Eye in the Sky
A UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” As American pilot Steve Watts is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute reaching the highest levels of US and British government over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.
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★★★½ review by Nick Da Silva on Letterboxd
Though its' themes aren't as revelatory as the movie itself may believe, Eye in the Sky is a solid, well directed thriller with bolstered by strong work from a great cast.
★★★★ review by Tooley I Am King on Letterboxd
It's slow to start, but Eye in the Sky is essential filmmaking due to its detailed depiction of modern warfare and the moral dilemmas that come with it. Gavin Hood has crafted a fascinating, tense, and surprisingly engaging political thriller that, thanks to a phenomenal cast led by Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Aaron Paul, can connect to all audiences and leave an impact after you leave the theater.
★★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
Intense, timely, and smartly crafted, Eye in the Sky is Gavin Hood's best work as a director by far, with fantastic performances from Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and the late great Alan Rickman, mounting emotional tension, thought-provoking ethical and moral questions, and an engrossing, well-detailed depiction of modern drone warfare and the collateral damage it causes.
★★★★ review by Steve G on Letterboxd
I blame a disappointing experience with a round of toast for what was on my mind for a lot of my viewing of Eye In The Sky.
For as long as that little girl had bread on her table, I just kept thinking how nice it looked and that I really wanted to just bloody eat loads of it. Yesterday I had a couple of slices of toast from a typically shitty Warburton's loaf (had nothing else in) and seeing that bread just had me obsessing over having some good bread.
This review isn't going to be all about bread, but I do find it amusing that one of tautest thrillers I've seen for many years (and I've seen a few, I quite like a thriller or two thousand) really does revolve a lot of its tension around whether that girl can flog her bread before a bomb gets dumped on the house she's selling it outside. One Kenyan operative barely escapes with his life trying to buy a load to get rid of her and, for a short time, it looks as though a little boy buying it from her might end up in the firing line as well.
Written down here, it all makes Eye In The Sky faintly ridiculous. In fact, not faintly but completely. If I read this before seeing the film, I'd think someone was having a laugh with me. But it's actually a pretty self-contained example at how superb this film is at creating tension and suspense out of what could be viewed, in the grand scheme of things, as a fairly low scale incident. Or certainly to start off with.
As the film progresses, we gradually become more and more aware of just how big everything that's happening here could be, especially as the film becomes entrenched in a moral debate. Actually, I think that side of things was perhaps this film's only weak point. Although handled well, I think I've seen and heard enough of this kind of thing in many other things to get the score and for it to not offer me a great deal.
Of far greater interest were the intricacies of protocol and procedure which are largely carried out to the letter and then manipulated subtly to the ends of the people in control of them. Helen Mirren's cajoling of a risk assessment officer into creating the figures she needs to make the strike is brilliantly done because it helps to highlight the question marks this film poses about whether conscience is playing as much of a part in warfare as it used to be.
Her character is key here. At turns seeming to be very conscientious and morally grounded but completely committed to the only course of action she can see, she doesn't outwardly display any inward conflicts but we are given all the clues we need to know they are there. She is absolutely superb here, as is Alan Rickman as the lieutenant general playing the go-between for her and the politicians who seem intent on passing the buck as far as it will go on an admittedly tough decision.
I personally question the ending, although I could see it coming a mile off. Somewhat manipulative, I'm not sure we actually needed to be told the fate of the girl as the inner turmoil of so many involved is well portrayed without it. Even so, Eye In The Sky, despite the occasional teeter into something cornier, is a really cracking thriller.
★★★★ review by Milez Das on Letterboxd
Lt. General Frank Benson: Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.
A mission that starts with to be captured, Colonel Katherine Powell has been tracking a known British citizen turned terrorist for six years. She finally has her in sight. Lieutenant General Frank Benson is sitting with ministers and Attorney General. On the other side on American base Lieutenant Steve Watts and Carrie Gershon are the Eye in the Sky.
When things turn drastically, the operation changes from capture to kill. But the situation demands to take a decision and in a room where tension starts to increase with the collateral damage to be accounted for and shooting a drone into a place where we are not in war, taking decision becomes more difficult. Nobody wants to make that decision, everyone starts to refer up. While British start to evaluate the damage and trying to save the little girl selling the bread on the street where the drone has to land, the questions start to arise.
Weather it is plausible to kill the number four, five and six on the most wanted list while making the little girl collateral damage? There is also the situation of suicide bombing that can kill more than 80 people at ones. Are you willing to take that risk? It becomes more hard if you are the one who is going to pull the trigger.
There is morality involved. You can't just press the button and boom everything goes away. Finding the right moment to strike is especially difficult circumstance. I mean every corner of the street will collateral damage. Every person sitting will be responsible but only one has to answer to the public if anything goes wrong. A single mistake can change every thing.
Atleast the American's were firm on their decision. I mean they have the experience. As the movie starts to build, you are on your edge of the seat, you breath is slow. You might be chewing your fingernails. It gets intense, it gets difficult, it shows there is a part of the world where this happens and is happening.
You can't have a great thriller and suspense movie without a stellar cast and this movie has everything from Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul and Barkhad Abdi. They hold this movie together like a rock.
This is a movie Alan Rickman would be proud to be his final one. His performance is to be remembered. His final scene with Angela makes you give a standing ovation to him. the control he has over his character is just brilliant to watch. He gave us many memorable characters especially Hans Gruber and Professor Severus Snape. He will always be remembered not by his real name but by his characters and I think that is the best thing an actor could ask for. Every Harry Potter fan cried the day he died. Always...
Eye in the Sky is a intense thriller with gripping performances about a making a decision that becomes more tense and morally obligated.
RIP Alan Rickman.
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