Clint Eastwood -- Manliness & Civic Virtue in His Later Movies | National Review:
"With Eastwood, something of classical Hollywood returns. He wants a legacy, not as an artist or a businessman but as an American. He wants to show what American confidence is about at a remove from political institutions and the upper middle class, whose successes incline it to look to the future with hope.
This attempt to reveal heroism in the lives of Americans, and to portray it as both a source of confidence and a spur to gratitude, was the meaning of his last war movie, American Sniper (2014). It was not the number of confirmed kills or the prowess of the sniper that was paramount but the protagonist’s dedication to the lives of his fellow soldiers. "