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Eye in the Sky review: Terror thriller tests the nerves

By Damon Smith

Published 12/08/2016

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

Operation Cobra has been tracking radicalised British men and women linked to Somali group Al-Shabaab. One high-profile target, Susan Danford (Lex King), is under surveillance in Kenya.

Lt General Frank Benson (Alan Rickman) takes control from London, while Foreign Secretary James Willett (Iain Glen) watches a live video feed from a US drone piloted by Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) in Nevada.

Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) has a direct link to Watts and explains the objective is "to capture not kill".

When covert footage reveals targets are wearing suicide vests for an imminent attack, priorities change. Dedicated to Rickman's memory, Eye In The Sky is an intelligent and timely thriller that asks if there is such a thing as acceptable collateral damage in the pursuit of global freedom.

Gavin Hood's nerve-wracking film doesn't have the answer.

Instead, we go through the emotional wringer as an American and British taskforce decides if the slaughter of one innocent child is a tolerable consequence of neutralising a jihadist cell.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph

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