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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Shia LaBeouf
Michelle Monaghan
Rosario Dawson
Billy Bob Thornton
Michael Chiklis.
Directors
D J Caruso.
Screenwriters
Hillary Seitz
Travis Adam Wright
John Glenn
Dan McDermott.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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Eagle Eye
Big Brother is watching you. Or someone is, anyway


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Plot
Following the death of his twin brother, Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) is framed as a terrorist. Arrested by the FBI, he is sprung by a female caller and coerced, along with a single mum (Monaghan), into going on a dangerous mission.


Review
Eagle Eye
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Round two, then, of D.J. Caruso’s updating of Hitchcock classics using modern gadgetry, contemporary paranoia and Shia LaBeouf in for James Stewart/Cary Grant. After 2007’s entertaining Rear Window reboot Disturbia, Eagle Eye is North By Northwest 2.0., with an EveryShia accused of a crime he didn’t commit, forced to go on the lam with a beautiful gal (M:I-III’s Michelle Monaghan), building to a big climax at an American landmark. The result is a hugely enjoyable slice of nifty nonsense that revels in the pleasures of its plotting, and cleverly plays on everyday fears we all share: the fear of invasive technology, of terrorist cells, and of having William Sadler as your dad.

As with 99.9 per cent of all thrillers, the set-up is more satisfying than its resolution. Trading on LaBeouf’s eminently likable mix of the charming and the resentful, his Jerry Shaw is a photocopy slave, good with the laydeez but estranged from his pop (Sadler). He is pulled into a malevolent version of Steve Martin’s L. A. Story, as out-of-control electronic signs, traffic lights changing at will and TV screens in McDonald’s mysteriously coerce and direct both him and Monaghan’s single mother on a wild goose chase with Billy Bob Thornton’s FBI blowhard in hot pursuit. This is where the movie is most fun, with the anonymous woman on the end of the line turning the couple into unlikely hold-up artists, Japanese tourists and airport security crashers. And when the story delivers the pair into an open plain, it seems ripe for a Hitchcockian cropduster to hove into view. But Caruso has a different shock in store. He’s saving his ‘cropduster’ moment for later.  

Minus a lovely little scene in which Shaw quizzes Rachel about her kid, you get little in the way of characterisation. So it is a good job that Eagle Eye delivers practically non-stop action. After a summer packed with pixels, Caruso orchestrates his spills with a satisfying physicality; you feel that stuntfolks are mostly doing this stuff in front of your very eyes. From a bruising car chase down busy boulevards that segues into a breaker’s yard with cars being swung around like wrecking balls, to fisticuffs backstage at an airport, Caruso whisks his action into a spectacular but believable frenzy. He’s aided by his lead. LaBeouf doesn’t act running; he runs. Not playing second fiddle to huge machines or Indiana Jones, he finally earns his action-man stripes. 

To reveal much more is to quash Eagle Eye’s chief what-happens-next delight. Suffice it to say, we get half-baked sub-plots involving Rosario Dawson’s Air Force investigator exploring the death of Shaw’s twin — Shia with neater hair — and an under-utilised Michael Chiklis as a Secretary Of Defense at the centre of a military fuck-up. It is when all these plot-twists start to coalesce that Eagle Eye’s ludicrousness becomes ever more apparent — but it’s a good kind of ludicrous. Caruso keeps everything moving so quickly and with such panache that you will barely notice or care. If he doesn’t yet have the craft and clarity of a Cameron or his executive producer Spielberg, let alone Hitchcock, he’s getting there.


Verdict
A fun techno romp, mixing great bang for your buck with insights into the dangers of restricting civil liberties. Now, anyone for Shia killing blondes dressed as his dead mother?


