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Eye in the Sky stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top-secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from "capture" to "kill." But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) 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.
A new - and important - type of war movie
By Paul Donovan TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 3, 2016
Nine Things About the Film "Eye in the Sky"
1. This is one of the best movies of 2016. It's intelligent, suspenseful, and relevant.
2. I've never seen a war movie like this one. It's about the use of drone strikes on terrorist targets, and the complicated things that must happen before a drone actually attacks. Much of the movie is seen from the viewpoint of the drone flying above the suggested target, dispassionately tracking things, no matter how emotional everything else is getting.
3. The plot of the movie concerns a joint British-American operation to capture three terrorists. Our technology is such that the British can command things from their base in Britain, and the Americans can control the drone from their base in Las Vegas. The drone itself is in Nairobi, Kenya.
The situation of the target becomes more complicated, and what was intended to be a capture operation becomes a possible kill operation. The situation focuses more tightly on the target, while simultaneously expanding to people all over the globe.
4. The technology used in the movie is a mixture of things that are currently being used, as well as things that exist but are still being prepared for field use. This is both fascinating and scary.
5. The characters each represent a certain facet of war - violence, law, politics, ethics, and propaganda. They all get into a frustratingly ludicrous chain of command, in which everyone needs everyone else's permission to do anything. The movie made me realize that the line between caution and cowardice is very very blurry - and absurd.
6. The characters also represent a certain cost of war - physical, emotional, psychological, and moral. The cost of everything becomes a set of probabilities, a few immutable numbers. The real mission in war is finding the people willing to pay such costs.
7. About halfway through the movie, I made my decision about what I would do in that situation, and I didn't change it. This meant that I also had to take responsibility, however vicariously, for the results of the movie's events.
8. The cast is top-notch. Helen Mirren was very impressive as the military colonel ready to get the job done. This was also Alan Rickman's last on-screen role before his death, and he was great as the increasingly frustrated mission supervisor.
9. This is a thought-provoking, discussion-starting film that touches one of the hottest buttons in military politics today. No matter what your opinion is on the movie's topics, the world you live in before you see this movie is a little different than the world you will live in after you see it.