The Spierig Brothers' twisty sci-fi thriller features a breakout performance from Sarah Snook
Ethan Hawke has two movies this month that are to do with time and identity, but whereas Boyhood is nuanced and real, Predestination is – well – utterly bonkers. It’s the third film from Aussie siblings the Spierigs and like their rambunctious zombie flick Undead and laudable vampire effort Daybreakers, it takes a popular genre (time travel) and pushes it in excitingly kooky directions. Based on a Robert E Heinlein story, it has Hawke as a ‘temporal agent’ working undercover in a bar in 1970s New York in an attempt to collar a terrorist when an androgynous customer (Sarah Snook) wanders in with a lengthy story to tell. His/her tale eventually dovetails with Hawke’s in a daring piece of narrative jiggery-pokery that will delight and infuriate in equal measure. This is cerebral sci-fi with a strong emotional undertow, largely thanks to Snook (Not Suitable for Children), who gives a heart-tugging performance as the gender-addled person of mystery.