Movie Review: Eye in the Sky

This is probably the most unusual movie about war ever made. There are very few scenes of war action in this movie and instead the entire 2 hours was about one thing: what is war really all about. Is it about the young 19 year old kid that gets killed because he was too poor to go to college or have a friend in a high place who can sign a form and get him out of a tour in Vietnam or IRAQ, or is it about the people who make the high level decisions that decide whether an innocent child or innocent people die in order to attain a higher goal and maybe save lives in the future by preventing a suicide bomber or terrorist attack. What we all agree on is that war is always the worst of humanity and war is hell .

We all know that war is no longer what it was in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam war. Now we have billion dollar drone planes that fly all day long unmanned and can take pictures of the enemy and at any given moment can blow up a building a road or a group of terrorists. The movie Eye in the Sky is about this new war and the decisions that are made that might save lives or could take innocent lives and the reality is that in our current dangerous world these decisions have to be made every day.

This movie did an excellent job in showing how difficult decisions like this are to make, so difficult that in about 10 different circumstances the officials involved did not want to make the life and death choices necessary and passed the ultimate decision to someone else. The major dilemma in this movie was the potential opportunity lost of blowing up a building to kill several suicide bombers before they could kill many people in a shopping mall or maybe kill a small child who was right outside of the building selling bread. The acronym CDE is used quite a bit in this movie and it stands for Collateral Damage Estimate and its this number which is given as a percentage that complicates the decision on whether to blow up the building populated with several North African terrorists and the military accepted risk of killing innocent bystanders.

Most of this movie is about 5 groups of people in different locations all watching and identifying terrorists through the use of a drone in the sky and amazing small robot drones that look like hummingbirds and a small flying bug that can fly close outside of a building or even inside undetected and record images that can be transmitted all over the world. The military technology in this movie some of the best I have ever seen depicted and is the backdrop of the the debates that go back and forth that are based on moral, legal and military complications. The decisions that are delayed, deferred and ultimately made and how they all conclude are the best part of the acting and final message of this movie.

It was sad to see Alan Rickman in one of his last performances in this movie and his last line really stood out as the best, “never tell a soldier the about the cost of war”. Alan Rickman was a great actor and he will definitely be missed. The actress Helen Mirren  is also very good in her role as a high level military officer who ultimately makes the final decision on whether to blow up the building.

This movie was well done and I do recommend it.


Eye in the Sky – IMDB

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