With American Sniper, Clint Eastwood has helmed one of the biggest box-office hits in recent memory though Chris Kyle's story has not been without its criticism. The Oscar-nominated movie has been getting heat from the likes of Michael Moore and Bill Maher for its apparent mindless flag waving and intoxicating bias.

Clint EastwoodBradley Cooper [L] and Sienna Miller [R] in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper

Moore claimed Eastwood was getting "Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling" and Maher said the movie was nothing but the story of a "psychopath patriot." 

Yet, there is an argument to be made here that Eastwood knows what he's doing. That American Sniper packs a little more than dumb patriotism. A couple of critics, including Mark Kermode point out that the film is potentially a little more ambigious than Eastwood may have us believe. Which begs the question: is this an anti-U.S movie? 

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Probably not. But Eastwood himself has defended the message by saying "the biggest antiwar statement any film can make is to show the fact of what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did."

Still, when quizzed by entertainment site TMZ.com about what he thought of Mayer and Moore's criticism, Eastwood, with a wry smile, said: "Well, they are right."

American Sniper began life as a project for Steven Spielberg with the director wanting to share both sides of the story, developing the Iraqi sniper's character. However, the director dropped out and Eastwood took the reins, casting Bradley Cooper as America's deadliest sniper. On a budget of $58.8 million, the film has so far taken $361.3 million worldwide. 

More: Is American Sniper's Chris Kyle really a coward?