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Eagle Eye (2008)

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 118 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A


Eagle Eye didn’t hold much promise for me at first, and I’m not much of a Shia LaBeouf fan, but both he and the movie are surprisingly good; this is definitely a film that knows exactly what it is and goes for it with all it’s got, proving that director D.J. Caruso has come a long way from the abysmal Taking Lives. From start to finish, this one grabs your attention and never lets go.

Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) is a college dropout working for minimum wage at a copy shop who, on the day of his twin brother’s funeral, discovers $750,000 has been deposited into his bank account. Upon returning to his apartment, he discovers it’s filled with boxes of guns, ammo, bomb-making materials, and anything else that might make him look like a terrorist. He receives a call from a mysterious voice, known as ARIA, advising him that he has been “activated” and the FBI are on their way to arrest him—and that he should run. In another part of town, single mom Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) also receives an activation call and is informed that, unless she follows orders, her son will be killed. It’s all a bunch of adventure from there when the two strangers are forced together to carry out a plan neither understand in order to stay alive, plagued by the omnipresent, all-seeing eye that holds their fate in its deadly … hands? Voice? Anyway …

Like I said, I’ve never been on the LaBeouf train, but this film may have actually changed my mind. He’s a good fit in this role, and he manages to bring a depth to the underachieving twin and still stay believable as a sort-of action hero. Monaghan also plays the terrified and confused mother role well, and Billy Bob Thornton steals a few scenes as FBI Agent Thomas Morgan. This has all the ingredients of a top-notch action flick—adrenaline-rushed special effects, a fleshed-out storyline that’s not too convoluted nor too simple, and likable characters. The extra something that gives Eagle Eye its edge, though, is the whole technology-as-potential-enemy idea. We never know, nor do our heroes, whether or not the voice on the end of the line is a good guy, a bad guy, or something in-between, and even when we find out, it’s still a surprise—and keeping things fresh in an action film isn’t always an easy sell. The film does have its flaws, though—for one, you’ve really got to suspend all disbelief, and even then, you have to just repeat the mantra, “It’s a movie—have fun with it” or you’ll be too distracted pointing out the impossibilities. My only other gripe was with the ending, which I won’t reveal, but that felt too pat and tacked on for my liking. Those are minor quibbles, however, and Eagle Eye never really slows down long enough to think about that stuff anyway.

It's Got: All the makings of a good action film—exciting action, solid story, and characters we don’t want to die.

It Needs: More Billy Bob (not really, it has a fine amount, but most films need more Billy Bob.

DVD Extras Deleted Scenes; “Road Trip” (locations); Alternate Ending; “Asymmetrical Warfare: The Making of Eagle Eye”; “Eagle Eye on Location: Washington D.C.”; “Is My Cell Phone Spying on Me?”; “Shall We Play A Game?” (Caruso talks to the director of War Games); Gag Reel, Photo Gallery; Trailer; Previews DVD Extras Rating: 7/10


One of the best action movies I’ve seen in a while, Eagle Eye offers all you want—great effects, solid story, and a healthy dose of paranoia.