Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMichelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Meghan McCain shares story of miscarriage Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (R-Ariz.) on Monday offered high praise for Clint Eastwood's blockbuster hit "American Sniper" and blasted critics of the film for maligning an "American hero."

In a statement, McCain defended the controversial film as a keen portrayal of the lives of military troops and their families and said he is pleased the movie is gaining such wide audiences.


"This film depicts with subtlety and compassion those brave few who serve our nation in uniform, their experiences in the horror of war, the burdens they often bear upon returning home, and the untold sacrifices of their families," McCain said. 

"It is deeply regrettable that obsessive critics of U.S. foreign policy have sought to disparage this film and denigrate the memory of a noble American warrior," he continued.

"Fortunately, their pettiness has not stopped millions of Americans from seeing American Sniper, and hopefully in the process, gaining a greater appreciation for the service and sacrifice of America’s military service members and their families."

"American Sniper" is reportedly headed toward earnings of $300 million after its second week at the top of the U.S. box office.

The film tells the story of the late Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL credited with the most kills in U.S. history. Kyle served four tours in Iraq before he was shot at a Texas gun range by a mentally ill veteran.

The movie closely tracks Kyle's work as a sniper and the ethical gray areas he must navigate.

Not all critics were pleased with how Eastwood, the film's director, chose to portray Kyle. Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Seth Rogen and a variety of online commentators have decried the film for purportedly glorifying violence and failing to challenge Kyle's view of Muslim insurgents as "savages" and "evil."

Those critics have prompted a backlash from Republican politicians and opinion-makers, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Bill Kristol.

"Hollywood leftists: while caressing shiny plastic trophies you exchange among one another while spitting on the graves of freedom fighters who allow you to do what you do, just realize the rest of America knows you're not fit to shine Chris Kyle's combat boots," Palin recently wrote on her Facebook page.

"American Sniper" is gaining big audiences around the country, particularly in the South and the heartland, Hollywood trade publications reported Monday.