American Sniper

WSR Score4
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Warner Home Video
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Clint Eastwood
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In American Sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Cooper), exhibits skills as a sniper, which made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Kyle serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Miller), and kids, Kyle finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. Based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette One Soldier’s Story: The Journey Of American Sniper (HD 31:04), a making-of featurette (HD 28:35), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally and is realistic with a slightly filtered, flat, and pasty appearance in some scenes, which imparts a gritty appearance. The color palette is generally natural, though, at times exhibits an unnatural stressed tone. Hues also are at times slightly desaturated. Black levels are deep but at times undefined. Fleshtones are generally natural but not always. Resolution is generally good but not extremely detailed. Overall, the picture is generally fine looking but not particularly stellar, as one would expect. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is most often frontal focused, with good stereo separation of atmospherics and sound effects. The soundfield is energized during the more intense battle scenes with aggressively directionalized sound effects such as gunfire, heavy armored vehicle movements, and jet flyovers occupying all eight channels. The presence of light gunfire in the background additionally supports the sense of realism. But otherwise the focus is frontal, with dialogue generally well integrated spatially. There is no music score except for the music over the end credits. Deep bass, during battle scenes, is energized in the .1 LFE channel. The scene during the strong sand storm is energized with intense SPL and complete all-channel envelopment. But, except for the battle scenes, the soundtrack is far too limited to the front channels, ignoring the potential of the four surround channels. Otherwise, the sonics impart good realism and dynamic energy during the battle scenes. (Gary Reber)