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The  Best 'Eye in the Sky' Movie Quotes

Updated December 16, 2019 360 votes 173 voters 9.2k views10 items

Eye in the Sky movie quotes tell the story of how the moral, ethical and legal implications of drone warfare are tested when a simple capture could have deadly results. The British thriller was write by Guy Hibbert and directed by Gavin Hood. After premiering at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Eye in the Sky opened theatrically on March 11, 2016, in the United states and April 8, 2016, in the United Kingdom.

In Eye in the Sky, Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) heads up a team who look to locate, spy on and eventually capture a terrorist group. Among those in the group include Brit Ayesha AL-Hady AKA Susan Danford and two others on the 10 most wanted terrorists list. Using a drone, they locate those three in a safe house, where the terrorists are preparing for a suicide attack.

Much to the ire of others involved, including Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Alan Rickman) and British Foreign Secretary James Willett (Iain Glen), Powell changes the mission to not capture AL-Hady but send in a hellfire missile to kill all in the home. This plan is further complicated by the pushback from American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) who declines to send in the missile while a little girl remains within the casualty area. As the sides argue about the best move, their moral and legal obligations are tested.

Eye in the Sky opened alongside other great March 2016 films including 10 Cloverfield Lane, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Knight of Cups, and Zootopia.

  • 5

    Dozens of Lives Are at Stake

    Video: YouTube

    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: Well this changes things.
    Steve Watts: What's happening?
    Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq: We see a suicide vest and a whole bunch of explosives.
    Brian Woodale: What's the plan, General?
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: We the ability to strike a target with considerable accuracy.
    Angela Northman: I came here to witness a capture, not a targeted assassination.
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: Dozens of lives are at stake if these men leave.

    The appearance of a little girl in their blast zone changes the mission and polarizes the team. Some feel that they must take out these dangerous targets, regardless of the consequence, while others want a capture, not a kill.
    Should this be higher or lower?
  • 6

    We Need to Put a Hellfire Through That Roof Right Now

    Video: YouTube

    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: What's the plan, Katherine?
    Colonel Katherine Powell: We need to put a hellfire through that roof right now.
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: I told you, they came to witness a capture not a kill. Give me a capture option.
    Colonel Katherine Powell: We no longer have a capture option. Any action on the ground would lead to an armed confrontation which we will not be able to contain.
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: They're watching. Even with the vests, we need their approval for a strike.
    Colonel Katherine Powell: Just tell them we've got Danford in our sights. I mean that alone would justify using a hellfire. The vests are just a bonus.
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: Danford's a British citizen. They want her alive. Colonel Katherine Powell: They cannot have her alive. Frank, I've tracked her for six years. This is the closest I've ever got. So, we need to expand our rules of engagement right now to protect the civilian population. A hellfire through that roof is our most-effective option.
    Lieutenant General Frank Benson: We have to know that we're legally in the clear.

    Colonel Katherine Powell strongly urges Lieutenant General Frank Benson and others to come on board with her to fire upon the building housing the dangerous targets but she gets a great deal of pushback. They were told this would be a capture, not kill, mission and now that the circumstances require a kill, things get complicated.
    Should this be higher or lower?
  • Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Be Their Eye in the Sky

    Steve Watts: Range 22,000 feet
    Colonel Katherine Powell: You have your orders, lieutenant. Your job is to be their eye in the sky.
    Steve Watts: Yes, ma'am.
    Colonel Katherine Powell: I have to know if Danford is inside and who is with her.

    Powell explains to Steve Watts what his role in the mission is. He is tasked with piloting the drone which will watch their targets to give them better intelligence of the situation.
    Should this be higher or lower?
  • 8

    Obvious to Anyone Not Trying to Avoid Making a Decision

    Video: YouTube

    Colonel Katherine Powell: Do we have a CDE yet?
    Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq: Yes. If we target this corner room here, where the explosives are, we would expect a 100% mortality rate in that room, an 80-90% rate within the rest of the house. The market should be safe but this area here, in the street, a 65-75% rate. That's just the hellfire. If we factor in the explosives in the vests, we're looking at more extensive damage, way out to this area here but I can't accurately estimate that yield.
    Colonel Katherine Powell: But we would be contained that payload in the vest within those walls, right? Far less damage than them going off in a popular shopping mall.
    Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq: Yes, of course
    Colonel Katherine Powell: Thank you, obvious to anyone not trying to avoid making a decision.

    Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq explains the CDE or collateral damage estimate of sending hellfire missiles to a specific building. While to her it makes sense to send in the missiles, to others, the chances of higher collateral damage, including deaths, is too risky.
    Should this be higher or lower?