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Is 'American Sniper's' Chris Kyle a Hero or, Uh, Something Else? Hollywood Weighs In

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | January 19, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | January 19, 2015 |

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar nominated American Sniper went wide this weekend, and based on the box-office, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen the movie. Based in the comments in our review, there’s a chance you’ve also taken a side (or at least, you’ve taken a point of view in opposition to other points of views).

I’m content here to take the middle ground: The conservative Islamophobic reaction to the film has been deplorable, but the idea that Chris Kyle is a “coward” also misses the mark. As best I can tell from the movie, which is all I really have to go on, Chris Kyle was a man deeply damaged by actions he believed to be in the best interests of his country. If anything, I take issue with putting a soldier in the position to kill 160-250 people; that would fuck anyone up.

Here’s how everyone else is weighing in, so far.

Jane Fonda: Team Sniper

Seth Rogen: Not So Much

Michael Moore: Team Coward

Rob Lowe and Newt Gingrich: Team Michael Moore Is an Idiot

Team No F*cking Way: Rabia Chaudhury (from Serial):

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Meanwhile, the op-ed media has also weighed in.

Lindy West at the Guardian: The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer.

Chris Kyle, a US navy Seal from Texas, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and claimed to have killed more than 255 people during his six-year military career. In his memoir, Kyle reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.

Journalist Rania Khalek:

Elsewhere, whatever you want to say about the film, this really, really, really was not the intended response Eastwood wanted:

In fact, according to Bradley Cooper, this is how he he hoped people would respond to American Sniper:

Our whole idea was to do a character study about a soldier, and a soldier and a family, and what it’s like having to deal with the schizophrenic nature of having to jostle between a home life and being in theater. I think hopefully it could be a universal story.”

At least there’s one thing we can all agree upon: The fake plastic babies used in the movie were laughably bad.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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