3.5 out of 5 stars
A uniquely wordy script accommodating the many differing viewpoints and discourse on the issue at hand and with an international ensemble each confined in their respective internal spaces acting in front of a screen or into a phone (but looking no less cinematic under the fluid direction of Gavin Hood); it would not be out of place had they staged it as a play. However, together with a capable ensemble led by Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman and co., the film, despite its staginess, operates successfully and adequately as both a tense thriller and a fair and balanced exploration of drone warfare in the fight against terrorism. The fact that the film avoids coming across as preachy or polemic, or worse, just wishy-washily misguided, speaks volume about the considered script that examines such a sensitive subject without resorting to demonizing and pointing fingers. There is admittedly a liberal bias but an element of satire keeps the film grounded and its sentimentalities in check. This is a rare cerebral thriller that is so well put together, it can make buying bread electrifying and dramatic, not to mention providing plenty food for thought for the post-film discussion in the pub.