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294 Ratings

Eye in the Sky

Directed by Gavin Hood
United Kingdom, 2015
Drama, Thriller, War


A thriller set in the world of remotely piloted aircraft warfare.

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Eye in the Sky Directed by Gavin Hood

Awards & Festivals

National Board of Review

2016 | Winner: Top Ten Independent Films

London Critics Circle Film Awards

2017 | Nominee: Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker of the Year

It might’ve worked better as a one-hour TV play; as the plot stretches out and the buck is repeatedly passed, you may find yourself actively longing for the drone to strike already – but maybe that’s not really a problem, making us feel the visceral attraction of violence as a quick solution to a Gordian knot. Flaws and all, the film is valuable. When historians of the future try to make sense of our early-21st-century moment, this thoughtful, fair-minded drama will be on the viewing list.
August 15, 2016
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The film inverts [Joseph] Conrad’s formula. It asks what we would do if we knew everything. In a taut 102 minutes, the film condenses the ambiguities of drone warfare into a balance sheet of nigh certainties… Director Gavin Hood has deftly fashioned a film that will most likely mirror back to you whatever judgment you came in with about drones or ticking time-bomb scenarios.
May 04, 2016
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Unlike the delirious narratives of 24, Hood’s film forgoes hyperbole in its exacting dissection of an unfolding crisis scenario and the moral hand-wringing that it elicits. Although not overly nuanced, it’s certainly more assured and less heavy-handed than the director’s previous look at controversial foreign policy, Rendition. There’s also, in Hibbert’s deft script, a disarming element of farce undercutting the agonised political vacillations and chronic hierarchical buck-passing on display.
April 01, 2016

What are people saying?

  • Zachary T.'s rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    It takes a special kind of film to have you sympathetic to an order that would mean the death of a small child: "Eye in the Sky" is a profound treatise on wartime decision making, and the painful realities of collateral damage. Every available perspective is given agency and urgency, and while the presentation is crisp and detail oriented, moments of surprising sensitivity highlight the inevitable human toll.

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    Succeeds not only as a surprisingly entertaining thriller - one that actually thrills - but its handling of a large ensemble cast who presumably never met on a set is both deft and pacey: the characters have space to breathe - even if we don't - and its depiction of a transplanetary game of Pass the Buck allows for moments of wit and satire, as well as tragedy and spinning moral compasses. A good script, well made.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    By keeping the action focused on one possible military air strike that involves a joint action between three countries, Guy Hibbert's script and Gavin Hood's direction succeed in examining drone warfare where many films have failed. The immediacy of action and the suspense generated is well appreciated as are the performances by leads Mirren, Paul and Rickman. Also of note a supporting turn by Phoebe Fox.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    A damning indictment on omniscient Western interventionism (aka. drone strikes) whose rhetoric regarding 'minimizing collateral damage' as some form of humanitarian piety in pursuit of the 'lesser of two evils', is cogently countered with this gripping and polemical piece. A solid collaborative effort by all involved.

  • Steve Pulaski's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    Really was unprepared for how taut this was going to be. Alan Rickman leaves us with a final performance actors dream of having, a rich and assured performance capable of many readings inside a layered and contemplative film that couldn't be more contemporary if it tried. The film's structure subtly but firmly has the audience come to their own decision in what is ultimately one with fatal consequences regardless.

  • Thomas's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    Tense thriller unbiasedly showing the complexities faced when dealing with the detached decision-making of war. Fine performances all round.

  • Artemis's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    Overly simplistic in some areas, but a concise and taut depiction of the theatre of war, with a refreshingly sober view on Western entitlement.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Eye in the Sky

    Almost perfectly morally complex, may I be forgiven for thinking that murder is rarely given the gravitas this film expects? Also the crux is essentially that we aren't quite good enough at killing - in 20 years this film might be laughable given how honed the process will become. The cast and tension make this enjoyable but it's still trite - it's humanist where I'm all Gray's 'Torture: A Modest Proposal' ethos.

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