10 Underrated Ethan Hawke Movies That Deserve More Credit
Here are ten Ethan Hawke films that've flown under most folks' radar but deserve their moment in the spotlight.
1. Predestination (2014)
Hawke plays a Temporal Agent, but not the mundane kind who just sits behind a desk. He's out there preventing crimes before they even happen. Wait, paradox, much?
Enter Sarah Snook, who's actually got two identities, but let's not spoil that. Hawke recruits her for a time-jumping goose chase to catch the elusive 'Fizzle Bomber.' Confused? Intrigued? Good. That's the whole point!
2. Gattaca (1997)
A dystopian world where genetics are the alpha and omega of your social status. Hawke's Vincent is born the old-fashioned way, so he's got "inferior" genes. But you think that stops him from dreaming of space? Nope.
Cue identity switcheroo with Jude Law's character, Jerome, who's genetically superior but paralyzed. Vincent masquerades as Jerome to work at Gattaca, an aerospace company, and shoot for the stars—literally. There's the relentless investigator sniffing around after a murder at the facility. Will Vincent make it?
3. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
A jewelry heist gone abominably wrong. Hawke's Hank needs money; so does his brother Andy, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Their solution? Rob their parents' jewelry store. What could go wrong? (Famous last words.)
Hank outsources the job to a friend, and it ends in a tragedy that spirals into more tragedy. No one gets out clean in this Shakespearean tale of greed and despair.
4. Daybreakers (2009)
Vampires, but make it corporate. In a world of dwindling human populations, Hawke's Edward is a hematologist vampire hell-bent on finding a blood substitute to sustain his fellow bloodsuckers.
But guess what, there's a rebel group of humans who've found a cure for vampirism! Plot twist, anyone? Edward has to decide between joining the rebels or sticking with his corporate brood.
5. Brooklyn's Finest (2009)
Law and order get blurry when Hawke steps into the boots of Sal, an NYPD officer struggling with morality as much as he is with family finances.
The film follows three cops, including Hawke, entangled in scenarios that test their ethics to the absolute limit. Sal, in desperate need of money to provide for his growing family, starts pocketing drug money from crime scenes. Walking a tightrope between right and super wrong.
6. Lord of War (2005)
You wanna talk about duality? Here we are: Hawke is Interpol agent Jack Valentine, chasing Nicolas Cage's Yuri, an arms dealer. The world is the marketplace, and war zones are business opportunities. Jack Valentine is one determined fella, always one step behind but never giving up.
It's like Tom and Jerry, only with weapons of mass destruction. Seriously, Jack is like a bloodhound with a whiff of his quarry. But can he catch the elusive arms trader? Now that is the million-dollar question.
7. Maudie (2016)
Enter the picturesque yet isolating landscapes of Nova Scotia. What's a grumpy fish peddler to do? Hire a live-in housekeeper, obviously. Except Maud, played by Sally Hawkins, isn't your average housekeeper; she's got arthritic hands but an unbreakable spirit.
Hawke's Everett finds himself perplexed, yet slowly enchanted, by this resilient, artistic woman.
8. The Woman in the Fifth (2011)
A thriller with a splash of psychological dread. Hawke plays Tom, a writer in Paris trying to reconnect with his daughter. He's also evading some dark aspects of his past in the States. He takes up a sketchy job and gets entangled with a mysterious woman.
Strange events start spiraling around him; murders and illusions blur the line between reality and imagination. What's real? Who's who? Don't even try to guess.
9. Good Kill (2014)
Ready for a slice of modern warfare? Hawke is Major Thomas Egan, a drone pilot operating from the comfort of Las Vegas. Easy peasy, right? Drop a bomb here, eliminate a target there, then head home for dinner. Not so fast.
It starts to dawn on him: is he fighting a war or playing a grim video game? With each mission, his moral compass spins faster than a roulette wheel. Risk-free warfare? The mind pays a steep price.
10. Sinister (2012)
Don't watch this alone at night—seriously, don't. Hawke's Ellison Oswalt, a true-crime writer, moves his family into a new home to research his new book. Bad idea, buddy. He finds a box of old home movies in the attic, and guess what they contain? Murders. Yup, the previous owners weren't filming their summer vacations.
Slowly, a pagan deity named Bughuul starts creeping into his life, threatening everything he holds dear. Jump scares? You bet. Intriguing plot? Absolutely.