Under the Radar

'Eye in the Sky' & the Ethics of Drone Warfare


Helen Mirren stars as Col. Katherine Powell in Eye in the Sky, a drone warfare thriller from South African director Gavin Hood (who spoke to us about drone warfare a couple of years ago when we talked about his movie version of Ender's Game).

Mirren's character is overseeing an operation to capture a radicalized Englishwoman who has joined Al-Shabaab terrorists in Kenya. Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul plays Air Force drone pilot Steve Watts who's scouting the mission from the U.S. and he discovers a suicide bomb plot before the capture mission begins.

Eye in the Sky Movie (3)

Before a revised mission gets official approval, a young girl wanders into the kill zone. Should they take out the bombers and suffer the negative publicity killing an innocent girl would bring and save the dozens who would be victims of the suicide bombs? Or should they let the bombers pursue their mission and keep the moral high ground in the eyes of the public?

Generals and government ministers debate the decision while the clock is ticking. What's the right move here?


The trailer makes Eye in the Sky look like a heart-pounding action movie more than one of those sincere, eat-your-vegetables indie dramas. The movie debuts in theaters on March 11, 2015.

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