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
At the funeral of the Taliban commander, the men are aligned in a L-shape. In islam they should stand behind the imam, funeral in front all of them, and all face Mecca. See more »
You look miles away.
7000. You want to know about my job?
Well, yesterday, I was flying over a house in South Waziristan. Well, it was night when I statrted flying over their house, but they couldn't see me. Even if it was day. It was a house of a Taliban commander. He wasn't home. Inside, his wife and family were sleeping. When he did come back around dawn, the family was still inside but I wasn't sure when I'd get this chance again so I blew the house up anyway. And I watched as the ...
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Sometimes movie-making can be at its best when it does not simply entertain but poses challenging questions about contemporary issues. "Good Kill" asks us whether it is moral, legal and even effective to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (so-called drones) to eliminate assumed terrorists, even when collateral damage (that is, the deaths of non- terrorists) is likely or even certain. These are not academic questions: the use of drones to kill Islamic extremists has been extensive under the Obama administration in the United States and, just before I caught up with this film, my own government in Britain confirmed the use of drones to execute ISIS militants.
We see all the action - surprisingly close up and personal thanks to the amazing military technology - through the eyes of a Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot Major Thomas Egan. He is played by Ethan Hawke who is known for his wordy roles in films like the "Before ..." trilogy and "Boyhood" but here is laconic, showing the pained emotions in his face and movements more than in his few words - especially to his long-suffering wife Molly (January Jones).
New Zealand-born screenwriter-director Andrew Niccol ("Lord Of War") ensures that both sides of the argument are put, but there is no doubt on which side he himself sits. At the end, there is a sequence which gives the viewer some satisfaction, even a thrill, but Niccol has cleverly made us complicit in an act, the like of which we have spent most of the movie certainly questioning and possibly even condemning. "Good Kill" had limited theatrical release and success but it is a brave and honest attempt to make a political movie that raises vital issues.
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