7.3/10
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293 user 259 critic

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
Reviews
Popularity
4,124 ( 610)
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 commander is in England. The drone pilot is in America. The terrorist is in Kenya. And the authority to strike is up in the air. 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

Kenya's gun laws prevent ownership of even toy guns; an exception being if one's home has been broken into repeatedly, in which case a shotgun is permitted (after a rigorous approval process). The notion that people would be standing guard with a gun (much less driving around with a mounted machine gun) is nonsense, and this takes place only a few miles from downtown. See more »

Quotes

James Willett: Revolutions are fueled by postings on YouTube.
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Crazy Credits

Head of Bean Counting - Graeme Law See more »

Connections

Featured in Eye in the Sky: Morals (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

 
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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