Movie Reviews: Eye In The Sky




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     (Bleecker Street) 1 hr. 42 min.
     A military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when an innocent girl enters the kill zone.
     Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

“Eye in the Sky” poses the question: “What would you do?”

The film’s premise hangs on the military’s decision to release a drone’s Hellfire missile on a terrorist cell as they are in the midst of arming themselves with suicide vest. The hitch is the missile strike will also kill an innocent little girl whose selling bread outside the cell’s safe house. 

Helen Mirren plays a no-nonsense British officer (Col. Katherine Powell) in charge of routing out terrorists in Kenya. Alan Rickman (Lt. Gen. Frank Benson), in his last role, is Powell’s superior who, like Powell, believes the safe house should be destroyed immediately before anyone can leave. Powell and Benson are willing to sacrifice one little girl to save hundreds of lives.

Screenplay writer Guy Hibbert and director Gavin Hood pay meticulous attention to detail and character development – so all the character’s are three-dimensional, not cookie-cutter stereotypes. The audience cares about each person. There are not many deaths in the film, but each one is solidly felt.

Put in lesser hands, Schwarzenegger would have been cast to blow up the terrorist cell, accepted the collateral damage, smoked a cigar and called it good. Thank the film Gods that never happened. The solution seemed pretty cut and dry. However, Powell and Benson run into a gauntlet of international protocols and red tape. Nobody wants to take responsibility for pulling the trigger – including the drone pilots who are struggling with a crisis of conscience.

“Eye in the Sky’s” tension is riveting and suspenseful, as the terrorists are moments away from leaving their lair to complete their deadly mission. In the meantime, the wheels of bureaucracy slowly grind away. Provocative and engrossing, “Eye in the Sky” offers no easy answers.

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