Eye in the Sky

Helen Mirren says that in addition to being "an incredible nail biter," her new film Eye in the Sky raises fundamental moral questions without taking sides.

Here’s where we find ourselves in the “war on terror” cinematic universe: finally we are able to pose moral weight on conscious decisions instead of the equivalency arena. Helen Mirren is Colonel Katherine Powell, whose mission is to coordinate and capture a terrorist cell in Kenya, but once on-the-ground intel spots a known tech mastermind, its obvious that militants are planning a suicide bombing. So the order is given for a drone strike, when a small girl selling baked goods is spotted in the kill zone. To halt the strike means massive casualties, so the crisis at hand is to determine if she can be led away or is collateral damage. As the international community of experts debates and passes the buck, it comes down to who makes the tough call before time runs out and the bombing is inevitable. Intense cuts that shift from the turmoil of the CIA liaison (played by the late Alan Rickman), who has just bought a doll for his own daughter, and Powell’s insistent prodding for clearance to proceed with the strike give this movie its substance. It’s a more realistic version of Fail Safe.

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