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Eye in the Sky (2015)

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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.

Director:

Gavin Hood

Writer:

Guy Hibbert
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Popularity
3,496 ( 816)
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Faisa Hassan Faisa Hassan ... Fatima Mo'Allim
Aisha Takow 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
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Storyline

Colonel Katherine Powell is 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. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The longer you watch, the less clearly you see. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

Somali | English

Release Date:

1 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enemigo invisible See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,803, 13 March 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,700,837, 17 July 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to budgetary restrictions during the six-week shoot, actors often worked individually. For example, when Helen Mirren is in the decision room, she was actually speaking in real time to the film's director, Gavin Hood, and facing a green screen with a red 'X' designating her line of focus. See more »

Goofs

When the US Air Force servicemen are outside no one is wearing a cover. US military personnel always wear a hat when outside. See more »

Quotes

Lt. General Frank Benson: Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.
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Crazy Credits

Head of Bean Counting - Graeme Law See more »

Connections

Featured in Eye in the Sky: Perspectives (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Unsettling heart-parked-in-your-mouth film
12 April 2016 | by ctowyiSee all my reviews

This is a white-knuckled heart-parked-in-your-mouth "tick tock" suspense thriller. Hardly an ounce of fats lined a lean and mean explosive storyline, and this one is going to hit the "career reset" button for Gavin Hood (even though his last effort Ender's Game is quite decent).

Eye in the Sky towers above Good Kill (2015) on so many levels. They have the same story premise and both are spins on drone warfare, but their similarities end there. I really thought GK was a decent film albeit a tad too heavy on melodrama histrionics and it ultimately became top down heavy in its underlying message of modern warfare. EitS on the other hand is a complete marvel. It is exactly what GK isn't. It dares to ask probing ethical and moral questions but never cheapens the narrative by giving you broad-stroked answers; it will involve you totally and absolutely. We go through a minefield of moral conundrums and nobody will come out unscathed. The script is exceptionally probing and showcases all the legalistic, moralistic, ethical and political red-tape as parties, seated in situation rooms in different parts of the world (including a toilet), convened to decide whether a Hellfire missile should be launched. We see, almost in real time, the ramifications at every angle, from the innocent bystander, to the terrorists, to the people in suits and to the dude seated in a tiny room, his hands on the red trigger of a joystick. Innocence is indeed the first casualty of war.

Another reason this film shines is its refusal to go down certain genre tropes. You won't see the guy, who had squeezed the trigger to rain down destruction on collateral innocents, drown in alcohol and sucking in a line of coke. You won't see a woman going home to hug her toddler to reassure herself that she did the right thing. You won't see commanders giving you three-point sermons of "it is a dirty job but somebody has to do it so that the world will be a better place". There is such a raw and unsettling freshness to it. It may be a full-on talkie but I was gripping my arm-rests tightly and my wifey had her palms parked at her mouth, almost literally from the get-go.

The acting is all round immaculate. Helen Mirren shines as a hard-nosed military officer with a tiny soft spot for her underlings. Few actresses can elevate a film just with their presence; Mirren is one for the ages. This must be the best role I have seen Aaron Paul in since Breaking Bad. His role isn't easy, especially when he is stuck in a gamer's chair almost throughout the film. His face displays so much range that you would feel his internal turmoil as his omniscient eye calculates whether it will be a good kill. Barkhad Abdi, last seen as the baddie in Captain Phillips, has a superb turn as an operative on the ground, proving he is not a fluke. This is also Alan Rickman's final acting role and I literally count down the minutes that he will disappear from the big screen. The utterly memorable line he delivers with that quietly supercilious voice of his send chills down my spine. I am going to miss this fine actor.

Eye in the Sky is superbly cerebral and morally thought-provoking; a suspense thriller for intelligent people. It is impossible to come out of this 102-minute film and not have your soul shattered in some way. This is one of those films you shouldn't watch alone because you would immediately want to discuss with someone which side of the fence you would sit on and count the dire consequences. Is there even a right side?


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