Preston Barta // Features Editor

GOOD KILL | 102 min | Rated R
Director: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Jake Abel

GOOD KILL reunites director Andrew Niccol with Ethan Hawke. Previously, they worked together in an excellent sci-fi film titled GATTACA (1997). I’ll preface by saying GATTACA was a great film because it brought up many social issues while also being an entertaining film. This is exactly what GOOD KILL is. It brings up many significant issues, but it’s also an extremely well-made and well-acted feature.

GOOD KILL is a war-drama about a family man (Ethan Hawke) who questions whether using drones is an effective way of fighting combat.

This is a thought-provoking piece with real human characters with real moral conflict. It doesn’t pull any punches by any means, as it shows the sheer ugliness of war and its ambiguities. It also forces the viewer to think about so many issues, such as the drone program, combat in general, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Powerful, haunting and well worth seeing.

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GOOD KILL opens today in select theaters.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Look Cinemas, Premiere Burleson

I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS | 102 min | Rated R
Director: Brett Haley
Cast: Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, Sam Elliott, Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place and June Squibb

This bittersweet drama directed by Brett Haley and starring Blythe Danner held its regional priemere at this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, and it kicked it off in a big way.

The story tells of a widow named Carol (Danner) who is forced to confront her fears about love, family, and death. After her routine is broken, Carol makes new friends (Martin Starr) and decides to start dating again (Sam Elliot).

I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS received rave reviews from its premiere at Sundance back in January, and the same praise carried over in Dallas. It showcased felt performances and proved that even if things get bad in life, there’s always greatness in the world.

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I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS opens today in select theaters.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Landmark Magnolia, Angelika Plano

SLOW WEST | 102 min | Rated R
Director: John Maclean
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn and Caren Pistorius

In his feature debut, musician/filmmaker John Maclean (not to be confused with the Bruce Willis character) creates a perspective of the American frontier that is refreshing and yet captures the heart and spirit of classic westerns. SLOW WEST is a perfect blend of madness and respect of the genre.

The film follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who journeys across the 19th Century frontier in American in search of his beloved (Caren Pistorius), while accompanied by a bounty hunter (a charming and witty Michael Fassbender) who keeps his true motive a secret.

SLOW WEST finds its footing early and herds its audiences through a compelling narrative with minimal action and dialogue. While the film may be a slow simmer, it is later ferociously brought to a boil, before unleashing its fury in its final act. With its wicked humor and unexpected flashes of absurdity and violence, SLOW WEST makes for one hell of trip to the theater (and do see it in the theater; the visuals make it).

SLOW WEST opens today in select theaters, and is also available On-Demand.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Texas Theatre

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.