Good Kill

 (477)6.41 h 42 min2015R
The film tells the story of a Las Vegas fighter pilot turned drone pilot (Ethan Hawke), who fights the Taliban via remote control for half of his day, then goes home to his wife (January Jones) and his kids in the suburbs for the other half.
Andrew Niccol
Ethan HawkeBruce GreenwoodZoe Kravitz
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jake AbelJanuary Jones
Nicolas ChartierZev ForemanMark AminPatrick NewallTed GidlowCami Winikoff
R (Restricted)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

477 global ratings

  1. 53% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 18% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Greg TReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
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As many of those who should know have commented, there are a number of technical errors in the film, but it is rare indeed that Hollywood ever gets the technical pieces correct. Commenters have also noted that the CIA would never request "followup". That may be in the new CIA. I don't believe that was necessarily the ethical standard of the CIA in missions post-Vietnam, especially in Central America, prior to the runup to the mideast wars. It certainly could be that post-ColdWar doctrine has markedly changed, rendering the film in grevious error.

The ethics of remote warfare ought to be on the minds of us who wonder about our future role in conflicts across the globe. We've gone from face to face confrontations where the costs impacted each side daily and considerably to "safe" ideologic bombing. I have no love for the Islamicists whose religiofascism will drive warfare over the next few generations, but I also wonder whether our physical detachment from the ground-in-play is counterproductive.

The movie itself was rather formulaic, but I think it graphically distilled some of the worries that we ought to have about the role of a Superpower in conflicts not directly affecting our national security. When every activity in the world affects our interests, then the excuse of national security becomes meaningless.
9 people found this helpful
GregReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Ethan Hawke as a Top Gun Wannabe, Used-To-Be
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He's in a troubled military marriage, is conflicted about killing people from thousands of miles away but thinks it would be better if he were in the cockpit, has PTSD and self-medicates and the booze is causing even more problems, his bosses are bad people but his job is important or maybe he's killing good people. This listless script goes right to where every other vaguely anti-war but pro-soldier has been.

The worst part of this movie is January Jones' acting. In some scenes she is horrible but, given the quality of this movie, she was probably told to go on set and wing it; the dialog is flat and the acting wooden.
rick in houstonReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good Kill is certainly worth watching
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Good Kill is certainly worth watching. It's most successful at introducing the subject of how a drone operator deals with the fact of sitting far away from the destruction he or she visits on targets, and with the fact of collateral damage on those near the targets. I don't know that I would accept that the situation is quite so grim in the real world as proposed here, but I have no more way of knowing that than the filmmaker would have of knowing the opposite, given that there is no attribution and no claim to be based on actual events. It could be this way. Apart from that, as with most anything Ethan Hawke is in, he's worth watching. I found his commanding officer a welcome change from the comic book version I was afraid we were about to get. Mostly, we get very believable service men and women dealing with what are very valid questions of limits and effects on their lives. It is somehow very interesting that there is one goal set up that I would be very surprised if any viewer did not anticipate, and even more, wish for, hugely, even though in the wishing there will be that element of thinking "I really shouldn't be rooting for that". I won't say what it is, because you cannot miss it. At the very least, an interesting piece of thoughtful entertainment.
3 people found this helpful
FlickviewerReviewed in the United States on September 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hawke does a (to me) surprisingly good job of portraying the difficulty of engaging in ruthless ...
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Very well done exploration of the stresses experienced by drone operators. Hawke does a (to me) surprisingly good job of portraying the difficulty of engaging in ruthless warfare during the work day while trying to live a normal suburban life the rest of the time. Unlike fighter pilots, who live and work with other warriors and therefore have a support group with common experiences and goals, these operators go home to "normal" life, picking up a Happy Meal on the way home from incinerating an enemy of the U.S. (and maybe a few bystanders as well). A good move that is a must see for anyone who is interested in the men and women who defend our country.
2 people found this helpful
Netshopping_SpreeReviewed in the United States on December 5, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
Great Topic/Average Execution
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This is average at best. The acting is just passable and pacing is at a snails rate. The context of the film is very promising and feels decently authentic for someone who's never been in the remotely piloted aircraft community. It feels real enough with just a splash of Hollywood rather than overly exaggerated as most movies are these days. It does shine light on the very interesting career field of piloting these beasts and some of the psychological challenges that are faced but I feel it only scratches the surface. The movie had an opportunity to swing big and knock this out of the ball park but instead only bunted for a short run. 3 out of 5 stars.
Steven GaydosReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
YOU are flying the drones that kill. They hit bad guys, they hit good people. Don't look away.
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Writer-director Andrew Niccol wrote "The Truman Show," which is important information for anyone watching/processing "The Good Kill" as it's not so far to walk from the whimsical but dark world that Jim Carrey must bust out of and the lethal, bizarre world that Ethan Hawke finds himself trapped in. Drone warfare will only become a larger and more troubling part of our American future than any of us want to admit. By finding one good man who must face the implications and impact of our increasing reliance on drones to prosecute "wars" and other agendas with violence instead of diplomacy, Niccol humanizes a current social issue and makes us face our own complicity.
One person found this helpful
Robert L. MorrisReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2015
2.0 out of 5 stars
Ethan Hawke was not good
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I watched it for two reasons; Ethan Hawke was in it whom I considered to be okay as an actor and the topic was on predator drones operating out of Las Vegas. I had an interest in the storyline about the drones operating out of an airfield north of Las Vegas since I have noted these drones there since the late 1980s. Ethan Hawke was not very good in it. He created no empathy and you didn't really even like him as a viewer. You didn't really care about his dissolving relationship with his family. The storyline was a wreck and appeared to be slapped together. I almost turned it off several times but suffered through all of it. I would not recommend it unless you have a burning desire regarding the topic.
Typhoon Jenkins IIIReviewed in the United States on February 4, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really a deep look into the mind of military folks.
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Good insight into the very real mental anguish that comes with fighting a war. Our military service folks are truly one of a kind and I respect the heck out of them. War sucks, but until and unless it stops, I hope our country can offer much better support for our current military folks as well as our vets. They're an amazing group of people.
One person found this helpful
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