Good Kill

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 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—begin to unravel.


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  • ★★★½ review by Grimbo on Letterboxd

    A US based drone operator laments his lack of actual flight time and heads towards a breakdown while Lenny Kravitz's daughter comes onto him while looking stunning.

    A wee bit heavy handed at times, but Ethan Hawke is excellent and it is defo worth your time.

  • ★★★★ review by Austin Gorski on Letterboxd

    I've only seen Andrew Niccol's last three films (this, The Host and In Time), and I found this one to be the best one BY FAR. The concept is a fresh one, even if sometimes the film trips over some cliched war film plot points. Overall, guided by a exceptional lead performance by Ethan Hawke, Good Kill is a strong character piece and probably the most consistently solid film to be released so far this year.

    Grade: B

  • ★★★½ review by Burrows on Letterboxd

    I like Andrew Niccol. Much of his work has a curious ‘Big-Brother’ feel where some humans somewhere have a God-like control over some other sort of human ecosystem. GOOD KILL is one of those. And the men playing ‘God’ here are the US military with their armed drones silently circling around suspected Taliban strongholds with high-def cameras and laser-sights spying.  From their untouchable perch 7000 miles away on a military base outside Las Vegas, Ethan Hawks, his pilot crew, and his commanding officer spy on and bomb unsuspecting targets.

    The predator, power, and God-complex emerge as interesting themes.  And by setting Ethan Hawke’s military base outside the noise, pomp, and showiness of Vegas, Niccol is certainly throwing quiet, but clear commentary on American military rules of engagement practices.  

    It’s a clever and well-written backdrop for GOOD KILL, and those themes and PlayStation bombing missions far outweigh the efforts to develop any human drama.  Hawke is really quite good.  His quandary is that he’s been removed from actual fighter-jet flying.  He no longer does actual tours overseas; he’s been assigned to video game drone piloting lead to a downward personal spiral.  This descent, and somehow this ‘grounding’ kickstarts a fall into alcoholism, bad parenting, worse husbanding, and poor workplace attitude.  Although it’s good stuff, it’s not great.  It just can’t float the script.  It’s no equal for the morality battle going on in the little bunkers as Hawke and his crew invade privacy and blast targets to smithereens without consideration to innocent lives, local infrastructure, or food supplies.  Ethan Hawke’s own personal war and disillusionment begs more questions and clarity. I just don’t get why he can’t take being grounded.  Is this plot piece one that only pilots will truly ‘get’?



  • ★★★½ review by James Haves on Letterboxd

    Huh, so this is what Mason Sr. did after his son left for college...

  • ★★★½ review by Nate Richard on Letterboxd


    Good Kill has an interesting plot and a great leading performance from Ethan Hawke to keep audiences entertained. Andrew Niccol does a good job at the helm and definitely delivers emotion, because boy is this movie a downer. It's run time is definitely felt and there were a couple of scenes where I felt bored. Besides that I do recommend giving Good Kill a watch.

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