Eye in the Sky

This war story depicts violence at its most gentle; its most deadly and its most humane. Every choice that the characters make can be questioned with a “But if you do that … … .” And even when a choice is made, that too can be questioned with the same warning.

Lex King (Susan Helen Danford), an English woman, is radicalized by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. High-tech US surveillance equipment discovers she is working in Nairobi and the British military are contacted. Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is given the task of capturing King but when she witnesses the British subject join four other known Somali terrorists, she escalates the mission from ‘capture’ to ‘kill.’ An assault is planned which involves four continents, a surfeit of politicians, Kenyan Secret Forces and a drone in Nairobi that is being operated from Las Vegas.

Eye in the Sky poster.
Eye in the Sky poster.

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of this compelling film is the fact that it’s the points of view of the characters that drive the story along its conflicted path. As each new drama unfolds, facts are depicted so clearly that the audience finds themselves drawn into the same dilemmas as the people on screen. Truths are dropping like bombs and, each time, the writer challenges us to decide what we would do if we were in his characters’ shoes. Writing doesn’t get any better than that.

The actors are all convincing in their roles and, although no witty lines are uttered, there are many ironic moments that make us laugh at bumbling politicians and top brass military who don’t care how low they swoop to get the result they want. The only moments that miss the mark are the excessive scenes with the drone pilot in tears. The writer had already done the director’s job by letting the pilot give a voice to a helpless child who we loved, and if he’d sat stony-faced for the rest of the film, he could be no less a hero.

As we are hurled through a maelstrom to this story’s tumultuous end, we are confronted with a visual that noiselessly screams “Look what you did,” to which the only reply can be “But what if I hadn’t?” This final tearing of the audience’s emotions leaves no doubt that the only good thing that can ever come from terrorism is this film.

United States Mar 11, 2016
CroatiaMar 24, 2016
Republic of Macedonia Mar 24, 2016
Estonia Mar 25, 2016
Netherlands Apr 7, 2016
Singapore Apr 7, 2016
Chile Apr 14, 2016
United Kingdom Apr 15, 2016
Ireland Apr 15, 2016
Sweden Apr 22, 2016
France May 11, 2016