Eye in the Sky
A military officer in command of a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya sees her mission escalate from “capture” to “kill” just as a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone.
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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 CT_Sexybeast 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.
★★★½ review by Chris (The Oldest Streamer) on Letterboxd
Relentless and heartpoundingly tense thriller despite scenes being set in primarily only five locations.
The use of drone technology is frighteningly explored whilst the protocols and ethics of using it are given a very balanced airing as the film builds up to its crescendo.
All the actors give fine performances and as Rickman's last film it is a very fitting tribute to his talent.
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