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Good Kill

Action . Drama . Thriller

In the shadowy world of drone warfare, combat unfolds like a video game–only with real lives at stake. After six tours of duty, Air Force pilot Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke) now fights the Taliban from an air-conditioned bunker in the Nevada desert. But as he yearns to get back in the cockpit of a real plane and becomes increasingly troubled by the collateral damage he causes each time he pushes a button, Egan’s nerves—and his relationship with his wife (Mad Men's January Jones)—begin to unravel.

Actors: Ethan Hawke , January Jones , Zoë Kravitz , Jake Abel , Bruce Greenwood , Alma Sisneros , Kristen Rakes , Dylan Kenin , Michael Sheets , Peter Coyote , Fatima El Bahraquy , El Khttabi Abdelouahab
Directors: Andrew Niccol
Country: USA
Release: 2015-04-09
More Info:
  • Ian Freer

    It’s "Top Gun" with gamer’s thumb. Ethan Hawke shines in a complex, satisfying character study turned combat thriller.

    Empire Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    Just as Niccol’s narrative structure is at once fraught and immaculate in its escalation of ideas and character friction, so his arguments remain ever-so-slightly oblique despite the tidiness of their presentation.

    Variety Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Niccol is working in a very stripped down and direct mode, and I think overall, it works. "Good Kill" is unsettling, and the entire cast does spare, unsentimental work.

    HitFix Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Niccol weighs the human toll on both aggressor and target with intelligence and compassion, while questioning whether technological warfare is inevitably destined to be an unending cycle.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    Niccol’s film takes a somber, nuanced and compelling look at the War on Terror as it is waged by U.S. drone pilots, right up until a final five minutes that, in a shower of pat resolutions and conclusions, delivers something of a surgical strike on the its credibility.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    Good Kill is a dour, claustrophobic film, offering an acute and stunningly photographed exploration of middle-American banality and moral ambivalence.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Matt Glasby

    Required viewing as a critique of US foreign policy but forgettable as a drama, Good Kill is a timely warning, even if it lacks the power of the horrors it depicts.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Henry Barnes

    Niccol creates an atmosphere that is airless and dull, an unusual tone for a modern war film, but one that fits the subject matter perfectly.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    A searching, timely drama about the dehumanising effects of waging war at a distance.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • John Bleasdale

    When Good Kill takes aim at US foreign policy and the advances in military technology, it creates moments of chilling and powerful drama, but this is dissipated and compromised by its mirror-punching domestic drama and its bizarre need to bring about something like a happy ending.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Mr. Hawke’s anguished performance gives Good Kill a hot emotional center.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    It's immediate and vital, and it doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve got all the right answers.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    Good Kill deserves credit for framing these important issues in a credible, visually challenging drama, but writer-director Andrew Niccol doesn't take his material anywhere interesting.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    One of the most insightful films about the War on Terror since 9/11.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Good Kill is never subtle and occasionally veers into implausibility....But the visuals pack a visceral punch.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Writer-director Andrew Niccol, who worked impressively with Hawke on the topic of genetic modification in 1997's "Gattaca," puts a lot out there.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Potent enough to make me wish it were less clunky. It certainly won’t convert the jingoist fighting keyboardists, who probably won’t care that the president at the time the film is set — 2010 — is Obama, under whose watch the use of warrior drones has escalated exponentially. For them, Dick Cheney’s “dark side” still shines brightly.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Glenn Whipp

    That cost can be seen in the tight strain on Hawke's face. An actor with the gift of gab (most notably in his collaborations with Richard Linklater), Hawke here delivers a nuanced turn as a man on the threshold of emotional ruin.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Hawke is on a roll right now, and Good Kill stirs him to another performance of cogency and zeal. Is it sufficient, however, to support an entire movie?

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Good Kill is by necessity a grim piece of work, one that fields a powerful and unexpectedly terse performance from Ethan Hawke while stumbling over plot developments that seem increasingly forced. Niccol can be forgiven his outrage even as it leads him to create drama out of agenda instead of the other way around.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    An intelligent but not terribly effective drama. And its discussion of military ethics, especially with regard to what it means to be able to kill people without physical consequences, is promising, but it does not go far enough. Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Admittedly, Niccol succumbs to the temptation to make mini-billboards out of his dialogue, in which arguments follow neat “on the one hand” trajectories. But for the most part, Good Kill asks pertinent, enduring questions, not by way of polemic, but through the study of a character.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Niccol’s film may not be perfect, but it shines a light on a subject many viewers will know vaguely by name — and not much more.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Like other Niccol films, Good Kill is about an essential innocent who dreams of release from a highly structured, classist, and hypocritical environment.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Niccol's film won't likely achieve the high-flying box-office success of "Top Gun," but it is similar to that 1986 film in that it will likely get people talking after the closing credits roll.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Niccol looks at the pilot's struggles and the toll this remote form of warfare takes on his life. It's certainly intriguing, but he tells his story in such broad, obvious strokes that the movie isn't as powerful as it could be.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Compelling as the subject may be, its abstract nature would challenge the most skillful of dramatists, and Mr. Niccol’s script seldom rises above slogans, argumentation and standard-brand domestic tension.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Because it's so rooted in real life, the drama Good Kill is even more terrifying than “The Purge,” Ethan Hawke’s horror film from two years ago.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    Perhaps the film’s most telling moments, however, are wordless ones in which no actor appears. They’re the bird’s-eye views of American tableaux – suburban tract houses, elementary schools, interstate highways – that mimic similar sky-high perspectives just before a drone fires its missile.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • David Lewis

    There’s not enough of a story, and it’s a film that we end up admiring more than liking.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    We need to have a dialogue about the wages of war in the remote-control era. But it’s hard to spark a good dialogue with movies whose dialogue is so bad.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The trouble begins when this gaunt, intelligent star is charged with embodying someone lacking in levity, someone burdened with excessive malaise. His deadly seriousness can be deadly dull.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Good Kill’s hero is both unsympathetic and uninteresting. That’s partly intentional. Niccol means to show how the drone program can reduce a formerly good man to mush. But making that point comes at the expense of making a nuanced, vibrant motion picture.

    The Dissolve Full Review
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