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Good Kill

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Ethan Hawke is Tom Egan, an F-16 pilot relegated to flying drone aircraft in Middle Eastern “surgical” strikes. His missions are often morally taxing with seemingly zero end to the monotonous cycle. He wants back inside an F-16, but the U.S. Air Force requires more drones than manned aircraft these days. His stress carries over into relationships at home.

That weight becomes heavier when his team is absorbed into secretive CIA special operations. It is easier to kill than capture. Under CIA control, the drone pilots start bringing down potential enemy combatants; individuals (and bystanders) not necessarily posing an immediate risk, but exhibit behavioral patterns associated with terror are recklessly mowed down.

That responsibility, to choose who lives and who dies, under such unscrupulous guidelines, is moral paint thinner. Tom’s layers of calm and obedience begin withering away to the vulnerable surface below. His addiction to alcohol and aviator sunglasses hides the guilt behind them.

Hawke delivers a solid performance, though the film is somewhat flat. He’s paired with January Jones who plays the neglected housewife in convincing form. This is the second partnership (Gattaca the first) between Hawke and filmmaker Andrew Niccol. His film evenly stokes the egos of both peace and war fanaticals, deluding any moral lessons if there were any. It’s fair and likely realistic, but it’s also bland and uneventful.

It kinda just droned on.


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Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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