6.4/10
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87 user 173 critic

Good Kill (2014)

R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 15 May 2015 (USA)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer
A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.

Director:

Andrew Niccol

Writer:

Andrew Niccol
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fatima El Bahraouy Fatima El Bahraouy ... The Woman (as Fatima El Bahraquy)
El Khttabi Abdelouahab El Khttabi Abdelouahab ... The Boy
Ethan Hawke ... Major Thomas Egan
Bruce Greenwood ... Lt. Colonel Jack Johns
Jake Abel ... M.I.C. Joseph Zimmer
Ryan Montano Ryan Montano ... Airman Roy Carlos
Dylan Kenin ... Capt. Ed Christie
Stafford Douglas ... Billy
Zion Rain Leyba Zion Rain Leyba ... Travis Egan (as Zion Leyba)
January Jones ... Molly Egan
Sachie Capitani ... Jesse Egan
Michael Sheets ... Danny
Zoë Kravitz ... Airman Vera Suarez
Ross Shaw Ross Shaw ... Lt. Drier
Chakir Faiz Chakir Faiz ... The Man
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Storyline

A Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. But the pilot is starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he's killing? Is he fighting a war without end. Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content including a rape, language, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Kill See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,750, 17 May 2015

Gross USA:

$316,472

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,474,471
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debuted at the Venice film festival where it received great reception See more »

Goofs

The Air Combat Command patch worn on the flightsuits is not correct. The actual patch has the blue field on top and the red field on the bottom. Also, the sword on the actual patch is pointed downward. See more »

Quotes

Tom Egan: 3... 2... 1... Rifle.
See more »


Soundtracks

Hold Out
Written by Jesse Nolan
Performed by Caught a Ghost
Courtesy of +1 Records
By arrangement with Zync Music Group LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ten Seconds
17 May 2015 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. It sounds like a screenwriter's workshop: write a story centered on a joystick, a computer monitor, a speaker phone and a shipping container. Most would surrender their Pulitzer dream and head back to the day job. Andrew Niccol, on the other hand, is a talented writer/director known for such projects as Gattaca, Lord of War, and The Truman Show. His story is set in 2010 and is "based on a true story" of drone warfare.

It could seem a bit dated to explore a topic that most have known about for years, but Niccol manages to wring out a story that keeps us engaged and more importantly, encourages discussion about the concept of "video game warfare".

Ethan Hawke plays a fighter pilot who has been reassigned as a drone pilot after serving 6 tours in Afghanistan. Each day he reports to duty on a Las Vegas base and spends 12 hours locked away in a cramped shipping container staring at a video monitor while delicately manipulating a joystick that can kill people 7000 miles away within 10 seconds. These killer drones have transformed warfare, and as far as I know, this is the first film version dedicated to the daily lives of the men and women serving this duty.

Given what we know about fighter pilots, it's not surprising that Hawke's character is crumbling emotionally … missing the danger that comes with a real cockpit. His marriage to January Jones is void of any intimacy or communication (partially due to his alcoholism), though surprisingly, Ms. Jones delivers something other than her typical cardboard cutout performance. Watching the suburban lifestyle of these two – grilling, backyard parties, math homework with the kids – brings nothing new to the screen, but tension is palpable as Hawke and his co-drone-pilot Zoe Kravitz are locked away and forced to follow morally-questionable orders from Langley (voiced by the great Peter Coyote). Put yourself on that joystick and imagine what you would do.

The story pushes us to discuss the dehumanization of war, and the idea that the Air Force is now best described as the "Chair Force". Especially interesting is the official verbiage used by the CIA and military in an effort to avoid "killing" and "innocent bystanders". Think about the fact that 3 decades have passed since we got caught up in the thrill of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer as Top Gun pilots, and now some of the most deadly decisions are made based on a visual feed from a done hovering at 10,000 feet.

Mr. Niccol delivers a thought-provoking movie, which alone sets it above many. The drone's eye view follows not just the movements of the enemy, but also those of Hawke at home and in his car. Hawke's commanding officer is played by Bruce Greenwood, who delivers the film's best line: as Hawke is looking at Greenwood's fighter pilot photos, he says, you are probably thinking "I must have been a pilot before Pontius". It's a great line and one that reinforces how warfare has changed … from boots on the ground to recruits based on their video game savvy. Surgical strikes are the preferred manner of warfare, so watch this and ask yourself … what would you do?


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