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|Eye in the Sky|
British release poster
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|Directed by||Gavin Hood|
|Written by||Guy Hibbert|
|Edited by||Megan Gill|
|Distributed by||Entertainment One|
|Box office||$35.4 million|
Eye in the Sky is a năm ngoái British thriller film starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi. Directed by Gavin Hood and written by Guy Hibbert, the film explores the ethical challenges of drone warfare. Filming began in South Africa in September năm trước.
The film premiered at the năm ngoái Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September năm ngoái. Bleecker Street distributed the film in cinemas in the United States with a limited release on 11 March năm 2016 and then a wide release on 1 April.
It is the last live-action film to tát feature Alan Rickman, who died in January năm 2016 (his last film overall, Alice Through the Looking Glass, features his voice acting only). The film was dedicated to tát his memory.
The film opens in Nairobi, Kenya, where Alia Mo'Allim, a young girl, twirls a hula-hoop in her backyard.
British Army Colonel Katherine Powell wakes up and hears that an undercover British/Kenyan agent has been murdered by the Al-Shabaab group. From Northwood Headquarters, she takes command of a mission to tát capture three of the ten highest-level Al-Shabaab leaders, who are meeting in a safe house in Nairobi.
A multinational team works on the capture mission, linked together by Clip and voice systems. Aerial surveillance is provided by a USAF MQ-9 Reaper drone controlled from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada by Second Lieutenant Steve Watts. Undercover Kenyan field agents, including Jama Farah, use short-range ornithopter and insectothopter cameras to tát links in ground intelligence. Kenyan special forces are positioned nearby to tát make the arrest. Facial recognition to tát identify human targets is done at Joint Intelligence Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The mission is supervised in the United Kingdom by a COBRA meeting that includes British Lieutenant General Frank Benson, two full government ministers and a ministerial under-secretary.
Farah discovers that the three high-level targets are now arming two suicide bombers for what is presumed to tát be an attack on a civilian target. Powell decides that the imminent bombing changes the mission objective from "capture" to tát "kill". She requests Watts to tát prepare a precision Hellfire missile attack on the building, and solicits the opinion of her British Army legal counsel. To her frustration, her counsel advises her to tát seek approval from superiors. Benson asks permission from the COBRA members, who fail to tát reach a decision and refer the question up to tát the UK Foreign Secretary, presently on a trade mission to tát Singapore. He does not offer a definite answer and defers to tát the United States Secretary of State, who immediately declares the American suicide bomber an enemy of the state. The Foreign Secretary then insists that COBRA take due diligence to tát minimise collateral damage.
Alia, who lives next door, is now near the target building selling her mother's bread. The senior military personnel stress the risk of letting would-be suicide bombers leave the house. The lawyers and politicians involved in the chain of command argue the personal, political and legal merits of and justification for launching a Hellfire missile attack in a friendly country not at war with the US or UK, with the significant risk of collateral damage. Watts can see the more direct risk of little Alia selling bread outside the targeted building, and they seek to tát delay firing the missile until she moves.
Farah is directed to tát try and buy all of Alia's bread, sánh she will leave, but after paying her, his cover is blown, and he is forced to tát flee without collecting it. Seeking authorisation to tát execute the strike, Powell orders her risk-assessment officer to tát find parameters that will let him quote a lower 45% risk of civilian deaths. He re-evaluates the strike point and assesses the probability of Alia's death at 45–65%. She makes him confirm only the lower figure, and then reports this up the chain of command. The strike is authorised, and Watts fires a missile. The explosion destroys the building and injures Alia, but one conspirator survives. Watts is ordered to tát fire a second missile, which strikes the site just as Alia's parents reach her. They rush Alia to tát a hospital, where she is pronounced dead.
In the London situation room, the under-secretary berates Benson for killing from the safety of his chair. Benson counters that he has been on the ground at the aftermaths of five suicide bombings and adds as he is leaving, provoking her to tát tears: "Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war."
