How much of American Sniper is actually true?

With six Oscar nominations and over $100 million made during its opening weekend, American Sniper is drawing a lot of attention to the story of the late Chris Kyle, who is portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the movie. Based on Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, the film has received both praise and criticism for its accuracy in depicting the life of the man who has more kills attributed to him than any sniper in U.S. history – even if the actual number is a little fuzzy.

Michael Mooney, author of The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy Seal, discussed some of the discrepancies on The Michael Smerconish Program.

“There’s a lot of things in the movie that really did happen, just not necessarily the way they happened in the movie. Chris Kyle did claim to have a 2100 yard kill, one of the longest kills from any sniper in history. It probably wasn’t some long, antagonistic relationship with another sniper that went over all four tours, and it was not a sniper that he took out [with the 2100-yard shot],” Mooney said.

“Things like that are very Hollywood. But there’s a lot of things in there that very much did happen indisputably.”

When asked about Kyle’s famous “kill number” (allegedly 255, but Mooney told Smerconish that Kyle’s publisher says the Navy confirmed 160), Mooney told Smerconish, “There is certainly no real way to verify that.”

“That’s a tough situation. The military and the Navy are not real keen on confirming anything. They’re not big on kill counts,” Mooney said.

“It’s really hard to get a lot of information on battles out of them and into the public.”

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