Dr. Jon Suter, Movie Man

This Week’s Review: Eye in the Sky

There were very few new films opening on the April 1 weekend, but I found a good one, Eye in the Sky. I probably would have chosen it for the sake of the cast, but it has many other virtues.  It is a very good techno-thriller with several troubling ethical questions.

eyeintheskyThe major cast members are Helen Mirren and the late Allan Rickman.  Their characters never meet on screen, but the tension between them is palpable.  The actor who portrayed a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips does a good job as a Somali fighting against terrorists.

The plot involves an international attempt to capture some leaders of Al-Shabab.  Of course, things go wrong and a decision is made to turn the mission into one of destruction rather than capture.  The fly in the ointment is the presence of a small child near the site of the proposed missile attack.  The officials in London and Washington dither for hours about whether it is better to let one child die than to save her and let others die at the hands of the terrorists.  Things are complicated by the soldiers preparing to fire Hellfire missiles  at the target; they have qualms about bombing children.  The tension grows as one official decides to stretch the truth in order to resolve the situation.

The questions raised by the film are timely and compelling.

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