Star Rating:

Good Kill

Actors: Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood

Release Date: Friday 10th April 2015

Genre(s): Thriller

Running time: 120 minutes

Coming off of the back of a second Oscar nomination for Boyhood, Ethan Hawke once again tackles some challenging, complex material as a former fighter pilot, who now flies drones in the Middle East - via the comfort of a tanker in Nevada. Posing a lot of viable questions over America's much criticised drone policy, it's a thought provoking, unsurprisingly sombre affair with a strong lead performance from Hawke.

Having flown in direct combat for multiple tours, Hawke's Tom Egan can't shake the feeling that blowing people up from seven thousand miles away makes him a coward. Already struggling with the weight of such actions, when the CIA become directly involved with the operation, they begin targeting people based on "movement" or "Intel" from paid snitches. This makes guilt a far more indistinct possibility and raises more moral questions.

Unique in terms of how the "action" takes place, as we see it from the drone pilots perspective, there's a sense of distance - both emotional and literal - between what you're seeing and processing it. It's a smart move from writer/director Niccol, who obviously wants to put you in the ethical quandary that's haunting these people - especially Hawke.

Greenwood is typically charismatic as their commanding officer, chewing the scenery whenever he gets a chance, while January Jones offers able support as the put upon wife, stuck at home, dealing with her husband's mood swings.

Where American Sniper (an obvious comparison) took a very much gung ho response to the atrocities of war, Good Kill places you in a position where you find yourself questioning the many horrific aspects, without experiencing visceral scenes of combat ala your average war flick.

Smart and always interesting it may be a little slow for some, but it showcases Hawke once again as a thoughtful actor who isn't afraid to go deep.