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

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

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.