Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky is a 2015 British thriller film starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi. The film, directed by Gavin Hoodand based on a screenplay by Guy Hibbert, is about military personnel facing legal, ethical, and political dilemmas presented by modern drone warfare against those using terrorist tactics, and civilians who are endangered by it.  

Through remote surveillance and on the ground intelligence, General Powell (Helen Mirren) discovers their targets are planning a suicide bombing.  Through this information they have to get approval to move from capture to a kill mission.    

When you sit down to see this movie,  it's not about the action, the war and not even character development.  You become an observer of the levels of authority and the executors of the actions and you begin to wonder.  What is the right or wrong thing to do.  Even deeper, what is ethical, moral and compassionate.  From the beginning, you are introduced to the soldiers that man the drones here in the US.  Slowly looking at their daily routine.  Then you are moved to the group who picks the targets and provide the Intel to the soldiers who are located some where in the UK.  Short and sweet, you see a war on terrorism forming into the story line.  Added to these scenario's, we go to the country and area where the target is located. At this point, the director has invited you into the plot of the story and gets your visual and mental agreement of what these teams are doing is the right thing.  By then, two separate scenarios are introduced.  A known terrorist is found with the criminals that they wanted to capture.  With this intel, it now becomes a kill request.  But, with all the gyrations of getting the kill request approved, an innocent civilian ( and it happens to be a child) has entered into the kill zone.  Now the tone takes on a different perspective when you are introduced to the politicians attempting to roll responsibility to each other, and the soldiers who are about to execute their first kill and they  are conflicted with the request and the official policy of the rules of engagement.  As the conflict is taking place, the General who knows her job is to eliminate terrorist for the greater good is attempting to manipulate the conditions to get approval to execute the mission  before the window closes on their chance to eliminate the terrorist and stop the plan of killing hundreds of people.  This movie poses an amazing moral dilemma that people shouldn't just think of it as a right or wrong issue.  Somethings are the right thing to do but have wrong consequences.  Very cerebral but worth the look.