Stars: 5 out of 5
‘Eye in the Sky’ ranks above ‘Zootopia’ as this year’s best film by far. Alan Rickman (who has played Hans Gruber in the first ‘Die Hard’ and Severus Snape in the ‘Harry Potter’ series) has been gone for months and his soul will live on through this political surveillance-thriller named ‘Eye in the Sky;’ directed by Gavin Hood. I felt tension as I was sitting in a small independent theater for almost two hours where I was immediately hooked during the 20-30 minute mark. I have to give praise to ‘Eye in the Sky’ for the feeling of suspense in similar vein to films such as Clint Eastwood’s war-biopic ‘American Sniper’ and Sidney Lumet’s courtroom drama ‘12 Angry Men’.
Helen Mirren takes charge as no-nonsense Colonel Katherine Powell, who gets news of a supposed terrorist attack in Kenya where Jama Farah (Oscar-nominee Barkhad Abdi) is busy using a device to fly in a tiny fly-shaped camera to investigate a shed next to where a little girl named Alia (Aisha Takow) is selling bread. This causes some tension and a decision to be made between Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Rickman), the two pilots Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) and Carrie Gershon (Phoebe Fox), Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq (Babou Ceesay), Sergeant Mike Gleeson (Carl Beukes), and Lt. Colonel Ed Walsh (Gavin Hood) on when to strike the target.
‘Eye in the Sky’ is filled with so much tension that you feel each performance and emotion of these characters. Mirren is commanding and meant to be taken seriously; Rickman does good for the screen time he appears in; while Paul and Fox also impress me with very dramatic and emotional performances; Abdi also does a great job being serious and scared whenever the screenplay by Guy Hibbert tells him to. I remember seeing ‘Sicario’ and how much it gave me tension, I am relieved to finally get the tension that movie gave me back with ‘Eye in the Sky.’ I applaud this movie and really hope it deserves Oscar nominations, including the coveted ‘Best Picture.’ This is a great movie you need to see!