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"American Sniper" pulled from theater in Iraq

"American Sniper" continues to make waves -- this time the controversy is centered in Iraq.

Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film was pulled from a theater in Baghdad, the only theater that had chosen to show the film, the Washington Post reports.

According to the paper, the decision followed a few "rowdy" screenings and growing complaints from both moviegoers and the Iraqi government.

The theater's manager said he scrapped the film after receiving a call from a senior official at the Ministry of Culture, who warned he could be hit with fines -- and even a shut-down -- if he continued to showcase the movie.

"He told me the film insults Iraqis," Fares Hilal told the Washington Post. "If we show it, we will be criticized. But if we don't, we lose money. A lot of people wanted to see this film."

Hilal runs a six-screen theater in Baghdad, which tries to replicate the American movie-going experience complete with popcorn and new films.

"American Sniper" has been a huge success in the United States, topping the box office multiple times and breaking a record for January releases.

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"American Sniper" chronicles real-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper) and his exploits in Iraq, along with his life back home in the States. It also stars a few real-life military members.

Cooper, who gained 40 pounds of muscle for the part, says "American Sniper" goes beyond the battlefield.

"I never saw it as a war movie, I saw it as a character study," Cooper told CBS News. "So, I never even contemplated anything other than someone would get to know this man and his family."

Last month, "American Sniper" stirred up some headline-grabbing debate following comments made by filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen.

On Feb. 22, it will compete for six awards at the Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Cooper.

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