Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Predestination’ Review: Starring Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook & Noah Taylor

Led by a powerful Ethan Hawke and a remarkable breakout performance by Sarah Snook, Predestination might be the most interesting movie about time travel in recent years.

Written and directed by The Spierig Brothers (2009’s Daybreakers, which I really enjoyed in theaters), Predestination tells the story of a man (Ethan Hawke), who is a part-time bartender and also a time-traveling Temporal Agent. The Barkeep uses time-travel to keep law enforced, but in his last mission, he must pursue a criminal who has baffled him throughout time.

There are several other elements and plot points in the film, but they won’t be given away in this review to protect the shocking twists and turns of the story. It’s best for the viewer to know as little as possible when going to see the film, to make their own assumptions about the characters and storylines.

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Ethan Hawke reunites with The Spierig Brothers six years after they made Daybreakers together. Hawke is wonderfully weird as the Barkeep who is also a time-traveler. He leads the film even when it’s hard to follow at times. But the real star of the film is Sarah Snook, who plays The Unmarried Woman, the woman the Barkeep meets while he is working. In a completely transformative performance, Snook is able to create the characters she plays with different personalities and mannerisms. Snook’s performance is bound to be underrated and misunderstood, but she sparks the beginning of the year with an extremely strong performance.

Though Predestination may prove a little silly or confusing to some, it is a film that I imagine will only improve upon additional viewings, as it is impossible to pick up on everything in the first viewing. Ethan Hawke continues to prove his acting talents, diving into this strange and deep role, while Sarah Snook is exceptional with her multi-layered performance. Predestination will excite moviegoers who love interesting time-travel stories while giving the viewer much to think about after the film is over.

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