Eye in the Sky

"Excellent"

Eye in the Sky Review


Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety of perspectives that bring the moral dilemmas sharply into focus. This includes textured performances from seriously gifted actors who add layers of political, military, legal and emotional meaning to each moment along the way. So the film is continuously gripping, putting the audience right in the middle of the action.

The target is in a suburb of Nairobi, where three of the world's most wanted Somali jihadists are gathering to prepare two young suicide bombers for a mission. British Colonel Powell (Helen Mirren) is overseeing the operation from London, with her American drone pilots (Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox) working in Las Vegas. The hitch is that two of the targets are UK citizens, and one is American, which means that they also need to have government officials in on the discussion. So Lt General Benson (Alan Rickman) is watching with British government ministers (including Jeremy Northam and Monica Dolan). Meanwhile in Kenya, a local operative (Barkhad Abdi) is on the scene. But just as everyone agrees to fire the missile, a young girl (Aisha Takow) wanders into the danger zone.

What follows is a remarkably tense escalation of decision-making, as everyone passes the buck up the chain to avoid making the call themselves. Guy Hibbert's script orchestrates this skilfully, keeping the atmosphere taut while stirring generous doses of black comedy into the interaction between soldiers and politicians. This includes amusing scenes in which Britain's foreign secretary (Iain Glen) is dragged into the conversation while suffering food poisoning in Singapore. Yes, the film has a terrific sense of instant global connections, as its characters work together at a huge distance from each other and from the target of their operation.

Mirren holds the film together with pure grit as a superbly determined woman who understands the ramifications but has a job to do. Paul and Fox add strongly emotional angles as the ones charged with pulling the trigger. Abdi is the story's action hero, and he's superb as a quick-thinking guy with some very cool gadgets. And the late Rickman shines as a military man stuck in a room of thin-skinned politicians. By never showing the terrorists' point of view, director Gavin Hood (Ender's Game) forces the audience to watch from a removed perspective, which heightens both the morality and urgency. So not only is the film wrenchingly thrilling, but it's also haunting in what it suggests about modern-day warfare.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Eye In The Sky:



Eye in the Sky

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st April 2016

Production compaines: Moonlighting Films, , Raindog Films, eOne Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Ged Doherty, ,

Starring: as Colonel Katherine Powell, as Steve Watts, as Lieutenant General Frank Benson, as Foreign Secretary James Willett, as Jama Farah, Phoebe Fox as Carrie Gershon, Kim Engelbrecht as Lucy Galvez, as Brian Woodale, Meganne Young as Lizzy, Carl Beukes as Sergeant Mike Gleeson, as Angela Northman, as Image Analyst, Armand Aucamp as Airman, Babou Ceesay as Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq, Francis Chouler as Jack Cleary, Kenneth Fok as Chris Lee, as Tom Bellamy, Olga Gainullina as Major Harold Webb, John Heffernan as Nigel Adler, Graham Hopkins as Kate Barnes, Jessica Jones as Sammy, Tyrone Keogh as Susan Helen Danford, Lex King as Female Corporal, as Attorney General George Matherson, Richard McCabe as Karl Moore, Zak Rowlands as Voice Actor, Julian Stone as Robert Powell, Luke Tyler as Alia Mo'Allim, Aisha Takow as Damisi, Ebby Weyime as Muhammad Abdisalaam

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.