Gavin Hood’s sharp and unsettling political thriller, Eye in the Sky, details the heavy costs of drone warfare, presenting the viewer with a believable scenario, and never backing down from the reality of the story being presented. The diverse and eclectic cast includes a steely Helen Mirren, the superb as always Alan Rickman (so sad he’s gone), Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen, and Phoebe Fox, with everyone doing strong, un-showy, ground level work. Guy Hibbert’s swift screenplay wastes not a moment, getting right to business, and hardly letting up during the tight 90 minutes of action.
The slick lensing by Haris Zambarloukos is a further production bonus; this is a really photogenic movie without ever being in-your-face flashy. As with Hood’s extremely underrated 2007 topical thriller Rendition, he has a tendency to not go full-on over the top with his plotting, instead allowing for rational decisions to rule the day, no matter how cynical or upsetting the outcomes might be. The final moments sting with a Fuck The Man sentiment that would make a filmmaker like Robert Aldrich smile; Hood gets visually self-righteous and for just cause, as he knows his message is an important one.