DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Gavin Hood
Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman
Writing Credits:
Guy Hibbert

An international dilemma occurs when a civilian enters the territory of a military mission.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 6/28/2016

• “Perspectives” Featurette
• “Morals” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Eye In the Sky [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 13, 2023)

A take on the nature of modern warfare, 2016’s Eye in the Sky looks at how technology influences combat. This comes out via the use of drones and remote methods combined with intelligence not necessarily observed directly on the ground.

British Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirred) leads a joint US/UK team that uses drones to detain terrorists in Kenya. When surveillance indicates a suicide bombing threat, the operation leaps from “capture” to “kill” status.

As US pilot Lieutenant Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) nears execution of this mission, a young child named Alia (Aisha Takow) enters the “kill zone”. This sets off a major conflict about the nature of “collateral damage”.

Undeniably, Eye confronts serious issues. Civilians inevitably die during war, so the question becomes how many of these deaths the “good guys” can accept.

In other words, we look at the Wrath of Khan concept: do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one? Does the ability to prevent the deaths of many overrule the moral imperative not to knowingly murder one innocent?

That last aspect of the story becomes a crucial aspect of Eye. The fact the military authorities involved know Alia will probably die creates a different story than one in which a civilian inadvertently gets killed.

When I went into Eye, I hoped it’d offer an intelligent and incisive view of this difficult question. Instead, I found a pretty typical thriller with some mawkish melodrama thrown in for good measure.

Not that Eye flops, as it comes with a generally compelling story. Despite the lackluster execution, the basic concept remains intriguing, and the movie musters enough energy and tension to keep the viewer with it.

However, I simply hoped for something more intellectual and less “standard thriller” than this. While Eye touches on moral and ethical issues, it rarely rises above the level of basic pulse-pounder.

Which is does to some degree, as the movie creates a decent level of tension. I just can’t help but feel the flick dumbs down the complexity to emphasize the more “Hollywood” side of things.

This comes with too many contrivances, especially related to Alia. The movie pulls at our heartstrings with an adorable girl who sells bread to help her family.

Eye works overtime to make her as cuddly and loveable as possible. A film without these emotional investments would offer a more involving view of the ethical questions without the basic melodrama.

I suspect the cast involved here elevated my expectations, as we get a solid professional group. With Mirren, Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi and more, Eye comes with a good roster of talent.

And the movie does remain reasonably involving. It simply lacks the depth it needs, as it leans toward too many thriller clichés to really hit the mark.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Eye in the Sky appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie provided a largely solid presentation.

Sharpness usually worked well. Interiors tended to feel a little soft at times, but these instances didn’t cause concerns and they remained modest.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also displayed no print flaws.

Eye opted for a fairly typical mix of amber/orange and teal, though not cranked to absurd extremes. Within those constraints, colors looked appropriate.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, and shadows boasted good delineation. Low-light scenes seemed smooth and well-rendered. This turned into a mostly effective transfer.

I also felt pleased with the engaging DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Eye. Unsurprisingly, combat/action scenes added the most zing to the proceedings, as those cranked out vivid material from all around the spectrum.

In addition, the mix brought a good sense of place and ambience throughout the film. Music showed nice stereo presence, and effects meshed together well. These moved smoothly across speakers and formed a quality environment for the material.

Audio quality seemed satisfying. Music was clear and full, while effects offered accurate, dynamic information.

Speech appeared natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. The soundtrack fit the story on display.

Two brief featurettes appear: “Perspectives” (1:22) and “Morals” (1:31). These involve notes from director Gavin Hood, producer Colin Firth, and actor Helen Mirren.

The pieces offer basics about story and characters. These act as promotional fluff and nothing more.

The disc opens with ads for Desierto, Triple 9, London Has Fallen, Mr. Robot, Steve Jobs and Secret in Their Eyes. Previews adds promos for Danny Collins, I’ll See You In My Dreams, Trumbo and Pawn Sacrifice. No trailer for Eye appears here.

Despite a mix of intriguing ethical issues, Eye In the Sky tends to do so in a somewhat ham-fisted manner. While the movie remains semi-effective, its lack of subtlety makes it a bit of a disappointment. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio but it lacks substantial bonus materials. This becomes a watchable but erratic flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main