The drone warfare thriller Eye in the Sky, out now on Digital HD and Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, asks some serious questions about the nature of remote warfare but does so as part of a compelling story about procedures and protocols. It’s on a par with journalism thrillers like 2015 Best Picture winner Spotlight or the classic All the President’s Men, except with added explosions.
A UK citizen has joined a terror cell in Kenya and Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) commands a top secret drone strike unit that sees a chance to take out the terrorists when they gather for a meeting before heading out to detonate some suicide vests. Aaron Paul stars as Steve Watts, an American drone pilot who has concerns about civilian collateral damage. Barkhad Abdi (the “I’m the Captain now” guy from Captain Philips) is an on-the-ground operative and Alan Rickman (in his final role) plays Powell’s commanding officer.
We’ve got a clip that sets up the dilemmas posed in the excellent screenplay by Guy Hibbert.
And another clip where Powell and Watts clash over whether it’s time to fire the drone.
We spoke to director Gavin Hood about Eye in the Sky earlier this year when the film played in theaters. He has some fascinating thoughts about the changing ethics of war and the making of the movie.
Eye in the Sky is one of the smartest and most entertaining movies so far this year. The moments where its characters debate whether to fire a missile are every bit as exciting as the explosions from your favorite action movie. It’s a film that understands and supports the war on terror while understanding the gray areas that kind of war creates. And it does a fascinating job of highlighting the ways Western governments and intelligence agencies are working together to manage the threat.