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Book-based 'American Sniper' will soon come to theaters

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(Read caption) 'American Sniper' stars Bradley Cooper (r.) and Kyle Gallner (l.).

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The movie “American Sniper,” due for release on Christmas Day, is another December film that is based on a bestselling book.

“Sniper,” which takes its story from the book of the same name by protagonist Chris Kyle, tells the story of the former Navy SEAL, who had the most career sniper kills in the history of the American military. In addition to discussing how he accomplished this, Kyle shares his experiences with the deaths of two friends and of being wounded. 

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Kyle, who died in 2013, is portrayed in the upcoming film by “American Hustle” actor Bradley Cooper. Sienna Miller of “Foxcatcher” portrays his wife Taya Kyle and the movie also co-stars actors Kyle Gallner, Luke Grimes, and others. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood.

In an interview with CBS, Cooper remembered that Kyle’s father expressed worries about the movie adaptation of his son’s memoir.

“Understandably so,” the actor said. “I mean, think about it. Your boy's killed, and a year later these two men from Hollywood are sitting in the very seat that Chris had dinner in every night telling you that they're going to make a movie about your child. I mean, that was not lost on me, how surreal it was.” 

He also remembered Kyle’s father’s reaction to Cooper’s casting.

“He said something about hooking me up to the back of his truck and dragging me to take the pretty out of me, and I actually thanked him," the actor said. "I hadn't been called pretty since I was about 8 years old." Cooper said he told Kyle’s parents, “Look, I'm gonna take care of your boy. I know I'm 185 pounds right now, and I don't sound like I'm from Texas. But I'm telling you I'm gonna do everything I can to do right by him.”

The movie has received middling reviews so far and currently holds a score of 66 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. However, some critics have praised Cooper’s performance – Variety critic Justin Chang called it “excellent… ‘American Sniper’ hinges on Cooper’s restrained yet deeply expressive lead performance, allowing many of the drama’s unspoken implications to be read plainly in the actor’s increasingly war-ravaged face…. Cooper … is superb here" and Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film is Cooper "as we've never seen him before."