Reviewed by Ian Freer

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Eagle Eye
Empire Star Rating

Empire should issue a public appology

This movie was at best a one star movie. Empire has truly embarrassed itself. It will take some time before I read a review by Empire again and not think back to this awful review. "…cleverly plays on everyday fears we all share: the fear of invasive technology, of terrorist cells…" -> Ian Freer, what the hell where you thinking? Are the studios now funding the magazine?! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by coolhandphil at 10:03, 27 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Gash

An enjoyable enough two hours, though absolutely preposterous throughout. That is all. ... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 18:40, 26 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: No no no

Enjoyable tosh, certainly not **** (read that either way you want)   SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!   A fun ride but doesn't stand up to a minutes inspection, OK I buy it needed them both, he wasn't self motivated she was there to drag him along when he felt like giving up. Even using her as the mule in the white house made sense, she would try toget closer to her son   BUT ... More

Posted by Manny at 23:33, 24 October 2008 | Report This Post


No no no

Utter nonsense, this is in no way a four star movie! The plot is ridiculous for many many reasons, and I don't even mean the 'twist reveal' that occurs early on, that i didn't mind so much, it was just everything else! To be fair, it's well made and well acted, but this is not 'non-stop action' and even then the action sequences seem to only consist of cars crashing into each other. Boring! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse2 at 22:46, 24 October 2008 | Report This Post


three stars nor four

Watchable, but to be a four star film you would need to have loved it, and told all your friends to go and see it. Entertaining enough to while away an evening but no way was this a four star film! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 12:22, 24 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 4 stars are you kidding

y, it's not without merit. However, Shia Le Beouf has but one facial expression & I for one never wish to see it again.t=arial]And just what was going on with Billy Bob Thornton's teeth? My, were they glowing!!! ... More

Posted by felix sore foot at 19:59, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 4 stars are you kidding

V ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by felix sore foot at 19:56, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 4 stars are you kidding

Yeah it was silly and far fetched and a bit annoying sometimes but it was still good popcorn fare . The "get out of the car" bit in the tunnel made me cringe most cos you dont see anyone get out and who the hell gives up there car to a stranger . Id have given it 3 stars myself . ... More

Posted by Beno at 10:34, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 4 stars are you kidding

Very ordinary and it relied on too many coincidences. SPOILERS Apparently you can fall into liquid nitrogen and live! You can also jam a metal crowbar into a computer and not get electrocuted even though massive sparks of electricity are jumping out. Ultimately the problem is that a computer that can control anything comes up with such a stupid plan. A bomb in a trumpet? Give me a break! ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 10:25, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 4 stars are you kidding

Fun if you have not seen North By North West,The Game,The Conversation ,Enemy of the State ,The Fugitive Etc.   Annoying if like me you sat there picking up the film references,but once i overcame my geekness i enjoyed this massively.   Caruso delves into the Tony Scott big book of movie tricks and gives us a silly but ultimately fun movie.   The 2 leads are great and Billy Bob Thornton is good value too.   A perfect 6 pack movie and Caruso is a talent to wat... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmburner30 at 09:45, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


4 stars are you kidding

terrible film. ridiculous plot, lazy writing, boring performances it was just terrible. in the words of the great Jimmy "it didn't make any sense." ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rossg2742 at 23:48, 22 October 2008 | Report This Post


4 stars are you kidding

terrible film. ridiculous plot, lazy writing, boring performances it was just terrible. in the words of the great Jimmy "it didn't make any sense." ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rossg2742 at 23:48, 22 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: ARE U KIDDIN ME 4 STARS

I thought it was better than average. A 6/10. Some entertaining action scenes, and good acting from La Beouf and Thornton, but it was astonishingly silly. The villain reminded me a great deal of Glados, from the game Portal. Which fucking rules, by the way. ... More

Posted by Epiphany Demon at 20:24, 22 October 2008 | Report This Post


ARE U KIDDIN ME 4 STARS

If I could give this no stars i would. I walked out after 45 mins of a truly terrible film(only the second film i've ever walked out on, though the first was indy 4 but it was on a foolish second viewing) Just absolutely ridiculous, after the guy is zapped by the power cables that was me. and to find out it was a super computer just caped off a terrible plot to terrible on screen action. Possible the worst film I've ever sat down to watch. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nooneyuk at 23:53, 21 October 2008 | Report This Post


Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye, "borrows" liberally from. Enemy of the State, The Bourne Identity, The Game, 2001 and a couple of Die Hard's are all, at one point or another, stolen from throughout its ridiculously elongated running time. Director Caruso paces proceedings in such a manner that (he hopes) you won't notice, though; as cars crash, cameras swoop and every sentence is uttered so fast, the entire cast and crew must've chowed down on caffeine pills before every take. Caruso uses breakneck paci... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 22:33, 21 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Gash

I know Michael Bay has been mentioned before but watching this I couldn't help but feel I was slipping into one of his films mid-scene. For some reason it reminded me a lot of Armageddon?!?   Liked it up until the reveal of the villain at which point it became stupid and the prop was a big piece of stiff shit, which didn't help matters! ... More

Posted by Scabby at 21:47, 21 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Gash

Dreadful.  Obviously a film like this is going to require a suspension of disbelief and I went into this in just such a frame of mind.  I was well and truly prepared for a silly plot, ludicrous set pieces and unintentional humour; what I didn't expect was something so mind-numbingly boring and derivative.  I don't think I witnessed one iota of originality throughout the whole flick.  The set pieces involved pushing the camera as close as possible to the action... More

Posted by mackey at 17:58, 21 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Gash

I thought this was pretty stupid SPOILERS You didn't really know what was going on but that was ok because it went with the characters, and you knew there was going to be some big reveal and then... it's a computer, big let down If the computer was so controlling, surely it could kill the president etc... without the need for a copy boy The Copy boy that could kick the shit out of trained armed guards responsible for guarding the president!!! The super computer was defeated by s... More

Posted by Marvel_79 at 12:12, 20 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Gash

If you can stop yourself asking any questions about the plot or about things computers just can't do, no matter how smart they are. Then there is a good time to be had here. The action scenes are handled well and Shia makes a likeable hero. Solid three stars. ... More

Posted by blackduck at 10:08, 20 October 2008 | Report This Post


Gash

Are you kidding me? 4 stars? If this super computer was as sophisticated as we are lead to believe then why didn't it just send a missle/plane/exploding pigeon into the white house, and have done with. The whole film was ridiculous.I think Empire needs to get their tongue from Speilbergs arse and give more honest ratings (yes I am talking about Indy 4 aswell). ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by OLDIRTYWAG at 08:50, 20 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Eagle Eye

Entertaining if silly thriller with solid turns from LaBeouf and Thornton   3/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 09:37, 19 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Eagle Eye

True, but come on, Caruso is better than Bay. He's just not Spielberg. ... More

Posted by R W at 19:56, 18 October 2008 | Report This Post


Nope, not that good.

Usually Empire has an eagle eye for reviewing movies, but this time they are off the mark, well it´s reviewer at least has made the mistake of thinking this was ever going to hold up to a Hitchcock movie, alright so it´s updated with some great action, but this is just a stupid tech-thriller and has no Hitchcock charm, plus this movie steals from everything from The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, oh and I, Robot..and heck even , Stealth. And the twins device has been an overused ever ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by NaturalHigh at 14:15, 18 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

Surprised by this. Although it has been seen before, its a mix of 2001 Space Odyssey, I Robot and Enemy of the State. It has a crazy plot with some great action set pieces. Overall its a late summer popcorn flick which is well worth seeing in the cinema. 8/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Starscream at 23:07, 17 October 2008 | Report This Post


Saw this today, I enjoyed it right until the big reveal which seems to be used as much in sci-fi these days as the "it's not really an actual person it's his the main character's split personality!!" plot twist used in a lot of films these days. Still thought it was a fairly entertaining movie in the same vain as Enemy of the State. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Barry Bethal at 18:04, 17 October 2008 | Report This Post


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