Ms. Mirren plays Colonel Katherine Powell, a British soldier who has been tracking a known terrorist for six years. With the help of the U.S. Air Force and their "eye in the sky" drone, she finally has a chance to capture Ayesha Al-Hady, once known as Susan Danford, a British citizen.
The drone pilot is played by Aaron Paul and his partner is played by Phoebe Fox. They sit in a trailer in the Nevada desert controlling the armed drone over Kenya.
When the mission to capture becomes a mission to kill, the suspense is raised to edge of your seat as the powers in control argue the value of collateral civilian life if they approve an airstrike, while the terrorists prepare two suicide bombers. In the way of the strike is a nine year old girl selling bread in the street. Ms. Mirren is icy cold as the soldier ready to give the strike order awaiting approval from her commander, played by Alan Rickman (in his last role).
On the ground is Barkhad Abdi, (The Somalian pirate captain in "Captain Phillips") an operative spying on the house targeted by the drone. The action moves from various countries, involving multiple military and government officials, illustrating how complex modern warfare has become. As the terrorists plot, political, legal and moral ramifications must be examined by all sides before an kill order can be carried out.
The film borders on satire but seems so realistic that I can't help but think situations like this really exist on a regular basis somewhere in today's world.