American Sniper: Check Your Criticism


American Sniper is on the verge of leading the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row. It’s garnered Bradley Cooper his third Oscar nomination in as many years, and has many people calling it one of the best films of 2014. If you somehow haven’t heard anything about this movie, it tells the story of the most lethal sniper in American history.

But there’s more going on and being said. Many have directly criticized Chris Kyle for a number of things. He’s who the movie is about. And very recently Bill Maher had some hasty words to describe him. Again for those who don’t know, Chris Kyle was killed by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran about a year ago.

My reasoning for writing this post is because people are watching a movie adapted from a book and immediately criticizing Chris Kyle. Which is unacceptable. What right do I have to criticize any military veteran when I myself could never join the ranks to defend this country and its interests? None. I have no right. Because I have no idea what it’s like, and I never will. No matter how many war movies Hollywood makes, I’ll never have a clue what it’s really like. And neither do any of these people criticizing Chris Kyle or any other veteran.

If you want to criticize the actions that led to Chris Kyle’s deployment, then okay. If you want to criticize Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the man, then okay. If you want to criticize the entirety of the movie, then okay. If you want to criticize the politicization of war in America, then okay. But do not criticize someone like Chris Kyle who went and served in another country in the midst of war. Because you have no idea what he experienced. And you weren’t right there alongside him.