Many people have commented on the complicated politics of American Sniper. Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, was, of course, a real guy, and the film is based on his book. Some of Kyle's more outlandish claims in the book have even been proven false (he did not, in fact, punch Jesse Ventura in the face).
However, some are taking the film as black-and-white, good guys vs. bad guys, with Kyle as the American hero. Bill Maher, never one for subtlety, called Kyle a "psychopath patriot" on his show before reading from his book to prove his point.
"Hurt Locker made $17 million, because it was a little ambiguous. And thoughtful,” Maher said. “And this one is just ‘American hero, he’s a psychopath patriot and we love him.’”
Guest Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal did not agree with Maher about the film's message. "What I saw was a movie that treats what veterans and soldiers go through in a way that was subtle. It was not just about war, it was about PTSD, it was about what the wives of soldiers go through," he said.