American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is loosely based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The film follows the life of Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. While Kyle was celebrated for his military successes, his tours of duty took a heavy toll on his personal and family life.
The film was produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, and Peter Morgan. It stars Cooper as Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife Taya, with Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’Donnell in supporting roles.
The world premiere was on November 11, 2014, at the American Film Institute Festival, followed by a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 25, 2014, and a wide release on January 16, 2015. The film became a major success, with a worldwide gross of over $547 million, making it the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the United States ($350 million), the highest-grossing war film of all time unadjusted for inflation, and Eastwood’s highest-grossing film to date.
The film received mostly positive reviews, with praise for towards Cooper’s lead performance and Eastwood’s direction, although it attracted some controversy over its portrayal of both the War in Iraq and Chris Kyle. At the 87th Academy Awards, American Sniper received six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Cooper, ultimately winning one award for Best Sound Editing.