When it comes to military and war movies, the sniper weapon serves as the scene-stealer. Gaining popularity in the movie industry day by day, nothing beats the stealth and precision in the adored but lethal weapon. Though there are dozens of movies featuring some amazing sniper stories and the sniper weapon, it’s quite difficult to find stories based on true events. Take a look at the 7 best sniper movies based on true stories:
7. D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear (2003)
For a television movie, D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear packs quite a punch. Director of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Dave Erickson reminds the audience how dreadful were the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks.
Holding Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. in a “grip of terror”, murderers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo engage in a killing spree and leave the citizens in a state of shock.
After the tireless efforts of Chief Charles Moose of the Montgomery County Police Department bear fruit, the two criminals are brought to justice despite being the archetypal “least likely suspects”.
6. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
In his directional debut, John Moore starts with a bang when he came up with Behind Enemy Lines. Loosely based upon the Mrkonjić Grad incident that happened during the war in Bosnia in 1995, comedy actor Owen Wilson dons a serious role for a change by starring as Lieutenant Chris “Longhorn” Burnett.
After poking his nose where it did not belong, Burnett gets shot down on his helicopter and must outrun a pursuing army led by a hardcore Serbian sniper who will stop at nothing to find him. With his rescue operation being constrained by internal politics, the chances of Burnett are extremely minimal.
With all honesty, Behind Enemy Lines generally received negative reviews because of the cliché-ridden script, less than credible plot, and abundance of action scenes that resembled an action video game but earned nearly $92 million from a budget of $40 million and even spawned three sequels.
5. Jarhead (2005)
Based upon U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford’s memoir of the same name, the 2005 biographical drama military movie Jarhead perfectly showcases how difficult the life of a sniper can be. Starring none other than Jake Gyllenhaal as Swofford, the U.S. Marine’s dreams of being a sniper are fulfilled only to face the nightmares that come along with it.
Struck with boredom, Swofford gets the chance at horrific sights such as demolition, storms, war, casualties, burnt bodies, and all that jazz during the First Persian Gulf War of 1991. Almost losing it when he nearly kills a man, Swofford must accept the arduous life that comes with being a man in the military.
4. Battle for Sevastopol (2015)
The story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a unique one as not many women can proudly call themselves a sniper. The Soviet female warrior joined the Red Army in order to battle the Nazi invasion of the USSR and became one of the deadliest snipers during World War II.
The joint Russian-Ukrainian biographical movie Battle for Sevastopol is a magnificent display of her bravery and patriotism but leading actress Yulia Peresild serves as the real deal for the portrayal.
3. American Sniper (2014)
With more than 160 officially confirmed kills by the Department of Defense, United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is regarded as the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military history. The life of the decorated sniper was the concern of the biographical war movie American Sniper.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, the movie was based upon the most popular sniper stories from the Iraq War and on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. From being taught by his father how to shoot a rifle and hunt deer to his death at the hands of a veteran he “was trying to help”, the movie might be the most accurate if not the best sniper movie based on actual events.
As one of the most talked-about movies of its time, American Sniper was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor but only managed to win one for Best Sound Editing.
2. Lone Survivor (2013)
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Lone Survivor proves that messing with the Taliban is not an easy pickle at all. Set in the war in Afghanistan and showcasing the dreadful failure of United States Navy SEALs’ counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings, it shows that even America faces defeat once in a while.
With the mission to track down and kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell and his sniper team are prepared to face the humanity-threatening outlaw with the aid of state-of-the-art warfare gadgets only to fail miserably.
Despite having a limited release, Lone Survivor had a strong financial success and earned positive responses from critics alike to the point of Academy Award nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
1. Enemy at the Gates (2001)
Even after fifteen years of its release, Enemy at the Gates continues to inspire and enthrall every moviegoer who searches for entertainment in not just sniper movies but also war movies.
The movie chronicles the events of a Soviet sniper and a Hero of the Soviet Union Vasily Zaytsev. Set in World War II, Vasily is a nightmare for the Germans and does not even spare some time for second thoughts before taking them out one by one.
Not an ordinary war movie, things get complicated when the Soviet Hero and Commisar Danilov fell in love with the same female soldier Tania Chernova. Though filled with a few historical inaccuracies, Enemy at the Gates stands out as the best sniper movie ever that is based on true events.
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