/Jesus or to sin. He was defending our country, even if indirectly and obeying government authority. I imagine you would have a problem with, “peace through strength” even though the opposite would mean invasion with an horrendous cost of lives. It isn’t always ok to sit back idly while innocent people are killed also. Sometimes paying an immediate price saves countless lives in the future.

      1. Avatar Mark E Miller says:

        ” I imagine you would have a problem with, “peace through strength” even though the opposite would mean invasion with an horrendous cost of lives.”

        “Peace through strength”, interpreted by you to condone the Iraq war, is precisely the cause of an invasion with an horrendous cost of lives. About a million innocent Iraqis lost their lives through our invasion. (Second Johns Hopkins / Lancet survey). Iraq had not attacked, and had no capability to attack the United States.

        It isn’t always ok to sit back idly while innocent people are killed also, which is why I was involved in protesting the Iraq War from before the time it began.

        It is perplexing that you disagree with me while making my argument.

  5. Avatar Keith says:

    I don’t consider the invasion of Iraq a war crime. War crimes may have been committed but not by an invasion. Taking of a combatant life in a war is not murder.
    Unfortunately, ever since Viet Nam, women and children are sometimes used to take and or threaten our soldier’s lives. There is no choice but to defend ourselves. The “sniper” role is hard for some to accept as just, let alone necessary . But then many of the same people who struggle with that role cannot accept war in any sense. Mankind’s sin has made for many sad and horrible events in this world. War is one of them. But not assisting or defending our fellow man is in my mind, more disgraceful than some of war’s consequences.

  6. Avatar Hubert Dellinger says:

    Excellent film which far left liberal and politically correct folks will not like. This is a good and accurate review.

  7. Avatar David Wesener says:

    I appreciate all of the reviews. If they help parents determine which movies the kids go to – great. If they help others recognize false doctrine -great. There will be differing opinions for various movies. Perhaps we need two reviewers to see if there are two thumbs up. Whatever you do, please continue reviewing movies. I have used the reviews to discuss numerous films and they give me good talking points.

  8. Avatar Edward Harvilla says:

    I have three Honorable Discharges, including a 15 month stint as a corpsman with the 8th Marine infantry regiment in the 2nd Marine Division. It is always, the “chicken hawks.” who never spent one day in a rifle company who are the biggest warmongers. Like most vets, I don’t judge the service of any other vet, especially those who fought in wars where the U.S. is the uninvited invader and occupier of another nation. The leaders of invading nations always justify the invasion to their own citizens as Hitler, Bush and Putin have done, and as every preceding leader. With that said, when I read the New Testament, it appears Jesus acted in anger only once against the moneychangers in the Temple. There is no scriptural indication that Jesus would have ever advocated for a Roman archer or an American sniper as a Christian role model.

  9. Avatar David Hansen says:

    It’s hard to enjoy the film knowing Chris Kyle’s claims of executing 30 suspected looters after Hurricane Katrina, his desire to shoot anyone carrying a Koran, etc. Is this man really a hero, a Christian to be emulated? No.