Eye in the Sky

EYE IN THE SKY (original release date: April 1)

When I first saw the trailers for this movie back in March, I didn’t give it a second thought. It looked like a run-of-the-mill genre picture, yet another morality play dressed up as human drama set against the Mideast conflict. Yawn.

But, after reading bloggers and critics’ pleas for people to give this movie another try (it bombed at the box office…I guess a lot of other people felt the same as I did), I gave it a chance and was happily proved wrong.

Eye in the Sky may be a movie about morality and the ethics of war, but it really goes so much deeper than that. Set mostly in a situation room where military and government minds have to navigate the ins and outs of drone surveillance and the possibility of taking out a wanted terrorist fugitive despite the civilian casualties it may cause, Eye in the Sky is a taut and compelling thriller/drama that tackles every issue from all sides, never coloring in any piece with commentary, providing the viewer the space to come to their own conclusions.

Starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and the great Alan Rickman in his last film role, this movie took me by surprise with its thwarting of gender roles and dedicated avoidance of cliché and stereotype. There is a way to make an issue movie without banging the audience over the head, and there is a way to make an action thriller with some real intelligence and calm. Director Gavin Hood establishes himself as a real talent and Rickman goes out the way he always lived: memorably.