R rated

At first, I thought “Eye in the Sky” was really going to drag but very quickly I became engrossed as this war thriller ratcheted up the intensity when people had to make life and death decisions. Usually in the movies, life and death decisions are made without considering the consequences but not in this film. You actually feel the fear and anticipation that making these kinds of decisions actually cause. Drone warfare is a reality and the decisions that the military and the politicians have to make are very real and very frightening.

“Eye in the Sky” stars Academy Award winner Dame Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a British Colonel, who is commanding a remote top secret drone operation to capture an ISIS terrorist in Nairobi, Kenya and Alan Rickman is perfect as Lt. General Frank Benson. The mission quickly escalates when a nine-year old girl walks into the kill zone. With a civilian life at stake and the clock ticking to stop two suicide bombers, “Eye in the Sky” presents an intense political drama on the edge of modern warfare and human morality.

Helen Mirren, as usual, is outstanding as the Colonel who has spent the last 6 years searching for a notorious British born terrorist. This is the late great Alan Rickman’s last film. Rickman died last year of cancer. Rickman, of “Die Hard” and the Harry Potter series fame was a fabulous actor who will be missed by his many fans.

Mirren and Rickman are supported by a strong ensemble cast lead by Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad” as American drone pilot Steve Watts who actually operates the drone, Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi from “Captain Phillips”, Kate Liquorish, and Carl Beukes.

“Eye in the Sky” is directed by South African, Gavin Hood noted for his direction of 2013’s “Ender’s Game.”

Guy Hibbert’s script is a well-written nail biter and should be up for an Academy Award.

This is a film worth seeing if for no other reason than to see Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman. Their performances never disappoint.

“Eye in the Sky” is coming soon to the AMC theaters although no firm date was listed.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at mlcwriter@charter.net. Visit Mary’s website at www.mlcwriter.com