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

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