Andrew Niccol makes drone warfare thrilling, but the storytelling fails to reach the same heights. Like American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty, Good Kill deals with soldiers who are safe enough to see their adversaries as targets, not threats. Drone pilot Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke) is nostalgic for the rush of "real" combat. Niccol shows the intimacy drone pilots develop with their targets, even as Egan's family life falls apart. The suspense in grainy images of villagers in Pakistan is palpable. But the anticipation of Egan's breaking point isn't enough to carry the movie, and the script never finds a satisfying groove. The clunky dialogue wears Niccol's research on its sleeve. The scenes dealing with Egan's family life are clichés. Only Hawke's sensitive performance keeps the rote material watchable.
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Producer: Nicolas Chartier, Zev Foreman and Mark Amin
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Ethan Hawke, Jake Abel, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz
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