Jason Bourque’s modest, proficient thriller “Drone” scrutinizes the ethics of warfare by remote control, an issue dramatized with greater effectiveness in Gavin Hood’s “Eye in the Sky,” from 2016, and Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill,” from 2015. Those films examined the moral struggles of military personnel as they conduct missions with clinical precision while far removed from danger. “Drone” sticks to the home front, following Neil Wistin (Sean Bean), a drone pilot on assignments for a covert C.I.A. contractor in Washington State, and Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui), a visitor to his home with an ulterior motive.
Neil, an alcoholic who hides his actual job from the members of his family, is as removed from them as he is from the citizens in Pakistan he inadvertently kills with a missile controlled from his office. His wife, Ellen (Mary McCormack, solid), is having an affair. His sensitive son, Shane (Maxwell Haynes), bonded with Neil’s father as the old man was dying, while Neil can’t even compose a eulogy. When Imir stops by Neil’s house and offers to buy a boat he has inherited, Neil, touched by his gentle earnestness, invites him over for supper, only to learn that Imir knows Neil’s work history — and lost his wife and daughter in one of Neil’s aerial assaults.