'American Sniper:' What if both sides are missing Eastwood's point?

January 22, 2015 4:52 PM

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Let's start with this. "American Sniper" is a good movie. It's not a great movie - compared to the epic humanity of "Boyhood" or the strategic subtleties of "Selma," it pales - but it's still very strong, better than the curdled-into-store-bought blandness of several of the other awards-ready contenders this year, and certainly better than most of the movies that studios make with big stars these days.

As you've no doubt heard, the returns for the Clint Eastwood-directed "Sniper" stunned over the weekend. Box office reporting is full of "surprises" - overperformers that become that way by artful underestimation. But "Sniper," in which Bradley Cooper plays the late SEAL Chris Kyle, was legitimately...

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