"Defending the Sheep"
What You Need To Know:
Based on a true story, AMERICAN SNIPER is full of strong Christian faith, self-sacrifice and patriotism. The movie is endlessly captivating and full of jeopardy, and Clint Eastwood does a magnificent job directing. That said, after countless killings, even the audience may become war weary. Also, a couple characters lose faith and courage. Finally, AMERICAN SNIPER contains many “f” words, extreme violence and some lewd content. AMERICAN SNIPER is a powerful but difficult movie for patriotic people of faith and values.
(CC, BB, PPP, PaPa, FR, H, LLL, VVV, S, N, AA, M) Strong Christian, moral, patriotic worldview mitigated by strong pagan, immoral, brutal content (including a factual portrayal of false religion where Muslim characters, including the villains, profess their faith), and some humanist content includes humanist characters and some characters who lose faith; at least 143 obscenities (including many “f” words) and eight profanities; lots of extreme and strong, constant violence such as villain takes a drill to child’s head but camera cuts away, people shot through head and eyes, people lose limbs, villain is called the butcher because he keeps body parts of people he killed, boy gets shot, and snipers from both sides shoot as many people as they can; some sexual content of several implied sex scenes includes man walks into his apartment surprising his girlfriend with someone else (nothing shown but some snide description), man picks up woman at bar and there’s implied sex later, woman comes out in lingerie and straddles man, and man has implied sex with wife; upper male nudity, revealing female lingerie and attire, woman in bra, woman in panties, but no explicit nudity; alcohol used to get drunk; no smoking or illegal drugs; and, cowardice, cruelty, deception, and evil Muslims.
AMERICAN SNIPER is an extremely well made, powerful, tragic movie. However, it has too much intense, extreme content for media-wise viewers, despite its definite patriotic, emotional appeal.
As a young boy in Texas, Chris, his father, brother, and mother go to church and believe the Gospel. His father says there are three types of people – sheep, wolves and sheep dogs and his father wants his sons to be sheep dogs who protect the sheep.
From his early youth, Chris is an excellent marksman. He’s also becomes a rough and tumble rodeo rider. His brother is his sidekick.
After one rodeo, Chris comes back to his apartment to find his girlfriend is with another guy. He throws her out after throwing the guy out and then goes to a bar to get drunk. There, he picks up the girl who will become his wife.
When a crisis happens in the Middle East, Chris joins the Navy Seals. An expert marksman, he becomes a legend. He shoots men, women and children who are trying to kill the Americans and the local allies.
On the other side of the battle are the Muslims jihadists who are cruel and vicious. One is called “the Butcher.” He uses a drill to torture people and saves body parts on shelves. Chris is given the mission to get rid of the Butcher. However, the Butcher has a protector who’s an expert Gold Medalist sniper in his own right.
Meanwhile, Chris’s wife has two children at home, but each trip home after a tour of duty, he becomes more and more alienated. Eventually, after killing the Butcher and the sniper, he’s ready to return home, but he’s not the man who left home.
A psychiatrist helps Chris to deal with his extreme psychological pain by helping others. Since this is a true story, many people will know this ended up as a tragedy.
AMERICAN SNIPER is in many ways one of the best contemporary movies about the conflicts in the Middle East. It is full of strong Christian faith, self-sacrifice, valor, and patriotism. It is endlessly captivating and full of jeopardy, which keeps you riveted to your seat. Clint Eastwood has done a magnificent job directing this movie.
That said, after countless killings, even the audience may become war weary, and some of the minor characters who lose faith and courage will resonate with some audience members. AMERICAN SNIPER is not an easy movie for sensitive viewers.
Also, Clint Eastwood has used a surplus of “f” words. Some dialogue includes nothing but “f” words and some other obscenities, but no profanities. The movie also contains some rough moments of alcohol, rejection and sex that take it even further into the extreme caution category than movies like FURY.
So, AMERICAN SNIPER will be a very difficult movie for people of faith and values, even many patriotic ones. It isn’t a movie for children or teenagers. So, please be careful.