Taglines: If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself.
Major Thomas Egan is an officer with the U.S. Air Force stationed at an Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a former F-16 Falcon pilot, married, with two children who live with him in a suburban house off-base. His current assignment involves flying armed MQ-9 Reaper drones in foreign air space in support of the U.S. War on Terror. He is admired by his commanding officer and support staff for his calm demeanor, precise flying, and adaptability. Privately, he is concerned about the assignment, which he took after being informed there was reduced call for and increased competition for fighter pilots in the Air Force. His previous CO informed him that a tour flying UAVs would look good on his record and would increase his chances of being posted back to a flying assignment.
At first, the new assignment seems stressful but relatively benign. He is assigned to attack more clear-cut terrorist cells, vehicles, and facilities in Afghanistan. He flies these assignments during daylight hours over his targets, which is night-time in Las Vegas, leaving his days free for his sleep period, and to spend time with his wife and children. However, the high-tempo assignment — he is attacking targets on almost a daily basis — begins taking its toll. His wife notices the stress he’s under and he begins drinking when off-duty.
Still, his performance is excellent and his crew is rated among the highest in the squadron so on the orders of his Commanding Officer, he is assigned to more challenging missions under the direction of CIA controllers. Many of these targets are in Yemen and Somalia, places where the U.S. has no acknowledged military mission. The targets themselves are increasingly morally ambiguous: crowds the CIA controller calls terrorist cells, public buildings the controller says are sleeping spots for high level terrorist leaders or factories for making explosives. Collateral damage goes from being a rare occurrence to a routine one. On several occasions, the CIA controller orders strikes on obvious civilian targets — including women and children — describing these casualties as unfortunate but necessitated by terrorist leaders using them as human shields.
Good Kill is an American drama film directed by Andrew Niccol. It competed for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. It was also screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, Sachie Capitani, Michael Sheets, Jake Abel, Dylan Kenin, Stafford Douglas
Screenplay by: Andrew Niccol
Production Design by: Guy Barnes
Cinematography by: Amir Mokri
Film Editing by: Zach Staenberg
Costume Design by: Lisa Jensen
Set Decoration by: Wendy Ozols-Barnes, Rachid Quiat
Music by: Christophe Beck
MPAA Rating: R for violent content including a rape, language, and some sexuality.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: May 15, 2015