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- Gavin Hood – director
- Ged Doherty – producer
- Colin Firth – producer
- David Lancaster – producer
- Guy Hibbert – writer
- Megan Gill – editor
- Johnny Breedt – production designer
- Nico Louw – sound recordist
- Paul Hepker – composer
- Mark Kilian – composer
"Drones are new but still a weapon of warfare. It doesn't matter if it's a drone or a xạ thủ rifle, the question is : 'Did we kill the right guy?'"
—Gavin Hood, speaking on the film's subject matter.
Eye in the Sky is directed by Gavin Hood based on a screenplay by Guy Hibbert. The screenplay was a project initially being developed at Đài truyền hình BBC Films, and FilmNation Entertainment acquired Hibbert's screenplay from Đài truyền hình BBC in September 2011 for Oliver Hirschbiegel to tát direct. Production did not happen as anticipated, and Hood sent the screenplay to tát Xavier Marchand, president of Entertainment One. Marchand decided to tát develop it to tát produce a film with Hood directing. Entertainment One partnered with Raindog Films in April năm trước to tát produce Eye in the Sky with Colin Firth as one of the producers. Actors Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul joined the cast the following month.
Hood, who was born in South Africa, chose to tát film Eye in the Sky in his trang chủ country. Filming began in South Africa in September năm trước. Since the South African Civil Aviation Authority did not grant filmmakers permission to tát fly real drones in the country's airspace for the production, they used visual effects to tát display the drones. Hood found practical locations throughout South Africa that substituted for settings in the film: an area that looked lượt thích Surrey for Mirren's character, clubs that had the appearance of Las Vegas establishments, and Beaufort West which was a backdrop for the state of Nevada in the United States. The bombed town square was built as a movie phối at Cape Town Film Studios. Filming concluded on 4 November năm trước. None of the four lead actors—Mirren, Rickman, Paul, and Abdi—met one another during production, instead filming alone with Hood due to tát their characters' separate locations in the film. For example, despite the two costarring in a pair of films (Eye in the Sky and the animated feature Help! I'm a Fish), Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman had never met each other in person, according to tát Paul.
Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker, who scored Hood's films Tsotsi (2005) and Rendition (2007), reteamed to tát score Eye in the Sky as did editor Megan Gill.
Eye in the Sky premiered at the năm ngoái Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September năm ngoái. The film had its United States premiere on 7 January năm 2016 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Bleecker Street distributed the film in the United States, releasing it in Thành Phố New York City and Los Angeles on 11 March năm 2016 and gradually expanding to tát additional markets on the following two weekends. On 1 April năm 2016, the film received a wide release. Deadline said this release was positioned to tát take place after the 2015–2016 awards season.
Entertainment One distributed the film in the United Kingdom on 8 April năm 2016 and Malta in May năm 2016. It will also distribute the film in Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, nước Australia, and New Zealand.
Eye in the Sky grossed $6.6 million in the UK, $18.7 million in the US and Canada, and $32.8 million worldwide.
The film grossed $113,803 in the US on its opening weekend of 11–13 March năm 2016 from five screens, an average of $22,761 per screen. In its wide release, the film grossed $4 million, finishing ninth at the box office.
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Eye in the Sky received positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 95%, based on 175 critics, with a weighted average score of 7.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "As taut as it is timely, Eye in the Sky offers a powerfully acted – and unusually cerebral – spin on the modern wartime political thriller." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Rickman's performance was well received by critics, with Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "Mr Rickman was never nominated for an Academy Award and it's probably a long shot for a posthumous Supporting Actor for this film - but his work here is a reminder of what a special talent he possessed."
Peter Asaro on Science & Film reviewed the accuracy of the advanced military technology depicted in the film, concluding, "keep in mind that while some of the advanced technologies depicted are not yet out in the field, many are only a few years away from being a reality".
- Good Kill, a năm trước film also featuring drone warfare
- List of films featuring drones
- Trolley problem
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