American Sniper: Clint Eastwood’s Oscar Card and Best Film in a Decade

“American Sniper” represents Clint Eastwood’s best work in a decade, or since the 2006 “Letters From Iwo Jima” to be more precise. Made right after his failed big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, “The Jersey Boys,” for which he showed no emotional affinity or special interest, “American Sniper” is a special work, a combat tale that is both a classic war film and a modenrist anti-war film.  This may sound as a contradiction of terms, but trust me, it is nor.

Though nominally “American Sniper” is a patriotic, flag-waving, right -wing combat movie, based on the memoirs of ace Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, as apporached and directed by Clint Eastwood, it becomes a  sad meditation on the iconography–and tragedy–of the solitary man of action.

Other themes; the high toll on all sides in the war zone; and the uncomfortable realities nibbling away at the edges of America’s self-glorifying myths.

The tale is punctuated by well-shot close-quarters combat scenes, which in their intensity and execution recall those of “The Hurt Locker” and “Black Hawk Down.