How Accurate Is American Sniper?

by Rachel Baker on February 2, 2015

The other day, after having a few discussions about this movie with a young friend of mine, I bought Chris Kyle’s book, American Sniper. I decided I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, because the book is in his words – the movie…well, its only based on his words. And before I saw the movie, I wanted to know what Kyle’s words were.

The article below was written two weeks ago; and it confirms my thoughts that the movie and book are different in some areas.

I hope that people won’t just see the movie, that maybe they will be inspired to hear about Chris Kyle’s life via Chris Kyle’s own words.

Read the Article: How Accurate Is American Sniper?

Controversy over Kyle’s credibility casts doubts on the film, however—claims that he engaged in a bar fight with former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, sniped looters in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and killed two carjackers all remain unsubstantiated. (The first was the subject of a $1.845 million defamation lawsuit Ventura brought and won against Kyle.) This, coupled with a New Yorker piece exploring Kyle’s tendency for embellishment, may make audiences ask: Does Eastwood’s American Sniper stick to the narrative as presented by Chris Kyle or to the known facts—or does it blend the two?

The answer is not an easy one. More than any other strategy, omission keeps the film true to life. Questionable episodes (including those mentioned above) are excised. Eastwood de-emphasizes training and non-Iraq sequences to grant breathing room to a handful of military operations, building a film around Kyle’s tense decisions to pull the trigger or grant mercy. What emerges is a morality tale—one that, unlike the memoir, reflects on what simmers beneath the surface. Below, I probe the film’s key moments for inaccuracies.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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