Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.


Gavin Hood


Guy Hibbert
4,952 ( 272)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Faisa Hassan Faisa Hassan ... Fatima Mo'Allim
Aisha Takow ... Alia Mo'Allim
Armaan Haggio Armaan Haggio ... Musa Mo'Allim
Helen Mirren ... Colonel Katherine Powell
Bob Chappell Bob Chappell ... Simon Powell
Alex Gallafent Alex Gallafent ... Reporter
Aaron Paul ... Steve Watts
Babou Ceesay ... Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq
Carl Beukes ... Sergeant Mike Gleeson
Kate Liquorish ... Female Sergeant
Richard Stephenson Richard Stephenson ... Staff Sergeant
Gabriella Pinto Gabriella Pinto ... Female Corporal
Tylan Wray Tylan Wray ... Male Corporal
Hossain Dahir Hossain Dahir ... Driver One
Mondé Sibisi Mondé Sibisi ... Muhammad Abdisalaam


Colonel Katherine Powell (Dame Helen Mirren) is a U.K.-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 Lieutenant 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 U.S. and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Welcome to the new front line. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The main part of the plot unfolds in real time. See more »


When the girl is selling bread, the woman who bought the first bread barters for a price of 45 shillings. She hands over a note and doesn't get change. Kenya has no note currency of 45 shillings. She would have gotten change in coins. See more »


[first lines]
Alia Mo'Allim: [her father is fixing her hula hoop] It's the best one I've ever had.
Musa Mo'Allim: Yes, my dear. It's finished. Go and play.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Head Bean Counter - Graeme Law See more »


Referenced in Honest Trailers: Die Hard (2015) See more »


Nude Dancing
Written by Gabriel Previtera (as G. Previtera) / Paul Hepker (as P. Hepker)
Performed by zelig
Featuring Abashante
Courtesy of kekila music
See more »

User Reviews

Relevant political drama marred by overlong decision making
22 April 2016 | by mgumsleySee all my reviews

Are our political leaders really the dithering, self seeking personalities that this film makes them out to be? We are all familiar with the few being sacrificed for the greater good; this film implies once the few become familiar, the decision process is marred.

However, this is overall a very good and well intentioned movie, probably the finest that Gavin Hood has ever made. Of course, he is on familiar ground back in the continent of Africa and his empathy with the way this continent is used for the evil ends of extremist groups shines throughout.

Generally speaking, I was more engaged with the first part of the film when the plot is set up, and Helen Mirren as a dedicated army colonel is chasing down Al Shabab in Kenya. The army has tracked down extremists to Nairobi and is sending in a drone to investigate a group of people heading for a house in the suburbs. Mirren wants to blow it up, the drone identifies a group of wanted terrorists, including British nationals, and slowly politicians get involved in the decision making process, and worse still, it looks as if a suicide bombing mission is about to happen.

I really found all this most engaging. The birds eye view of the drone turned out to be fascinating, as Hood lets the cameras explore through the eyes of hummingbird and bug drones.

Then the suits, i.e. the politicians start dithering.... and dithering... and changing their minds, often. The plot is further complicated by the need to reduce collateral damage, and when a child becomes involved in this, its a bit like Hood's old Tsotsi movie again, with a bigger and more dramatic subject.

The finale is stunning and almost redeems the pain that has gone on for about forty five minutes previously. Hood does a superb job of directing and the able cast, headed up by the no nonsense Mirren, graphically show us their emotional perspectives on the whole incident. Its just a pity that the story line gets caught up in a sort of time warp as the dithering goes on.

Despite its flaws, its well worth watching, and I really would have liked to have given it a better rating.

Mary Gumsley

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Official Sites:

Official Site


UK | Canada


English | Somali

Release Date:

1 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eye in the Sky See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,803, 13 March 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Surround 7.1



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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