A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Raises interesting questions about the nature of war, giving older teens and grown-ups something to really think about and talk about.
Positive Role Models
The characters aren't particularly admirable, though they do suffer from a crisis of conscience. They're all very troubled and conflicted, and each tries to find some way of dealing with the stresses of the job, whether it's drinking, blindly following orders, or eventually quitting.
Violence & Scariness
A man hits a woman and rapes her, twice, as seen from satellite cameras. Explosions, death, and destruction as shown on a video monitor. A man has explosions of temper. He briefly hits his wife, then punches a mirror.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A husband and wife have sex; she's on top, but there isn't any graphic nudity. Heavy sexual innuendo. Reference to oral sex. Flirting between a married man and another woman.
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Heavy, constant language. Multiple uses of "f--k" and "f--king." Plus "s--t," "bitch," "piss," "crap," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "Godforsaken."
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Ferrari and Ford.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character seems on the verge of being an alcoholic; he sneaks drinks from a bottle of vodka in the bathroom and drinks in the car -- he's pulled over for drunk driving. Also beer drinking at parties and cigarette smoking. Reference to "coke" (cocaine). "War on drugs" is mentioned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Good Kill is a war-related drama about a U.S. Air Force pilot (Ethan Hawke) who now fires drones at Middle Eastern targets from a safe bunker in Las Vegas. There are scenes of shocking, upsetting violence when victims are shown dying in explosions (seen via video monitors). And a man rapes a woman, twice, while airmen watch helplessly from their monitors. The main character has moments of explosive rage/violence himself and briefly strikes out at his wife. A married couple has sex; there's also some flirting and heavy sexual innuendo. Language is nearly constant, with "f--k" and "f---ing" both used a ton. The character also drinks very heavily -- and sometimes secretly, making it seem like he's on the verge of addiction. Characters also smoke, and there's a reference to cocaine. Though the movie isn't very subtle, it offers many thought-provoking themes for older teens and adults to ponder and discuss. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though the movie is heavy and preachy, with characters making too many speeches, Hawke's powerful performance humanizes the incendiary material and gives it an emotional heft. Writer/director Andrew Niccol specializes in movies about people trapped in mechanized worlds, though he usually achieves a bit more success with some irony infused in the storytelling.
In GOOD KILL, which is based on actual events, the irony is all spoken out loud: At least two characters -- seasoned Colonel Jack Johns (Bruce Greenwood) and new recruit Vera Suarez (Kravitz) -- seem to be in the film almost solely for that purpose. Thankfully, Hawke digs into a very dark place for his role (his anguish draws real empathy from viewers), and Jones matches him as his suffering wife who continually tries to reach him but also has a life of her own. And Niccol makes expert, thoughtful use of the bunker interiors, crossed with the wide-open spaces of Las Vegas.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.