American Sniper trailer takes a breath and holds it

American Sniper the book is a wonderful piece of writing, presenting a portrait of the late Chris Kyle, the “most lethal sniper in U.S. history.” It’s also the subject of an upcoming film, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, due for release on January 16, 2015.

This trailer gives a brief, tense look at Cooper in action as he lines up a shot on a surprising pair of apparent combatants. One thing that comes across very clearly in the book is Kyle’s relationship with his unique set of skills. He’s supremely competent, but he doesn’t revel in the “most lethal” designation that his combat performance won him. As short as it is, this trailer’s flash of images and framing recon sequence successfully captures that.