Major Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke), veteran of air combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, now conducts the war from the safety of a Nevada trailer. A drone pilot, and not too happy about it, he turns in a working day attacking Taliban sites in Southeast Asia before returning to his idyllic suburban home life, which is increasingly punctured by feuds with his careworn wife, Molly (January Jones), and concern for the future he is creating for his kids.
Gattaca director Andrew Niccol reunites with Hawke for this sensitive character study about the ethics of drone combat and psychological effects of attacking human targets from thousands of miles away—especially when some targets may be guilty of little more than reckless association. Timely and prescient, Good Kill naturally avoids the on-the-scene tension of previous War on Terror narratives but is no less spellbinding in its portrayal of the square-jawed coldness with which war is now waged. Commitment to the mission comes at a price for Egan and his rookie co-pilot Vera Suarez (Zoë Kravitz). In Tommy’s words, “Once you see it, how do you unsee it?”