Drone Warfare – Eye in the Sky (2015)

A nail-biter.  So this is about a military operation in Kenya.  There are a number of high profile targets together in the same house, and the U.S. military can see all of the goings-on through the advanced technology of drones.  When the situation starts to escalate, it seems like a no-brainer to take the kill shot, but when an unexpected complication enters the equation, it is just not that simple of a call to make.  My father recommended this to me, and I had a free Saturday to do nothing but catch up on movies, so I figured why not check out a 10 AM showing of this for five bucks.  Let me tell you, this is my early favorite of movie of the year, and it is a thriller that wants for you to start a dialogue on a hot button topic issue: drone warfare.

2It’s very easy to see why people feel so strongly either way about this.

Now I don’t know a ton about drones, so I don’t consider myself an expert on this topic.  That said, I found the technology featured here fantastic in the literal sense of the word; there are hummingbird drones and beetle drones that are so tiny, you would have no chance in recognizing it as a robot unless you were standing within a few feet of it.  It makes you want to go out and do research to see if this type of technology exists, and yeah, it is out there, it is just the amount of field usage that they have seen is where there is some variance.  This ends up playing similarly to a locked room drama; you don’t have all that many locations here, just the target building in Kenya and a few various military facilities.  This makes it really up to the actors to sell it, and what a remarkably talented cast they got here.  This is easily the best Aaron Paul movie out there after Breaking Bad wrapped up, although that’s not saying a lot.  Helen Mirren gives a committed performance like she always does, and it is awesome to see Barkhad Abdi get work after Captain Phillips.  It is understandably a bit sad to see Alan Rickman in one of his final roles, but at least it’s a really good one for him to be remembered by.

1R.I.P., you will be missed.

Eye in the Sky is both a complex and challenging film.  It places you smack dab in the middle of this dilemma, and it offers no easy answers, as there are very valid arguments that can be made on both sides of the coin.  Once it revs up, it doesn’t slow down for anything, and there are so many things that can go wrong, it stresses you out.  I was in a bit of a cold sweat, and I kept catching myself taking heavy breaths because I kept forgetting to breathe.  There is a tense score that heightens the intensity, and this is a quandary of a movie that I recommend to everybody, if only to get conversations started.

Eye in the Sky (2015) ****1/2

– Critic for Hire

Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016?  See for yourself here.


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