Eye in the Sky Movie Review
There’s nothing like a girl selling bread to ruin your day. The nerve. The outrage. The inconvenience. In the expertly crafted thriller Eye in the Sky, Helen Mirren plays a British colonel running a drone surveillance program who discovers that several high-ranked terrorists have met together at a house—the perfect opportunity to hit them with a missile and take them out of the equation. The problem: a little girl selling bread right outside.
In what becomes an exploration of the moral implications of drone warfare, Eye in the Sky begs the question: is sacrificing an innocent life for the greater good worth it?
Mirren turns in a fine if understated performance, though given that her role primarily consists of her yelling commands and looking stressed while standing in a command room, her character won’t go down as one of her more memorable ones. However, Aaron Paul, as a conflicted American drone pilot, and Barkhad Abdi, as a field operative, are both great in their respective roles.
More important, Eye in the Sky is a tense and often captivating thriller that intelligently blends sequences where characters debate the moral and legal implications of their decisions with others that put the audience on the ground and in the air. Written and directed by Gavin Hood, who made the Oscar-winning Totsi but also the dreadful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the movie maneuvers more than adequately makes the most of what is ultimately a dialogue-driven film.
The movie falters a bit in the very end—Gavin, after spending nearly two hours establishing a black-or-white conundrum, eases up just a bit at the last second—but Eye in the Sky is an entertaining, suspenseful, and fascinating thriller that may not provide definitive answers, but certainly poses important questions.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.